Companies need diverse, global talent. Cryptocurrencies are here to help.

The global population is becoming more diverse. As a result, if companies in developed economies don't diversify their hiring, they may lose out on crucial talent. Cryptocurrencies are here to help.

This series on diversity and inclusion is sponsored by Amway, which supports a prosperous economy through having a diverse workplace. Companies committed to diversity and inclusion are better equipped to innovate and drive performance. For more information, visit amwayglobal.com/our-story.


If companies in developed economies want to continue to grow, they'll have to face an uncomfortable fact: the talent pool they've traditionally relied on will be shrinking for generations to come.

That's because economically developed countries are experiencing historically low birth rates. And as wealthy nations grow richer, fewer citizens are deciding to have children.

Leading reasons for this decline include increased costs of living, more social and business opportunities for women, and better health care which affords people the opportunity to live longer.

That trend is reversed in poorer nations where birth rates remain high and greater opportunity may lie elsewhere. Add to this the relative ease of modern transportation and communication, and the global population, i.e. the global workforce, is growing more diverse.

Snapshot of International Migrants

The international migrant population globally has increased in size but remained relatively stable as a proportion of the world's population. (UN World Migration Report 2018)

Migration patterns predominantly reflect economic realities. Countries that offer economic opportunity receive net migration inflows, while countries that do not will steadily lose a portion of their population. In 2015, the Congo ranked as the world's poorest nation and its population was composed of 545,000 immigrants; meanwhile, 1.3 million native Congolese had left the country. That same year, war-torn Afghanistan contained 382,000 migrants within its borders while 4.8 million native Afghanis had left.

At the same time, France was home to 7.7 million immigrants while 1.9 million native inhabitants had left. In Germany, there were 12 million immigrants and 4 million ex-patriots. And in the United States, 46.6 million immigrants lived within its borders, while just 2.9 million American-born had emigrated.

Of the 46.6 million immigrants living in the U.S., 25 million are employed and provide essential financial muscle to our nation. Immigrants participate in our labor force more than native-born citizens, yet earn less; there are more immigrant business owners than native-born, and immigrants start them at a higher rate; over half of the 87 private companies valued at over $1 billion were founded by immigrants.

Migration flow is likely to increase during turbulent times. Political instability and climate change disproportionately affect the world's poorest regions, putting them at an additional disadvantage when they look for better economic opportunity abroad. Refugee populations are perhaps the least stable of any migrant group and also the most desperate for new opportunity.

(UN World Migration Report 2018)

Many asylum seekers cannot be employed without a bank account. And if financial assets cannot be secured during grueling and uncertain travels, refugees' chances of integrating into a new society will suffer.

Turning a blind eye to refugee populations is not helping anyone, and the world is losing valuable human assets as a result. Cryptocurrencies offer one potential solution.

Banks and governments around the world are now investigating this technology. Its decentralization makes hacking into it virtually impossible. (“Block" and “chain" are the two components of the transaction ledger; “blockchain" conveniently describes this process.)

A foundational tenet of cryptocurrency is to offer everyone around the planet a safe place to store their money that is not dependent on any singular institution or government. Some organizations are betting blockchain will provide such access.

In recent years, for example, over 800,000 Rohingya (a predominantly Muslim group living in Buddhist Myanmar) have fled to live in refugee camps in Bangladesh. One crypto token, ExsulCoin, has implemented financial rewards for students in the camps, inspiring higher attendance and better grades to prepare the refugees to enter the workforce.


A visual representation of digital cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Dash, Monero, and Litecoin. Digital cryptocurrencies have seen unprecedented growth in 2017. (Chesnot/Getty Images)

Recently Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin donated $1 million to aid the world's “extreme poor," to be used by refugees to start businesses.

The donation will go towards a GiveDirectly campaign in Uganda aimed at providing more than 12,000 refugee households with a grant to change their life by enabling business growth and other opportunities fueled by investment.

Opening in 2013, the charity, GiveDirectly, has raised over $200 million for refugees. The organization is exploring more opportunities with blockchain technology to provide direct access to those in need from donors.

At a time when some governments have balked at using cryptocurrencies, the Finnish government has turned to blockchain as a way to accept a large number of immigrants.

A Helsinki-based start-up, MONI, has provided prepaid Mastercards and now believes that crypto accounts will allow digital identification and safe storage for their money, which can more easily be transferred to local currency if need be. Since many immigrants don't have legal identification, even the United Nations is exploring blockchain that would provide them with a digital identity.

There will likely be a skills gap between asylum seekers without so much as a bank account and multinational corporations seeking highly trained professionals to innovate their business. But global migration flows cannot be ignored as a source of potentially valuable employees.

Ignoring individuals that don't fit the typical mold of a model worker risks losing out on innovative talent, and falls victim to prejudices that tell us, for example, the economically disadvantaged have less to contribute to society.

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A map of America’s most famous – and infamous

The 'People Map of the United States' zooms in on America's obsession with celebrity

Image: The Pudding
Strange Maps
  • Replace city names with those of their most famous residents
  • And you get a peculiar map of America's obsession with celebrity
  • If you seek fame, become an actor, musician or athlete rather than a politician, entrepreneur or scientist

Chicagoland is Obamaland

Image: The Pudding

Chicagoland's celebrity constellation: dominated by Barack, but with plenty of room for the Belushis, Brandos and Capones of this world.

Seen from among the satellites, this map of the United States is populated by a remarkably diverse bunch of athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs and other persons of repute (and disrepute).

The multitalented Dwayne Johnson, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dominate the West Coast. Right down the middle, we find actors Chris Pratt and Jason Momoa, singer Elvis Presley and basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. The East Coast crew include wrestler John Cena, whistle-blower Edward Snowden, mass murderer Ted Bundy… and Dwayne Johnson, again.

The Rock pops up in both Hayward, CA and Southwest Ranches, FL, but he's not the only one to appear twice on the map. Wild West legend Wyatt Earp makes an appearance in both Deadwood, SD and Dodge City, KS.

How is that? This 'People's Map of the United States' replaces the names of cities with those of "their most Wikipedia'ed resident: people born in, lived in, or connected to a place."

‘Cincinnati, Birthplace of Charles Manson'

Image: The Pudding

Keys to the city, or lock 'em up and throw away the key? A city's most famous sons and daughters of a city aren't always the most favoured ones.

That definition allows people to appear in more than one locality. Dwayne Johnson was born in Hayward, has one of his houses in Southwest Ranches, and is famous enough to be the 'most Wikipedia'ed resident' for both localities.

Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth, IL, but his reputation is closely associated with both Deadwood and Dodge City – although he's most famous for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which took place in Tombstone, AZ. And yes, if you zoom in on that town in southern Arizona, there's Mr Earp again.

The data for this map was collected via the Wikipedia API (application programming interface) from the English-language Wikipedia for the period from July 2015 to May 2019.

The thousands of 'Notable People' sections in Wikipedia entries for cities and other places in the U.S. were scrubbed for the person with the most pageviews. No distinction was made between places of birth, residence or death. As the developers note, "people can 'be from' multiple places".

Pageviews are an impartial indicator of interest – it doesn't matter whether your claim to fame is horrific or honorific. As a result, this map provides a non-judgmental overview of America's obsession with celebrity.

Royals and (other) mortals

Image: The Pudding

There's also a UK version of the People Map – filled with last names like Neeson, Sheeran, Darwin and Churchill – and a few first names of monarchs.

Celebrity, it is often argued, is our age's version of the Greek pantheon, populated by dozens of major gods and thousands of minor ones, each an example of behaviours to emulate or avoid. This constellation of stars, famous and infamous, is more than a map of names. It's a window into America's soul.

But don't let that put you off. Zooming in on the map is entertaining enough: celebrities floating around in the ether are suddenly tied down to a pedestrian level, and to real geography. And it's fun to see the famous and the infamous rub shoulders, as it were.

Barack Obama owns Chicago, but the suburbs to the west of the city are dotted with a panoply of personalities, ranging from the criminal (Al Capone, Cicero) and the musical (John Prine, Maywood) to figures literary (Jonathan Franzen, Western Springs) and painterly (Ivan Albright, Warrenville), actorial (Harrison Ford, Park Ridge) and political (Eugene V. Debs, Elmhurst).

Freaks and angels

Image: Dorothy

The People Map of the U.S. was inspired by the U.S.A. Song Map, substituting song titles for place names.

It would be interesting to compare 'the most Wikipedia'ed' sons and daughters of America's cities with the ones advertised at the city limits. When you're entering Aberdeen, WA, a sign invites you to 'come as you are', in homage to its most famous son, Kurt Cobain. It's a safe bet that Indian Hill, OH will make sure you know Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, was one of theirs. But it's highly unlikely that Cincinnati, a bit further south, will make any noise about Charles Manson, local boy done bad.

Inevitably, the map also reveals some bitterly ironic neighbours, such as Ishi, the last of the Yahi tribe, captured near Oroville, CA. He died in 1916 as "the last wild Indian in North America". The most 'pageviewed' resident of nearby Colusa, CA is Byron de la Beckwith, Jr., the white supremacist convicted for the murder of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers.

As a sampling of America's interests, this map teaches that those aiming for fame would do better to become actors, musicians or athletes rather than politicians, entrepreneurs or scientists. But also that celebrity is not limited to the big city lights of LA or New York. Even in deepest Dakota or flattest Kansas, the footlights of fame will find you. Whether that's good or bad? The pageviews don't judge...

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Image: Abel Suyok
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