In years to come, our times will be marked as the launching of a time of unequaled global quality of life. Today, for those who seize the opportunity, there is a chance to take a direction that builds the free market at the grassroots level that will provide funding for the normal services of government and charities without making society dependent upon either!
By taking imaginative responses to oft-perceived challenges around aging populations, the transition to a resource-efficient economy, the advent of new technologies, and the ascendancy of emerging markets sustainable and significant programs will be developed. Every moment of delay only increases the costs of inaction still further. So how can individuals and entities plant seeds today to yield growth tomorrow?
Articulate the vision:
A strong strategic direction is crucial. This means having a clear-eyed view of comparative advantage (both existing and potential) that is stabilized by vital and sustainable family units. The cost of dysfunctional families mitigates economic and social advancement at the core level. Breadth of vision will be critical.
Greater growth momentum can be achieved when economies apply a broad lens to potential sources of growth, both sectorally and geographically. In many cases the rapid advance of a particular sector will spawn additional demand in a raft of adjacent sectors or upstream or downstream industries. Growth opportunities can also be enhanced through more strategic economic and business engagement with emerging markets.
Identify, build on and network the demographic sectors:
Develop lifelong learning strategies; identify the younger workforce (Generations Y and Z), generally technology savvy and aspirational in outlook, which requires a diversity of work experiences and continual learning opportunities; identify the new workforce that will be needed for the industries of the future. For the last of these, identify skills gaps and initiate vocational programs targeting fast-growing industries thirsty for new talent.
As well as investment in education and skills, better mechanisms to match supply and demand in labor markets will also be important, including innovative use of IT and social network platforms. For example, THC's Resource & Research Center has pioneered an online portal that increases the efficiency of the labor market in reducing unemployment, even in the teeth of a global recession.
Tell the story:
For emerging sectors to take root, a fertile growth environment needs to exist. This encompasses a host of elements, such as the cost and availability of skills and communication, competitive access to varied sources of capital (including seed and venture funding), and the availability of key resource input
Pioneer new models of collaboration and stability:
In the more tightly knit and interdependent economy, the coordination among the three sectors—business, government and non-profit—will no longer be a bonus but a necessity. The sheer scale of the challenge and the requirement for diverse expertise make it unlikely that any one sector can harness the new waves of growth single-handed. Substantial uncertainty and capital commitment, in particular for the resource economy, suggest that coordination and collaboration among sectors can help to spread risk and smooth the flow of information and ideas.
Each sector has a part to play, individually and collectively. The corporate sector tied to the home based market directly brings commercial acumen, technical know-how and entrepreneurial flair. It can take a far-sighted view, spotting “big enough market insights” that have long-term growth and investment value. Governments can provide enabling infrastructure, a supportive policy context and the right regulatory incentives. The third or non-profit sector, long underestimated, brings important expertise as well as innovation in delivery models (such as cross-sector partnerships and social enterprises) and is also uniquely positioned to raise public awareness about the possibilities of new growth sectors.
But cross-sector collaboration should not be limited to the domain of national layers. As the family unit and local communities networked globally via technology they become increasingly important nodes of economic activity and decision making. They will become the starting point for stakeholders that seek to execute a regional strategy. IT and social network platforms provide important tools to deepen such collaboration. This process of initiating and harnessing the growth wave starts with the individual acting on behalf of others, driving the Cycle of Appreciation with random acts of kindness that give others HOPE and build the giver as well!