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Leaders, Awake

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Business leaders should change how they run their companies and do more to address societal inequities, writes the author.

  • Facts


    • After Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, leaders gathered in Davos are concerned about what is driving populism.
    • Germany’s dual training system enables companies like Siemens to train workers in needed skills.
    • Participants in the system split their education time between academic learning and job-specific skills. They receive a training wage and in return are a exchange for a relatively inexpensive source of labor, businesses assume a direct responsibility for educating the work force.
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Spain Crisis Protest
The status quo is no longer acceptable. Source: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti

As a society, we are facing some hard truths. Recent global elections have surfaced the depths of frustration and despair many people are feeling. The profound lack of economic opportunity for those left behind by globalization has created an ever widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots.” And voters have sent an unequivocal message: the status quo is no longer acceptable.

The fact is, business cannot succeed if society fails. Consider the implications of operating a business in an environment where people don’t have the money to buy what is being sold? Where growing inequities manifest in civil unrest and elevated crime rates? Where people don’t have access to the education required to do the jobs that need doing?

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