Can corporations drive social change more effectively than politicians?

In this post-Brexit world, we should look to corporations, not politicians, to bring about social change

Britain is facing the stark reality of a crumbling influence on the world stage after turmoil triggered by the vote to leave the EU plunged the UK into domestic political instability. The reality is that neither campaign, Vote Leave nor Remain, realistically expected the result to be the UK cutting ties with the EU. Has the aftermath left the world looking to corporations instead of politicians to drive social progress and tackle the complex future challenges we are left facing? The latest headlines that “Nigel Farage has resigned as UKIP leader,” come days after we watched David Cameron resign, bringing an abrupt end to his six-year term. Two-thirds of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet have now stepped down. Boris Johnson successfully created a Conservative uproar after withdrawing from the leadership contest after the ambush by Michael Gove. Let’s not forget the stark resignation of the UK's EU Commissioner, Jonathan Hill, and finally, Nicola Sturgeon's second Scottish referendum being “highly likely,” the list just goes on!

Start-ups solving real-world problems

The United Kingdom and the world are now more than ever looking for industry leaders and corporations to drive social change. Fortunately, there are many tech start-ups that are solving real problems and entrepreneurs who care about more than just the bottom line. From 3D printing through to Google shifting their venture-capital arm away from consumer internet start-ups and into health and life sciences, we are seeing humanity produce innovative solutions to major social challenges that build the future of our world outside of policy makers. In 2012, Cameron’s government recognised this movement and donated £50m to Tech City in support of incubators for start-ups in the west end, saying “we have the opportunity to take this momentum and make Tech City the global leader in tech innovation and the location of choice for start-ups and growth business”. It’s an exciting time in technology and the people behind these brilliant ideas are slowly revolutionising the world. Entrepreneurs are allowing us access to basic technology. They are leading the way and telling us that we don’t need to wait for governments to introduce policies or big business’ to provide financial backing in order to drive change where it is needed. We are seeing companies, such as Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, pioneer ‘1-1-1 community service models’ as an effort to get leading technology companies to donate to foundations dedicated to poverty alleviation. While education budgets are getting sliced by our governments, ‘Schoola’, an innovative start-up, has taken a proactive approach in using their website to resell second-hand school clothes for less than £5. ‘Lendwithcare,’ developed by leading aid agency CARE International, is supporting people who are suffering poverty with small loans. What is also hugely encouraging is that we are now seeing organisations, such as CoderDojo, help share digital marketing skills globally in order to continue transforming the way we communicate and eventually set the path for generation Z to lead the way. What we could learn from Brexit aftermath, is that as the Western world is moving into a neo-liberalist economy. Corporations are proactively coming up with solutions to combat national and global challenges and serve to inspire the use of digital technology as a tool for ground-breaking worldwide change outside of government. —

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