Addressing issues has been a part of every society’s
history. With time, these local issues have become regional issues, and now they
have become global issues.
We have tended to ask ourselves more the question of “Why?”.
Why is it that these big issues happen? Who’s responsible? For me, it’s simple.
As human beings, we all come here with a purpose, with a mission, with a
destiny. We all come to evolve, to grow, to develop. Therefore, for me the
question should not stay here. The question should move from “Why?” to “What?”,
more precisely, “What can be done?”.
So, what can we do? I believe education is one of the most
important issues that needs to be addressed in both developed and developing
societies. Throughout history, education has been one of the strongest assets anyone
has had to triumph in life. Education and productivity determine just how well societies
do because both play major roles in businesses and economies. With the belief
that all people have a right to an education, improving people’s education
should become a top priority.
A society’s economy becomes more productive as the amount of
educated people increases. Educated people can more efficiently carry out responsibilities
that require knowledge and critical thinking. Better-educated people that work
tend to be more productive than those that are less educated. A society that provides
education programs will always obtain economic improvements. This is all clear
on the premise that gaining education has a cost.
The more literate and prepared societies are, the faster
economic growth they will achieve. Based on this foundation, many societies
provide funding for education because this will improve their economic
performance. Education is an investment in human capital. According to the
United Nations Human Development Program, the ratio of the number of children
of official secondary school age enrolled in school, to the number of children
of official secondary school age in the population (referred to as the
enrollment ratio), is higher in developed nations than it is in developing
ones. This is different from education spending as a percentage of GDP, which
does not always correlate strongly with how educated a nation’s population is.
Therefore, a nation spending a high proportion of its GDP on education does not
necessarily make the nation’s population more educated.
In businesses, employees’ intellectual capability can be
treated as an asset because it can be used to create products and services
which can then be sold. The more well-trained employees are, the more businesses
can hypothetically produce. Additionally, businesses pay more wages when the responsibilities
required to complete a job require a higher level of education.
The knowledge and skills of people available in a society are
key factors in determining economic growth. Businesses with skilled employees are
often able to capitalize, through education, the development of more
Lastly, businesses can provide income agility to the poor
and help them improve their income position — for instance, by giving them
access to higher education. In my home country, Honduras, education businesses
can develop innovative curriculum in certain big cities, and then grow to become
leaders in online higher education using cellphones at the very minimum. These education
businesses can leverage technology, such as online courses and satellite
broadcasting of lectures by talented teachers, to educate students all over the
country. Fees should remain low, quality high, and access widespread.
In this context, businesses can help the government expand
early education. The government can provide people with education through these
types of businesses. The government can help people learn by investing in
quality and affordable education programs for all age ranges.
It is my honor to stand here and vow down to the most
passionate and fearless advocate of inequality, Donaldson Fellows. Donaldson’s
contributions and achievements are numerous.
Whenever he gets the opportunity to address the UN and/or
any other country, he reminds people how inequality hurts everybody.
As he shares, families in any society that can no longer
afford to buy goods and services businesses are selling, it drags down the
He advices all societies be built on the idea of broad-based
prosperity. As he explains, we all have lived how societies with less
inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth over the long
He also clarifies that inequality distorts democracy. It
gives a massive voice to the few who are more privileged, and it leaves
everyone else distrustful that the system is arranged to operate against them.
He expresses that the success of any society can never just
be the survival of the strongest. It must be about building a society where
everybody is better off. Everybody pulls together and does their part – believing
that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, and that our
next generations will inherit a society where those values live on.
Donaldson has travelled the world trying to influence
leaders in both developed and developing countries. Among the issues he has
been able to influence leaders on include the following:
Creating jobs through targeted employment
programs and public investments in infrastructure.
Protecting workers by strengthening collective
bargaining rights to help them leverage better wages and benefits, set high
labor standards, and support strong enforcement of labor standards.
Providing earned sick leave and paid family
leave, which would not only raise workers’ pay but also give them more economic
Prioritizing low rates of unemployment when
making monetary policy: Policymakers should not seek to slow the economy until
growth of nominal wages is running comfortably.
Legalizing undocumented workers to increase not
only their wages but also the wages of all workers in the same fields of work.
Ending discriminatory practices that contribute
to race and gender inequalities through consistently strong enforcement of
antidiscrimination laws in the hiring, promotion, and pay of women and minority
It is with great pleasure that I stand here to honor and
present to you our beloved Donaldson Fellows.