In today’s world, we are more connected than ever. Through the web, email, and social media, people on opposite sides of the globe can talk to each other instantly and more easily than ever before. But who is listening? And more importantly, do we really understand the complexity and interconnectedness of our (common) challenges?
Human capital is fast becoming the key ingredient to the success of all nations. How to effectively develop this critical resource is a concern of higher education systems around the world. Developing countries in particular, with limited means and expertise, face significant challenges as they prepare their citizenry to meet the new demands of a rapidly changing knowledge-based global economy.
Despite tremendous advances in global telecommunication, some societies have seen little improvement in how well they get along or understand each other. Technology has made our world smaller, but in many cases, our knowledge of each other remains limited. Connectivity has not succeeded in replacing human contact.
The West and the Arab world, for example – two civilizations whose cooperation is essential to world peace – still often view each other with fear, suspicion, hostility, or ignorance. Misperceptions abound. Stereotypes are hardening into caricatures. To close these gaps in understanding, new, innovative and non-traditional platforms for face-to-face communication are needed – perhaps more now than at any other time in modern history. We cannot rely on traditional diplomatic systems alone to create these platforms.
The world business community can, and should, take the lead by creating and supporting programmes that help to build bridges between cultures through interpersonal dialogue. Along with social development and corporate responsibility, bridge building is a good investment for business. Businesses big and small need predictability to prosper, and political and social tensions can be destabilizing.
GTF’s mission focuses on three areas: accountable leadership, women’s empowerment and youth development. So far, in our four years of operations, we have convened more than 1,500 leaders, decision makers, entrepreneurs and academics in physical meetings, and more than 10,000 worldwide are part of the wider Global Thinkers Forum network. Moreover, under the GTF umbrella, we have launched the international mentoring programme Global Thinkers Mentors, supporting youth and women and improving their leadership and life skills.
Global Thinkers Forum touches on all aspects of society, engaging in educational and cultural activities, working jointly on solutions to social challenges faced by our countries and, along the way, changing misperceptions.
We invite you to explore our work and join our efforts to open new pathways for communication in order to promote diversity and inclusion, collaboration and cross-cultural understanding with the goal of achieving positive change on a global scale, one step at a time.
My very best,
Founder & CEO, Global Thinkers, Global Thinkers Forum & Global Thinkers Mentors