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Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

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July 01, 2005

Global problems 

You’d think we’d get it right after a quarter-millennium, but globalization is still producing inequities. The globalists (I reckon I am one) believe that the poor are getting richer, too, but there’s one flaw in this argument: the gap between rich and poor is widening.
   At the Wharton Global Alumni Forum 2005 in London, one speech highlighted some of the things that are going wrong: European cows get $2 a day (subsidies) while some people in Africa are living on less than $1 a day. Globalization has ironically benefited western Europe and North America, while Paul Judge, chairman of the Royal Society of Arts, said the rest of the world wasn’t far different from eighteenth-century London.
   These are fair calls and highlight what we need to do. We need to extend trading to the communities we do not reach, in hope that they will become richer. We need to have a mind-shift so that we see these communities as neighbours, not distant people separated from us by oceans and borders.
   Brands can benefit by adopting a social conscience—we see it often enough—and initiatives to get the internet reaching as many people as possible will aid our perspectives.
   I don’t believe we can do this overnight, but being reminded that some governments value cows more than human beings show how far we still have to go in redressing the balance.
   So who is going to be the next power brand that seeks to help the world? It’s a good kick in the rear end for those of us who came into business to make a real change and see where we can adjust things to make life better for those left behind in globalization.
   The key, then, is to be part of initiatives to get the ’net to those who don’t have it, getting them seeing possibilities and networking with the first world. With it, we must have education on how the tool—the internet—can be used to better their lives.
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