“Not very long ago some one invented the assertion that there were only “four hundred” people in New York City who were really worth noticing. But a wiser man has arisen – the census taker….” — O. Henry (1910)
Much has changed since the 1910 census when American author O. Henry penned those famous lines, but many misconceptions around the value of the U.S. census remain.
Considering all that we have experienced over the past 18 months, we are definitely at an inflection point when it comes to the business community deciding what role it has in pursuing social good. More companies have realized they have no choice but to speak out, and even take action, on some of the most volatile political and social issues of our time.
Miami is beginning to shed its reputation as just a beach town, and is making its mark as a city with a burgeoning art scene, and a growing startup landscape. Yet, I find what is still often overlooked is the sheer quantity of companies that are based in Miami, many of which use the city as a gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. And with such a unique corporate ecosystem, it is inevitable that corporate responsibility (CR) plays a role locally and abroad.
Surely you have seen the videos over the past few years. During the spring of 2017, United Airlines’ reputation was battered after smartphone videos caught a passenger being roughed up after he was adamant that he would not give up his seat to accommodate another passenger.
Many companies talk about their plans to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG8), meant to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
To get a good job and earn a good salary: stay in school, go to college, and get a degree. So goes the conventional wisdom, and the research bears this out. Countless studies have shown that individuals with college degrees will earn more money over the course of their careers than those without a degree.
But the numbers also show that for many, the degree comes with a mountain of student loan debt that will take a good portion of their careers to pay off.
Unicef tells us that 101 million children worldwide don’t regularly attend school. High costs, lack of local availability, lack of uniforms and school supplies, disability and competing family priorities are among the many reasons for this devastating statistic.
Each of those children may grow up without the basic communication, math and reasoning skills that can help them earn a living wage to support their family and build their communities. And so the cycle of poverty continues.