In the lottery of life, the chances of a child being born into relative prosperity are only about one in ten. His or her chances of being born into abject poverty are roughly three in ten, according to a 1999 study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
That was when there were only 6 billion people. Now, we are past 7 billion.
This perspective should be kept top of mind for those who are in a position to shape economic and social policy agendas. Intellectual capital, after all, shapes the world around us, and is not a unique quality possessed by the privileged.
Untapped intellect is squandered when a child born to an impoverished family doesn’t celebrate her fifth birthday because she died from a preventable disease. It is inhibited when, assuming a child survives, she doesn’t receive an education. And it is invalidated when gender tips the scale in favor of her male counterpart.
Let it be noted that this fact is not lost on the world’s youth.
In 2009, the UNFPA found half of the world’s population was under the age of 25. In 2011, the organization found more than 1.8 billion are between the ages of 10 and 24. In the information age, this group is no longer relegated to cheering from the sidelines of history — they are fanning the winds of social, political, and economic change from the Americas to the Middle East, as they continue to grapple with persisting inequities that benefit a privileged few.
Those lucky enough to be born into a world where entrepreneurial prowess is rewarded and nurtured are launching global corporations and entire industries from their garages and dorm rooms.
Read the complete article on Washington Post to see what PSI’s vice president for corporate marketing Kate Roberts writes about the importance of ensuring that the world does not miss out on game-changing innovators just because of bad luck in the lottery of life.