Part B. Global Networks and Flows

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question: How do different places become interconnected by global interactions?

An overview of contemporary global networks and flows:

  • global trade in materials, manufactured goods and services
  • an overview of international aid, loans and debt relief
  • international remittances from economic migrants
  • illegal flows, such as trafficked people, counterfeit goods and narcotics

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and outsourcing by transnational corporations (TNCs), and ways in which this networks places and markets

Two contrasting detailed examples of TNCs and their global strategies and supply chains

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

The relative importance of different flows, and the suitability of different methods for graphically representing flows and interactions

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Introduction to Global Trade

The Trade Game!!!

Thursday 18 May 2023

Global Trade in Raw Materials, Goods and Services

Starter: The Trade Game Debrief.

Exam Skill: Infographic Analysis

On Paper 1, Part B consists of a set of questions worth 10 marks that respond to an infographic. The questions are usually formatted as follows:

Q1 and Q2. Level 1 = reading on the lines – this is straight comprehension. The first (and second) question (usually 1 mark) are these and you just needs to be able to hunt around the infographic to find the answer.

Q3. Level 2 = reading between the lines – this is inferencing. These are usually the 2/3 mark questions and require you to make/identify some sort of connection, assumption, or do a calculation. It’s more than just comprehension.

Q4. Level 3 = reading beyond the lines – this is usually evaluating and making a judgement. This is usually a 6 mark question. You may need to outline the benefits of the infographic or suggest improvements to it.


  • Choose one of the infographics below (divide them between the three of you). They all show information regarding global trade.
  • Study the infographic.
  • Create 3-4 questions in the style of those outlined above (totalling 10 marks). Ensure that you also have an answer key to accompany the questions.
  • Share your questions with your peers and then answer the questions that they have created based upon their infographic.

What to evaluate in an infographic:

  1. Tone/style language used.
  2. Use of terminology.
  3. Use of labels and headings.
  4. Sources used.
  5. Generalisations made.
  6. Use of images.
  7. Use of colour.
  8. Use of data.
  9. Intended audience.
  10. Scale and proportions of graphs.
  11. Projections of maps.
  12. Effectiveness of key/legend.
  13. Date and author.
  14. Use of scale/compass on maps.
Infographic #1. Raw Materials
Infographic #2. Trade in Goods
Infographic #3. Global Shipping Routes

Homework: Complete the ‘Check Your Understanding’ questions on page 529.

Thursday 25 May 2023

A​n overview of international aid, loans and debt relief…

Starter: Look at the four images. What do they represent and how are they linked?

With the advancement of global interactions, populations around the world are now more aware than ever of the disparity that exists between the wealthy and the poor. Whilst it is true to say that most people in the world live in MIC’s and wealth is increasing, nearly 700 million people still live below the poverty line, earning less than $1.90 per day. You can see the state of play today by examining this Gapminder chart

Back in 1985, a series of concerts called ‘Live Aid’ were planned and broadcast in response to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Ethiopia. This news report from the BBC (warning of upsetting images) was broadcast around the world and stirred key figures in music industry and in government into action to raise money. The events in London, Paris and New York were broadcast around the world on television and raised close to $130 million. This was the first example of a ‘celebrity driven’ international aid drive and many more have taken place since.

​Fast forward to 2005 and the Live 8 concerts that were timed to precede the G8 conference and summit held in Scotland from 6–8 July. Both events also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. Run in support of the aims of the UK’s Make Poverty History campaign and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, ten simultaneous concerts were held on 2 July and one on 6 July. On 7 July, the G8 leaders pledged to double 2004 levels of aid to poor nations from US$25 billion to US$50 billion by the year 2010. Half of the money was to go to Africa. More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks. This time, pledges of aid were also complimented by pledges to reduce unsustainable debt levels (debt relief). 

International Aid

Task 1. Watch the two videos below and answer the following questions.

  • Define International Aid, Bilateral Aid and Multilateral Aid. 
  • Which countries give the most aid (how much) and who receives it? 
  • Why can aid be problematic?

Task 2. Read this recent news story and note down the reasons why the UK feels it needs to reduce its aid budget in 2020. 

International Loans

Task 3. Watch the first video beneath and take notes on why the IMF (remember this from previous lessons) lends money.  Give examples of the factors that require countries to ask for assistance.

Task 4. The IMF are constantly processing requests for emergency loans especially given the havoc that COVID-19 is wreaking on economies around the world. Click here to be taken to a Google search of news recent stories linked to IMF lending. Choose one example from the list and write a 100 word summary of the loan situation in that country. 

Debt Relief

Task 5. Watch the video beneath and make notes on the benefits of debt relief programmes. 

Task 6. Outline briefly the HIPC initiative. This page will help you. 

Task 7. Read this article carefully and comment on the spatial distribution (place) of countries that have received substantial debt relief. 


Task 8. Watch the video below to recap on what remittances are and why they are vital to economies around the world. Now study the map below to get an overview of the countries that rely on remittance income. The really famous example of this is USA – Mexico transfer of money but as you can see, it is by no means the only example. Why and where does 31% of the Nepalese GDP come through remittances?

Click on this link to be taken to an interactive remittances map (2016). It is set to default to show the payments to/from the USA but using the drop down menu, you can change the country. You can choose Canada for example to see the flows in and out of our country.

Task 9. Using a screen shot of the map above (interactive version here) describe the spatial pattern of remittance inflow (as a % of GDP). Now using the link above, choose your home country take screen shots of inflows and outflows and explain the key patterns of remittance flows. Can you spot any major flows that have historical or geographic significance? 

Homework: Finish all activities from today’s lesson.

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Illegal Flows

Enquiry Question: What is the spatial pattern of illegal flows such people trafficking, counterfeit goods and narcotics?

Task: You will be completing this piece of work individually. You will all need to investigate two of following types of illegal flow and complete a factsheet about them. See the template provided below. You will then use these information sheets to answer an essay response at the end of the lesson.

  1. Narcotics
  2. People Smuggling
  3. Counterfeit Goods
  4. Illegal Animal Trade
  5. Illegal Firearms Trade

Lesson 3. Illegal Flows Template (Google Doc)

​Case Study 1 – Narcotics – El Naya – Cocaine Highway to the USA

Case Study 2 – People Smugglers Africa to Europe

Case Study 3 – Counterfeit Trainers into USA

Case Study 4 – Illegal Animal Trade

Case Study 5 – Illegal Firearms Trade

Essay Question:

Using examples discuss the pattern of illegal flows and examine their interconnection (12 marks)

Success Criteria:

  • Discuss requires an in-depth knowledge and understanding of different illegal flows. The patterns of these flows should well described and explained.
  • The interconnection between them should be well developed along with networks and different interest groups
  • A broad range of examples, including types of illegal flows, players and regions should be established as evidence for the discussion
  • The conclusion is consistent with the main body of evidence and summarizes the main argument

Wednesday 31 May 2023

TNCs and their Global Strategies and Supply Chains…  

Assessed Project:

Two detailed case studies are required here of two contrasting TNC’s including their global strategy and supply chains. For this unit of work, we will be analysing Apple (USA & High Tech), Starbucks (USA Food & Drink) and Levi’s (USA Clothing). You may then decide which two you would like to compare in more detail.

“Our whole goal in life is to give you something you didn’t know you wanted and then once you get it, you can’t imagine your life without it… and you can count on apple doing that.” — Tim Cook
“Starbucks being an extension of peoples home and work. The sense of community, human connection. That appears to be as relevant in Turkey, China, Japan and Spain as it is here in America. And Starbucks I think is creating something for people all over the world that has not existed before.” — Howard Schultz

Starter: Define…

  1. TNC (Transnational Corporation)
  2. Global Strategy
  3. Supply Chain

Task 1. One of you will be researching Apple, another Starbucks, and the other Levi’s. All three are well known TNC’s and the chances are that you have been consumers of their product range. 

Use the video wall beneath to build up a picture of the history of the companies, their global/local strategies as well as their supply chains.

You are going to produce a 5-10 minute presentation to give to your peers using PowerPoint, Prezzie etc.

Slide 1 – Introduction / logo / group details / quote about the TNC
Slide 2 – Brief history and major product release dates (Starbucks history)
Slide 3 – Global / local strategies
Slide 4 – Supply chains

Slide 5 – 4P’s summary (Power, Place, Processes, Possibility)
Slide 6 – Connecting people and places. 
Slide 7 – Synthesis – links with one other area of the IB DP Geog course. 

Case Study #1. Apple

History of Apple

Global Strategy – Offshore Profits & Outsourcing

Offshoring: Offshore investment is the keeping of money in a jurisdiction other than one’s country of residence. … Poorly regulated offshore domiciles have served historically as havens for tax evasion, money laundering, or to conceal or protect illegally acquired money from law enforcement in the investor’s country.

​Outsourcing: Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services and create goods that traditionally were performed in-house by the company’s own employees and staff.

Apple Supply Chain
Apple Supply Chain
When the Global Strategy doesn’t work…

Apple Policy on it’s Supply Chain

Case Study #2. Starbucks

History of Starbucks

Global Strategy – Regional Glocalisation of Products

Global Strategy: What a company takes when it wants to compete and expand in the global market. A global strategy refers to the plans an organization has developed to target growth beyond its borders. Specifically, it aims to increase the sales of goods or services abroad.

Glocalisation: Glocalization is a combination of the words “globalization” and “localization.” The term is used to describe a product or service that is developed and distributed globally but is also adjusted to accommodate the user or consumer in a local market.

Starbucks Supply Chain
Starbucks Supply Chain

Starbucks Policy on it’s Products

When the Global Strategy doesn’t work…

Case Study #3. Levi’s

Forbes – Levi’s Dirty Secret

Levi’s Supply Chain

CityAM Article