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.

--

Will China’s green energy tipping point come too late?

Pay attention to the decisions made by the provinces.

Surprising Science
  • China leads the world in numerous green energy categories.
  • CO2 emissions in the country totaling more than all coal emissions in the U.S. have recently emerged.
  • This seems to be an administrative-induced blip on the way towards a green energy tipping point.
Keep reading Show less

Got a question for a real NASA astronomer? Ask it here!

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.

Surprising Science

Big Think's amazing audience has responded so well to our videos from NASA astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication Michelle Thaller that we couldn't wait to bring her back for more!

And this time, she's ready to tackle any questions you're willing to throw at her, like, "How big is the Universe?", "Am I really made of stars?" or, "How long until Elon Musk starts a colony on Mars?"

All you have to do is submit your questions to the form below, and we'll use them for an upcoming Q+A session with Michelle. You know what to do, Big Thinkers!

Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Technology has helped millions out of poverty, says author Elad Gil.
  • Due to the spread of communication, bad news we wouldn't normally have heard of becomes more prevalent. Which can make things feel more negative overall.
  • It takes time for us to master new technology: "Every time we have a new form of media we make the argument that that form of media is the thing that's going to destroy our society... and every time society has turned out okay."
Keep reading Show less

Take the Big Think survey for a chance to win :)

Calling all big thinkers!

  • Tell us a little bit about where you find Big Think's videos, articles, and podcasts.
  • Be entered for a chance to win 1 of 3 Amazon gift cards each worth $100.
  • All survey information is anonymous and will be used only for this survey.
Keep reading Show less
(Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • The next Mega Millions drawing is scheduled for Oct. 23 at 11 pm E.T.
  • The odds of any one ticket winning are about 1 in 300 million.
  • This might be a record-setting jackpot, but that doesn't mean you have a better chance of winning.
Keep reading Show less

5 communication pitfalls that are preventing people from really hearing what you're trying to say

If you want to be a better and more passionate communicator, these tips are important.

Photo by CloudVisual on Unsplash
popular

If you identify as being a socially conscious person in today's age of outrage, you've likely experienced the bewildering sensation when a conversation that was once harmless, suddenly doesn't feel that way anymore. Perhaps you're out for a quick bite with family, friends, or coworkers when the conversation takes a turn. Someone's said something that doesn't sit right with you, and you're unsure of how to respond. Navigating social situations like this is inherently stressful.

Below are five expert-approved tips on how to maintain your cool and effectively communicate.

Keep reading Show less

The value of owning more books than you can read

Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.

(Photo from Wikimedia)
Personal Growth
  • Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
  • Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
  • The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
Keep reading Show less

How to raise a non-materialistic kid

Money makes the world go 'round. Unfortunately, it can make both children and adults into materialists.

Robert Collins / Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Keeping a gratitude journal caused children to donate 60 percent more to charitable causes.
  • Other methods suggested by researchers include daily gratitude reflection, gratitude posters, and keeping a "gratitude jar."
  • Materialism has been shown to increase anxiety and depression and promote selfish attitudes and behavior.
Keep reading Show less