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How We Can Initiate a Global Epiphany, For a Fairer Future
October 20 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm BST
At this month’s Inclusive forum, MKAI will enter into a conversation intended to trigger a reflection about the role we all play in keeping vastly unfair systems of wealth distribution in place.
In January 2019, The New York Times ran an editorial with the provocative heading “abolish billionaires” on its front page. The editorial posed a serious question: what if billionaires are an indication of economic failure rather than economic success?
The article pointed at the actions of companies, particularly the tendency towards monopoly, that are often driven by an unrelenting emphasis on ever-increasing profits to shareholders. And that behind corporate power and corporate actions, the influence of ultra-wealthy shareholders is growing.
The Institute for Policy Studies questions the utility of having billionaires, given the manner in which billionaire wealth is utilised. They evidence the Panama Papers and other exposés to point out that many of the ultra-wealthy actively utilise a covert global network of tax havens to pay as little tax as possible. A groundbreaking study revealed that the super-rich pay up to 30 percent less tax than they should, depriving governments of billions in tax income that could have been spent on schools or hospitals.
We live in a time when the child of a working single parent can become a billionaire, and the fact this is possible shows the success of our free markets and the empowerment of each individual. The disadvantage of this notion is the widespread belief that everyone is self-made. This myth, perhaps, has become hard-wired into our psyche, preventing us from acknowledging that we are a product of our culture, of luck, and that we are born into an era of extreme wealth, prosperity, and opportunity.
The concept of individual merit, effort, and talent is pervasive in contemporary communities. Whilst laudable, it is questionable whether such traits should permit an individual to gain and hold on to vast wealth. In some cases, more money than they could ever spend.
During the forum, we would want to pose the following questions:
- To what extent are we unconsciously revering the uber-wealthy, and what part does this play in permitting people to believe it is ok to hold on to billions of dollars?
- To what extent are we encouraging the ruthless pursuit of wealth as a worthwhile endeavour for our young people?
- To what extent are the ultra-wealthy sheltered from wealth inequality, thereby distorting their decision-making?
- To what extent is corporate ownership flawed since the holding of shares and, thus, decision-making must be tied to wealth?
- Are billionaires wilfully refusing to stand in solidarity with the rest of humanity? If so, what can we do to persuade them to act otherwise?
- If we agree that the current systems are broken in terms of the wealth-distribution, what factors are in play that keep people defending and supporting this system?
- Furthermore, to what extent are the billionaires a symptom, not a cause?
- And are billionaires, therefore, an indication of economic failure rather than economic success?
- How much is the tide turning, and what does this signify for a more equitable future?
- What new systems could affect the enormous monetary and political monopolies that have been built under the moniker “companies”?
Gratitude to Scott Galloway for inspiring this forum with this recent article.
MKAI events are inclusive. Our expert speakers are carefully selected for their ability to make the subject approachable and understandable. MKAI aims to help everyone improve their fluency and understanding of our world and the convergence of technologies.
Forum Speakers and Contributors:
- Dr Carsten Sorensen, Reader (Associate Professor) in Digital Innovation at The London School of Economics and Political Science
- Virginie Guignard Legros, Head of the Matrix Regeneration Group Laboratory
- Jon Thor Sigurleifsson, Corporate Punk & Creative Nerd, Co-Founder of Elevate
- Dr. Chakradhar Iyyunni, Fellow, European School of Governance
- Bettina Von Stamm, Innovation Philosopher, Story Teller, Regeneration Proponent
- Indy Rishi Singh, Solutionary Entrepreneur, Political Hope ~DemocraSEE ~ Cosmic Labyrinth