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Los Grobo in the Media

June 27, 2019
We are not rich, we must work to be it
We must recreate a society of hope, mobility and progress; that is the current challenge and the new generations.

By Gustavo Grobocopatel. Publicated in lanacion.com.ar

The debate about the future pervades diverse environments. Global leaders reflect on the challenges of these times in various areas of academia and society. The concern grows with climate change, pollution, new forms of terrorism, US surprise policies. and its consequent impacts on global commerce. What will be the role of the new powers such as China? And especially the cultural, social and labor changes that generate the convergence of new technologies and migration?

With this same energy we could look to the future with hope. The development of renewable energies makes it costless to zero, it will no longer be a utopia to produce in the Sahara or to use desalinated water from the sea. The convergence of biotechnology, robotics, precision agriculture, AI and nanotechnology can make food prices even cheaper and create a more environmentally friendly agriculture. Recall that today 1% of the population produces for 100% and a few years ago was 40%. Personalized health and advances in science will raise life expectancy several decades.

The reasons for hope may be greater than those of fear, but these transformations, although ultimately positive, can cause pain, as we have experienced in other times. Therefore, the reflection on economic and social models where these transformations will happen is not only academic. Progress could be aborted if society is not prepared to receive it. The capitalist system stimulates and accelerates social, institutional, economic and technological developments but also the fear that something is out of control or is not fair. Reality gives the reason to those feelings, but many times we burden capitalism with responsibilities in damages that are precisely generated by their lack.

The system does not work well if there is no competition, monopolies or oligopolies generate faults that affect society. We must encourage investment to create options for consumers. States must function efficiently, creating quality public goods. There is no capitalism without a strong state, which is not necessarily synonymous with great. The markets are creations of the States and many times the problems they cause come from not having adjustments in time and form. When we say that the market fails, in reality it is the State that is not fulfilling its task well. It also does not work well if there are no businessmen, politicians or workers who comply with its rules and work with its dynamics. All these interest groups must be from this time. The comment seems ambiguous, and it is. We do not know exactly what is going to happen, we only know that we must be willing to change, to learn, to be transparent, to integrate.

In a recent event at Harvard (HBS-Dialogue) we businessmen talked about these issues and some learnings of successful cases that change the perspective and purpose of the business activity. For example, there is evidence that maximizing shareholder value does not ensure the survival of companies and only achieves this when it is done for all stakeholders (in addition to the "owners", talents, customers, suppliers and society as a whole). The reflection on the purpose of our actions as entrepreneurs or citizens is relevant.

Why do we do what we do? This exploration leads us to think about how we improve, with our activity, the capacities of people to achieve their happiness; how we satisfy interest groups and how they prefer us; in what way we generate trust; how we cooperate with other companies - sometimes competitors - and how we help build institutions, including a state of this time. The sublimation of the public-private partnership is the joint construction of a State of this time. Currently, it is much more relevant how to do things than things to do. If we have the mechanisms of consensus building and the ability to execute in a timely manner, we are likely to arrive faster and farther. For entrepreneurs of this time, making money is the consequence of having done things well for many years.

The issue of employment is not a minor challenge. With so many changes in the way of working and needs for new skills, it is very likely that in order to preserve employment we must be prepared to change jobs. Here, employability is a need that exceeds that of having a job, since it refers to the freedom to choose how and where to work. Probably the great challenge of the new generations is not to get a job but to create it. We can not remain condemned to the idea that poverty creates poverty. It is true, also, that we have the responsibility to generate broad job creation options during a transition that will probably be hard, but we must not lose the compass: we have to make people freer, more autonomous, more employable, more entrepreneurial, more solidary and healthier.

For politicians, being of this time requires opening up and integrating the most views of society, having a vocation for service, solving problems quickly and well, and facilitating transformation processes. It is very important to facilitate a permanent flow of talents from and to the private sector, we must speak the same language and develop complementary skills. The private sector must understand the language and culture of the public function, and vice versa.

Populism is not the cause of problems, it is what emerges from society due to a lack of confidence in the future. We must work to recreate a society of hope, where young people have no disadvantages, education gives the same opportunities, infrastructure connects us and public goods allow us to include, with transparent information and a broad base of participation in public debate. We must recreate the idea of ​​social mobility with progress. You have to handle expectations; We are not rich, we must work to be rich. Many times the crises and disenchantment come from not understanding the distance between expectations and realities, and the way of approaching them.

It is necessary to travel along this arid path between the present and the future and for that the role of leadership is fundamental. I say leadership because it is a system, that although it includes leaders, it must transform collectively. Leaders inspire, catalyze, thrill. The groups include, sustain and project.

Argentina is a "megalaboratorio" where things are put to the test that economics or sociology have not yet explained. This situation, most of the time conducted with a certain irresponsibility or lack of capacity, has generated much pain and distress, but it has also prepared us to be at the forefront of these ideas that permeate, as a novelty, the environments that global leaders frequent. . Our history and experience is our opportunity and hope.

Automatic translation from spanish.

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