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Shared Prosperity: Leveling the Playing Field through Inclusive Upskilling, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Shared Prosperity

On November 4th the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation hosted a discussion on Shared Prosperity featuring Bhushan Sethi, Partner and Joint Global Leader for People & Organization at PwC; and Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers University. Facilitated by Dr. Jeana Wirtenberg, RICSI Associate Director, the presenters answered the question of how private organizations can help lift in-need communities, and how can all three sectors come together to create a world where prosperity is shared by all. Other topics discussed in the webinar were:

  • Why investors, business leaders and grant makers have made commitments to investing in a more equitable and inclusive economy
  • How businesses are currently balancing their focus on profits and purpose in today’s economic situation
  • How patient and flexible capital (from private, public, and philanthropic sources) can help close racial gaps in income and wealth and strengthen communities
  • How companies measure the effectiveness of executing their “shared prosperity agenda”
  • Potential business and workforce risks and how businesses can develop a sustainable mitigation plan

Students from Rutgers University had these takeaways:

  • “We have to work together and ensure equal opportunities for all races and genders to move forward to become a stronger society.” [Jannah Elshalabi]
  • “The role that the quality of schooling plays on reversals of fortune was a crucial point that stood out to me.” [Courtney Isgett]

  • “We need more balance around inclusion and well-being.” [Sokaina Zouak]

  • “Two points that resonated with me were the impact of giving underrepresented minorities the resources they need to obtain gainful employment, and the role that companies can play in upskilling workers within a dying industry.” [Arjun Gourishetty]

  • “The best way to drive inclusion is to create jobs so people can have economic stability.” [Gehna Shah]

  • “Innovation is the inevitable trend of contemporary social development. Inclusive innovation is conductive to diverse innovation, which can better promote the development of the whole society.” [Shan Ren]

  • “You have to look at Return on Investment (ROI) on a broader spectrum. You need to look at the overall impact of funding, including the benefits it creates for the whole community. Changing the mindset of investing is critical.” [Samuel Cartagena-Sergenian]

  • “Having better knowledge of leadership and innovation are vital to the solution of prosperity in the workplace.” [Timothy McDonald]

  • “It is our human responsibility to protect the environment and to make the world sustainable with strategies for development. Diversifying countries by embracing innovation can lead to social justice, make countries competitive, and create diverse teams that can benefit the country's citizens, accordingly, thus reducing social conflicts.” [Ziling Zeng]

  • “The impact of social justice imperative, global competitiveness, and diverse corporations have the possibility to generate better innovations and fix the gap in wealth.” [Liana Shakhnovsky] 

  • “It is crucial to have these difficult conversations and address these major issues to bring them to the forefront to achieve inclusive excellence across all barriers. It took a global pandemic crisis to get us to this point. We should not take this for granted and use these eye-opening moments to address and attack them at the root of their causes.” [Vickie Cadestin]

  • “Companies can work with the federal government to reskill workers and train them in new competencies instead of cutting thousands of jobs and inadvertently breeding worker resentment.” [Arjun Gourishetty]

Recordings and other information relevant to previous webinars can be found here.

We look forward to sharing more ideas and engaging in dialogue with you.