The advancement of technology has brought humans closer together than ever before. But this means that the historic international cooperation frameworks that were designed for the post-war era, when nation states were the main stakeholders, are becoming less and less effective.
There are increasing calls for a global approach with multi-stakeholder governance systems which encapsulate economic, social and environmental factors. There is a continuous push for business leaders to focus plans around long-term sustainable performance which incorporates not just financial success but also impact on society and the environment. This theme is becoming prominent in the business and accountancy sectors. The ‘Accounting for Sustainability’ scheme is making great progress in championing fundamental shifts in outlook and is just one, albeit crucial, feature of modern leadership.
'Responsive and Responsible Leadership' is the underlying theme of the 47th annual World Economic Forum (WEF), at which leaders from government, business, charity and other influencers are meeting to discuss some of the most pressing challenges facing the global community. WEF helps leaders from all walks of life to focus on common goals and drive new initiatives to build a better world now and for the future. As a Millennial and a young business professional, I will follow the event with great interest.
This theme of 'Responsive and Responsible Leadership' in part stems from the frustration and discontent that segments of society feel from not experiencing economic development and social progress.
More and more, we’re appreciating the need for deeper commitment to inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth. We are in need of global strategies that function nationally and are inclusive to all cross-sections of society; capturing geography, age, race and sex.
Shifting our lens to the UK, we can see concerted efforts being taken to ‘re-balance’ the economy from a geographic perspective to ensure traditional English industrial heartlands such as the North West, West Midlands and Yorkshire increase economic activity and opportunities. But so much more needs to be done and at a faster pace. The need for open and constructive dialogue around this topic is clear; some may argue that one of the drivers of the UK’s EU referendum result was the discontent amongst specific regions and communities as they faced a lack of economic opportunities despite national GDP growth.
The world seems to be engulfed in a sea of pessimism, negativity and cynicism. It is time for Millennials to take an active interest and involvement in local, national and global developments.
The best-selling author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek suggests that when great leaders define themselves they ‘start with WHY?’
Leaders who are guided by empathy, diversity and the selfless pursuit of the common good can empower people who currently feel disenfranchised. We do not lack the means to make the world a better and fairer place. But we do need a new approach that centres around inclusivity, collaboration and a global mindset.