Last week's Inner Circle in London was a terrific interactive conversation among a group of people with lots to say--just the way I like it!
Our host was Craig Welch, who heads Bloomberg's marketing for the EMEA areas of the world, i.e. Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Craig is a wonderfully reflective thinker with global perspective and he always brings lots of expertise and wisdom to the table.
One of the comments to come out of the discussion was a reference by one participant to the "Poverty of Aspiration," meaning the lack of ambition, the lack of interest in improving one's self or one's position in life, on the part of many people around the world, especially a certain segment of millennials frustrated by the perception (and they are probably right) that for the first time in decades, they will have an adult life in which their age group is less well off than their parents. In some people, this sets in motion a drive to succeed; in others, it builds a kind of reluctant, angry acceptance that things just won't get better.
This poverty of aspiration is found in countries around the globe, it appears, but much less so in some than others. Good education appears to be at the core of the possible cure for this malady. Many feel, though, that our public school systems, especially in America and other Western countries, are falling behind their earlier achievements. Not so in Finland and other Scandinavian countries, where education seems to be at its best, and is available to everyone, rich or poor. And in China, the aspirational level among the young is palpable.
Is there a kind of poverty of aspiration in your community? Where is it most apparent and what is being done about it? What could you do to help?