John Bordeaux – It is the community not the corporations

The last time organizations got involved in more civil society, we had company towns and child labor in sweatshops. So, I’d rather they didn’t engage with their current incentives and notions and quarter to quarter results focus. No, I’d rather organizations to get more involved. And you do see some aspects, right? So, in the education system, the 21st century skills, I can see there are some sort of initiatives down there, with Cisco and Microsoft and some others, trying to help K-12 and university communities understand the labor force needs, the workforce needs of companies. What skills am I going to need? And I mention another thing that I’ve – there’s one organization, one large fence contractor that came to the Department of Education said, “I need 10,000 engineers over the next ten years. Can I use Americans?” I don’t know. Are you going to – is the education system in the United States going to bring 10,000 engineers that can work this and our contracts – our national security contracts, we can’t hire the people. So far. So, how do we do that?

Now, that to me was good. That’s was noble. That was outreached saying looking long term thinking, understanding the U.S. education system is miserable and need some work in the K-12 space specially. But at the same time, it reinforces the notion that the education system exists to feed people to companies. Not that the education system exists to advance who we are as individuals and help us evolve and embrace and build better societies. So, without the attention towards that community focus that you’re talking about, corporations are perfectly happy to say, “Well, no, you have conveyor belts. We have skill needs and revenue expectations of those skills coming in, so you just have to give them to me to do better.”

Of course, slight top or side note, it is true in the U.S. especially that the K-12 system is to me completely disconnected from the university systems. So, universities don’t convey what they need – what emerging children out of the high school system need just to see the university. And the labor force likewise is not talking to the universities nor the K-12. So, you got three important stakeholders in evolving people and learning, understand the skills and you understand the shift in education and sometimes what you start with, when you start college, four years later, a third of the jobs you thought you could do don’t exist anymore. We have new ones. So, there’s a need for this kind of coordination but it doesn’t happen.

So, should companies step into that stream and help out? Yes, they need to. The stakeholders are still just spinning without any kind of coordination or cooperation. At the same time, the dark side is that’s not the only job for education. Our only – our aspiring force as individual should not just be how do I make myself into the right organization. In fact, it needs to be how do we evolve ourselves to better societies and what is the company’s role in that society. That’s the center. It’s the community not the corporations and private interests and capital markets.

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