On June 17th Dr. Arantza de Areilza, Dean of Humanities at IE, interviewed Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and current United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, at the Management & Business Summit (MABS) organized by Atresmedia.
From the uncertain future of the UK in the EU and the Union itself to the goal of achieving quality, relevance, and inclusive education for every child, Gordon Brown focused his intervention on the current and future global challenges. “We live in an interdependent world. For example, the fear of ‘Grexit’ and the demands for debt reduction in Greece have implications all over Europe. As Europe we need to think more globally”, Mr. Brown said.
During his interview with Dr. de Areilza, Mr. Brown highlighted in his speech that the world is experiencing seismic changes, or revolutions, as he named them. As a case in point, in the run up to the 2000s financial crisis the world economic center was located in the West, but in the last decade we have witnessed a shift to the emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Another revolution that will have a huge impact on the future is the rise of a new global middle class, particularly in Asia and Africa. As Mr. Brown pointed out, the global middle class would expand from around 20 percent of world’s population now to approximately 50 percent in 2030. This means that only those companies who adapt quickly to these changes will survive.
As the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown also discussed the need to tackle major inequalities among education systems worldwide. “To this end we need a revolution in the way we educate our children and more investment on education”, Mr. Brown argued. “We can at least become the first generation in History where every child has the right to go to school”.
For all these challenges, though, “the world ahead is a world of opportunities in which the most innovative people, companies, and countries will have a clear advantage and will be more likely to succeed”, Mr. Brown concluded.
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