A most tumultous year,was 2016. Strong nationalistic winds have been blowing across Europe and the US. Brexit and the Trump phenomenon have indicated that indigenous communities needed more attention. The Russian Intervention in Middle East and American Elections, the Chinese uping their ante and the ISIS terror acts in Europe have set a new stage of some serious ramifications as the sun appears for the first time in 2017.
The polar ice saw a chunk of the size of India melt away, some species disappeared ( who cares?). People seem to prepare for war and human lives ignored by callous attacks citing reasons that are holier than thou.
Depressing? Yes, indeed. How can one ever become better by putting down people, both in terms of life and dignity? Human development includes both dignity of life as well as quality of life. It cannot be one for the other. The inhabitants of today were the migrants of the yore. In this context, the raise of ‘attention to indigenous communities’ become a serious contradiction. However, that is the socio-national evolution against the multicultural human confluence like migration.
The implications for immigrants who have actually made impact in the history of every country they blend in, settle and then they become locals when the next wave of settlers come in. The Liberty Statue is a testimony of how opportunity is visible as a beacon of hope for people who sail in to the prospective country. In India and the US, people travel across states to seek opportunities and grow. This is the power of human migration. But it comes with caveats.
We have always put the onus on the incumbents to be inclusive – whether it is India or the US. I have been to the State of Assam in India where the Oil Companies run the economy. Also I have been recently to the US, when the rancourous pitch against immigration had been at its peak during the elections. There is a basic reason for this backlash. The immigrants have sought to create opportunities, but somewhere, the locals or earlier settlers have missed the bus.
Plus, there is a cultural shock that both the incumbents and immigrants will have to go through when the multicultural human confluence happens. This cultural shock manifests into serious ripples – the Cologne incident of 2015 new year and incidents reported where there is utter disregard of local laws by certain miscreants, and the terrorists attacks have resulted in a dangerous situation that has seen the social and political fallouts. This is expected to continue in 2017 with elections in Europe coming up. The Syrian immigration created a major tumult in Europe, and that will manifest in the old democracies of the European mainland.
Europe and the US will go through a clear cycle of ‘localization’ – due to insecurity arising out of loss of jobs and security.
So where does the solution lie?
Lets keep the politics aside, and look at humanity and economics. The spirit of entrepreneurship espouses inclusiveness. The immigrants bring fresh perspective, idea and opportunities, while the locals bring in experience and localization. This is a heady cocktail for success.
No person represents this success than Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media. The son of Slavic immigrants and a second generation entrepreneur, he is now a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist and works with all people.
If you are an incumbent, you get inclusive. If you are immigrant you should remember that you have come to seek future and opportunities and is to be respected. The sheer power of human effort and enterprise, along with inclusiveness is the way forward in the new year 2017.
Ashok Subramanian is an Entrepreneur, Business Strategist and Investor. He shuttles between Bengaluru and New York running his Investment Consulting, Strategic Ventures and Technology business.