Social justice and teamwork are the future of globalization
How can we prepare residents around the world for the future of work? Past waves of globalization offer lessons on what it will take to overcome the transition more effectively. As leaders reflect on how to shape a new architecture for Globalization 4.0 (the theme of the World Economic Forum’s 2019 annual meeting), we must prioritize the goal of tackling persistent inequalities, especially those based on race, income, gender and location. It is the moon stroke of our generation.
Growing up in the 1990s with the global proliferation of American consumer goods and the onset of the digital revolution, globalization seemed inevitable. Creative disruption threatened all industries, blue collar and white collar jobs. But the interdependence of our world accelerated by globalization was also exciting. Millennials have grown up expecting change, knowing that because it is impossible to erase the past, we must accept the uncertainty of change.
It’s time not to apologize for the emerging nature of our ever-changing world. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings, so here are three prescriptions leaders must embrace as we prepare for the future:
1. Take a systems approach
Communities and countries cannot claim to build walls around them. Let’s face it: our world is interconnected and our destinies are linked. The reality of climate change clearly shows this. To fight nationalism and nativism for the benefit of globalism and humanism, you have to remember the African proverb that if you want to go fast you can go alone, but if you want to go far we have to go together.
Leaders working for large-scale social change take a systemic view on a range of issues from Built for Zero (to end homelessness) to Campaign Zero (to end police violence). In my hometown of Chicago, hospitals are working alongside residents to reduce health disparities through West Side United.
If you look at the long term, we’re living in the best possible time to be alive, according to Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. While we should be optimistic, society still seems more polarized than ever, with people talking to each other, arguing to win instead of arguing to learn. Speaking on this topic at the 2018 World Economic Forum annual meeting, I shared strategies to help ourselves and others take a systemic view and slow down our thinking to tackle root causes before we take action.
2. Disrupt the accumulation of power and privilege
Our current systems are perfectly designed to get the results we get, and the market alone will not deliver the best results for those most affected – especially people of color, women, and other minority populations. To disrupt the build-up of power and privilege, we must create new systems that intentionally reverse structural inequalities. We have to kiss John a. powell’s focused universalism and working with community partners to create systems that work for those most in need.
It’s the core of my work to coach hundreds of cross-sector leaders who work hard to build a better future for every child in 70 regions across the United States. The community partnerships of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career network simultaneously strive to change everyday practices and behaviors, while advancing policies aimed at transforming the patchwork of systems that young people encounter in health, education , housing, public safety, food security and more.
3. Harness the power of networks
Systems thinker Donella Meadows has ranked the power to create self-organizing systems as one of the most powerful levers for transforming systems. As leaders consider how to make globalization work for the most people, it will be essential to support the networks that make thinking visible. From professional learning communities among educators to networks for collaborative improvement and innovation in maternal and child health, groups of leaders and practitioners are increasingly coming together to share ideas, lessons and promising practices – and these networks need to improve to move from knowledge sharing. transfer of learning into action.
One network I’m proud to be a part of is the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum covering nearly 400 urban centers in 171 countries. Global Shapers are self-organizing to create local projects to improve the state of our communities – and share ideas and innovations with Shapers around the world to accelerate impact on a global scale. This movement is a positive example of what can happen when the power of globalization is harnessed for good.
As leaders around the world work towards sustainable globalization, fight nativism and tribalism, and find solutions to global risks such as pernicious inequalities, let’s find ways to work together to build better and stronger systems where everyone has control. potential to succeed.