Capitalism is a bottom-line proposition, but that doesn’t mean that companies can’t be guided by a purpose other than quarterly profits. In the most recent episode of Aspen Ignites, Judy Samuelson of the Business and Society Program and Prudential Vice Chair Rob Falzon speak with The Financial Times’ Gillian Tett about how environmental, social, and corporate governance issues—known as ESG—still matter in business strategy. “Sometimes you choose and sometimes the issues choose you,” says Samuelson, “and we have an era in which it’s not really the choice of the CEO whether or not to speak up.”
Prudential is a company whose business model requires a long view, says Falzon. “I really talk about [ESG] as a wider lens of being a purpose-led company,” he says. “We absolutely believe it has helped us from a commercial standpoint, which translates into financial success and incidentally also translates into financial resiliency.”
“South Florida offers a preview of what the United States will be in the coming decades,” writes Hector Mujica in a recent op-ed in the Miami Herald. “It is a majority-minority community, with more than 85% of its population being of Latino or African American descent, and over 54% are foreign born.” The city is experiencing good job growth, gaining 4,400 new tech jobs in the last five years, but the increase in the cost of living—and particularly housing—is roughly double thenational average.
With a median age of 29.8, Latinos are the youngest cohort of the US population; the US Department of Labor estimates that Latinos will represent 78% of net new workers between 2020 and 2030.
While 92% of jobs in the United States require some level of digital skills, 57% of US adult Latinos have little to no digital skills training, compared to only 31% of the general population.
In response to this challenge, the Latinos and Society Program gathered leaders and experts from the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors to develop the Aspen Principles for Latino Digital Success. Mujica—head of Economic Opportunity for the Americas for the philanthropic Google.org and co-chair of the Latino Digital Success Task Force at the Aspen Institute—was part of that effort. “Miami’s digital inclusion ecosystem can provide valuable lessons and spark new ideas that can be scaled nationwide,” he writes.
Mujica and other leaders gathered for Pathways to Digital Skills Development for Latino Workers, a discussion about promising approaches to digital upskilling of Latino workers, students, and households.
This September 6 and 7, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program will host the third annual Aspen Latino Business Summit in Washington, DC, featuring interactive plenary sessions, working sessions, and networking events—and plenty of talk about overcoming the digital divide. The Summit will examine innovative and successful efforts in growing Latino-owned businesses across crucial disciplines, and will serve as a platform for connecting local leaders to national networks, federal policy makers, and influential investors.
Aspen Institute UK and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth have continued their series of local roundtables, this time in Norwich, Norfolk. Norwich is a city with good infrastructure and quality of life, but it faces a set of problems that echo those of other communities around theworld.
- Norwich has huge economic potential, but some businesses struggle to find employees with the right skills.
- There’s a strong sense of identity, but parts of the community are more vulnerable and in need of support.
- In spite of a growth in building, housing is a key issue.
To see what people from the local business community, policy world, and community advocacy groups had to say—and the solutions they suggested—read the full piece here.
This piece was originally published in APIE’s newsletter ‘The Weekly Slice’. Click here to subscribe.