Pondering what’s next, and preparing for that which lies in wait is essential to building a better world order
Words by Rakesh Bhutoria
The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and it’s not easy to assimilate the same. Pondering what’s next and how to tackle the greatest challenges facing the world is essential for building a better world. Humanity is facing massive headwinds from Climate Change, Inequality, and the Rise of Authoritarianism. To take on these challenges, Leaders must focus on 5Cs: Clarity, Confidence, Commitment, Collaboration, and Compassion.
The first challenge facing the world is climate change. The impacts of global warming, including rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, and mass extinction of species, are already being felt around the world. To address this challenge, Leaders need clarity about the scale of the problem and the actions required to mitigate it. We must have confidence in our ability to develop and deploy the technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We need commitment to the goal of reducing global emissions to net-zero by mid-century. Collaboration is also essential, as no one country or sector can solve this problem alone. Finally, we must have compassion for the most vulnerable communities who are already feeling the impacts of climate change.
Another significant challenge facing the world is inequality. Economic inequality is on the rise, with the richest 1% of the world’s population owning more than half of the world’s wealth. This inequality has profound social and political consequences, including the erosion of trust in democratic institutions and the rise of authoritarianism. To tackle this challenge, Leaders need clarity about the drivers of inequality, including the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few. We must have confidence in our ability to design and implement policies that promote greater equality, such as progressive taxation and universal basic income. We need commitment to the goal of building more inclusive societies. Solutions to this challenge require cooperation between governments, civil society, and the private sector. Finally, we must have compassion for the poor and marginalized communities.
The rise of authoritarianism is also a significant challenge facing the world. In recent years, we have seen the erosion of democratic norms and the rise of leaders who prioritize their own power over the interests of their citizens. To tackle this challenge, Leaders need to build consensus around behaviors driving economic insecurity, social fragmentation, and political polarization. We must have confidence in our ability to defend democratic institutions and promote civic engagement. Leaders need commitment to the goal of protecting and strengthening democracy around the world. Solutions to this challenge requires intense cooperation across humanity at large. Finally, we must have compassion for those who are persecuted for their political beliefs or their identity.
To ‘Take on Tomorrow’, we must also recognize the role of technology in shaping our future. The rise of artificial intelligence, automation, and other disruptive technologies is transforming the way we live and work. To harness the full potential of technology for the good of humanity, Leaders must embrace innovation and technology in everything and at all levels. The ethics of AI and disciplined usage of emerging technologies is also an important aspect to avoid unintended consequences. These are complex issues which require integrative thinking and application of insights from intersectional domains.
In conclusion, ‘Taking on Tomorrow’ requires imbibing and practising 5Cs. Leaders must develop clear viewpoints about the challenges facing humanity, build confidence in our ability to tackle these challenges, have the commitment to the goal of building a better world, collaborate across sectors and borders, and have the innate compassion for those who are most affected by the challenges we face. By working together with these principles in mind, we can build a future that is more just, sustainable, and inclusive for all. As they say, Dreams can come true once we wake up to the real world challenges and intentionally seek to address the same…”
Rakesh Bhutoria is the Managing Director of Banyantree Finance, a role that sees him commence his journey in the Private Equity space, focussing on investments in the mid-cap and small cap segments. He is also engaged with multiple organisations, including Social Venture Partners India and several business schools, on a pro bono basis.