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Globalization has improved the standard of living in nearly every part of the world. However, serious structural differences still exist and new conflicts are emerging. This is leading to the polarization of society.

Overcoming the income gap

Bosch sees establishing a stable relationship between the global economy and local structures as one of the major entrepreneurial challenges of our age. We are seeing ever greater polarization between the world's markets and globally available know-how and capital on the one hand and local interests, resources, and political structures on the other. This polarization is associated with the differences that exist worldwide between dynamic regions and the still very poor developing countries, where the income gap is widening all the time. We can see that this trend will intensify in the years ahead as a result of global population growth and advancing urbanization. In Europe, too, there is an obvious and widening gap between booming regions and structurally weak areas. The winners of the knowledge society stand in stark contrast to the losers, i.e. those who are incapable of dealing with change.

Promoting education and initiative

We consider improving access to education to be an important part of halting the polarization of society. As Bosch sees it, investing in education is the best way to prevent unemployment. If something is to be done about glaring differences in income and the risk of poverty, a special effort is required in areas where educational opportunities are unequal due to social backgrounds. Where people are unable to participate in the global knowledge society because they do not have the requisite level of skills, we feel that social responsibility calls for measures designed not only to encourage such people to take the initiative in acquiring the skills they need, but also to provide a social safety net.

Interview with Chandran Nair

Chandran Nair is CEO and founder of the Global Institute for Tomorrow in Hong Kong. Using the link below you can read the entire interview with Chandran Nair on polarization.