At the 2019 Xynteo Exchange in Oslo, three powerful witnesses stood on stage to reflect of our world’s most complex challenges. They shared their unique perspectives on the paradoxes of the word’s current growth model.
Few vs Many: Why are the neglected forced into crime?
The performance was opened by social entrepreneur and ILA winner Nthabiseng Legoete, previously engaged through Xynteo’s Leadership Vanguard, who led the audience through a thought-provoking talk on the reality of the average South African.
“The average South African is not only unemployed, but unemployable. They do not acquire the necessary education and skills to take place in the marketplace.”
“So how do you participate in an economy that does not give you a chance”, she asked the audience, and concluded: “You do what hundred and thousands of South Africans do – you take it by force. When crime is the only way to put bread on the table, crime becomes a viable career option. This is the few vs many tension I struggle with.”
Human vs Nature: Why are we destroying the Amazon?
Vânia Bueno Cury, Brazilian communications professional, Leadership Vanguard speaker and Owner and CEO of Anima Productive Interaction continued by sharing her pain when fire consumes life in the Amazon rainforest.
“I feel pain when blind greed - economic and political and old mindsets threaten people, pollute waters and silence birds, leaving a tray of ruins. We are nature – I feel the pain on my skin because when the forest burns, I burn too.”
“The mistaken idea that nature is a resource to be exploited, accumulated and consumed has created a feeling of separation that is leading us into the abyss.”
“The burning Amazon is a sad portrait of our global condition that weakens and leaves us lost and scared”, she continued.
“We must do more – this is the human vs nature tension I struggle with.”
Short vs Long: What are you doing to solve our plastic waste problem?
Philip Sasse, Vice President Global Treasury Operations for Unilever and former Leadership Vanguard participant, reflected on the pain of parents when asked by their child “what are you doing about this?”
“My daughter asked me what I’m doing about the plastic waste in the ocean”, Sasse said.
“That’s a very good question - I feel torn. As a business leader, I need to deliver for investors. At the same time, I need to safeguard the longtime success of our business. I’m expected to help accelerate the journey towards recyclable plastics and grow earnings today.”
He continued: “What is the right solution – choosing between the margin today and the margin tomorrow? I can choose green financing, but traditional financing is always cheaper. How do I assign value to an intangible future benefit? I’m frustrated that so many stakeholders seem to prefer short-term gains over long-term growth”.
“How will I find a better answer to my daughter’s question. This is the short vs long-term tension I struggle with”, he concluded.
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