Subject to divergent trends, the world of commerce has entered an era of turbulence. Over-optimized but fragile supply chains, unregulated virtual currencies, growing environmental pressure, unbridled uberization, easier access to finance, artificial intelligence-assisted marketing, etc. The subject touches on a reality in which we are immersed and over which we potentially have all the control while paradoxically we feel we have none.
Even education, from a business perspective, is undergoing transformations. Online training is establishing new relationships between institutions, its clients and teachers. Everyone can become a trainer or a student and monetize their expertise. The satisfaction of the "customer" becomes the selection criterion. The share of digital technology in the classroom is increasing and some companies have understood the commercial potential of education. More efficiency, more pleasure even, but the question of profits remains.
Is what we teach in economics adapted to what is happening? Are we really starting to integrate ethics and its effects into finance courses? Seeing the creativity of speculators and the inertia of governments in the face of such obvious things as tax shelters or unfair taxation, one has to wonder.
As Patagonia CEO Yvon Chouinard aptly puts it "Every billionaire is a policy failure. The 25 richest people in the U.S. have a final tax rate of 3.4% and the situation is quite similar in most countries, with big money fleeing to where the taxation is favorable to them.
Better business practices have been developed, undeniably, but the benefits and advantages come at the expense of the old practices and are not returned or shared. For every successful Amazon, Uber, or AliBaba, 1 million small, more or less efficient merchants disappear. Who helps them make the transition? None of these companies, which instead abuse tactics that small businesses don't have access to.
Who are the Ubers of education? Several candidates are emerging whose attractive services cannot be ignored. All prefer interested classrooms and engaged students, day in and day out. So how do we transform without losing our soul?
The way we do things is not separate from the way we teach them. We develop them and then pass them on. It seems we have quite a bit of development to do yet.
Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]