Delivering the key-note address at the 2-day fourth World BPO-ITO Forum conclave at Jersey City, he said the world dynamics had changed drastically in the past 30 years.
He said at least during the Industrial Revolution one could perceive a substantial change in a lifetime. Whereas, now going by the current growth rate of 9 per cent, businesses can see drastic changes in people''s living standards within a short span of a decade or so.
This is unprecedented economic progress on a scale never seen before that brings staggering potential and opportunities, Summers said at the conclave themed "Flattening the world: the economic, political and technical impact on global economy".
Taking a lesson from history, it does come with its own share of challenges and consequences, he said, extending a note of caution.
"So the challenge of our times is to enjoy the fruits while at the same time balancing the risks and conflicts emerging out of this rapid change."
Focusing on outsourcing which is dependent on the location of skills around the world, Summers said, "Conservative estimates of it being a threat to our progress is a prescription for a more contentious and less prosperous world."
During the Industrial Revolution there were critics that prophesised that machines would mean fewer jobs but they were proved wrong in the long run, he said.
To seek to "wall off" the prospect of off shoring is to deny the US business houses the right to participate in the ongoing economic revolution, he added.
Taking a look inwards, Summers stated that US needed to create a level-playing field and strengthen the educational system to deal with technological advances. He proposed this through accountability and encouraging innovation through research.Summers said that US has a huge stake in scientific enterprise to innovate cutting edge technology as it has done in the past by being incubators of Google, Facebook, IBM, Apple and Amazon to name a few.
But, he said the challenge of politics at international level was setting checks and balances without regulating the economic progress.
Summers expressed his belief on the resilience of the American economy.
He also said that the next big story after the Industrial Revolution is going to be the rising clout of India and China in the global arena.