The U.N. estimates that there are about 57 million children, worldwide, not attending school. Vikas Pota, the Chief Executive of the Varkey GEMS Foundation, says that the bigger crisis that exists in education is not that millions of children are not in school, but that hundreds of millions go to school and don't learn anything.
The Varkey GEMS foundation is dedicated to finding out how to enhance education, and how the business world can help. Pota presents compelling arguments as to why it's in the best interest of companies to invest in education and have an "international mindset." This is an issue Pota cares deeply about, he says, because he himself is a product of education.
Engaging in a Global Purpose
Investing in education touches the lives of the people your company ultimately serves.
"Education is important and it's the one area that I would encourage everyone to get engaged in, because you look at all these global issues that exist, the world can be a much better place with an educated population," he says.
Address the Skills Gap
By investing in education, businesses shape the skills, attitudes, and competencies of the future workforce.
"We find huge disparities when it comes to youth and employment. If you look at the skills gap, all of these issues can, I think, be overcome with greater engagement from the business sector," says Pota.
Investments in Education Create a Ripple Effect
As the international community becomes more interconnected by technology, the global classroom will impact more people in more profound ways. Master teachers can now educate students many thousands of miles away just over the Internet, he says. Education can be enhanced in very cost-effective ways. Given what an impact this can have on generations to come, the return-on-investment is astounding.
Your Moral Compass Attracts Like-Minded Collaborators
Clarity of purpose encourages others to commit time and resources to serving a mission.
"If you just take what's happening in Syria, there are so many children who are out of school or want to get an education, there's no reason why I, as someone who sat in Australia or in L.A. or in Johannesburg, can't help those children," says Pota.
The desire to make a positive impact on the world has never been stronger, he says. But in order to make that impact companies must develop and maintain an "international mindset," which is the topic of this latest installment of Big Think's Edge
Does your business have an "international mindset" and a global purpose?
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