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53


IAN GOLDIN


Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford and author of Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World


Accumulating wealth through private entrepreneurship is how societies grow and prosper and employment is created. But with wealth comes responsibility. To pay tax and to give back. The pandemic has exacerbated and revealed the extent of wealth and income inequality as some individuals and firms have prospered and see the value of their assets soar, while others have collapsed. Who one’s parents are, where one is born – and other factors that we cannot influence – shape the contours of wealth inequality in the UK, and globally. The escalation of risk, as has occurred with the pandemic and the climate emergency, increases inequality. Creating a more level playing field in which everyone feels they have a chance to participate meaningfully in society is vital if we are not to see rising anger, populism and nationalism. That would undermine our ability not only to thrive as countries, but to address the shared challenges we face collectively. This failure would destroy wealth and undermine the prospects for future generations. We are at a crossroads and the time to act in ways that create more inclusive and sustainable societies is now.


MO IBRAHIM


Businessman and founder and chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which encourages good governance in Africa


For me, wealth is about trying to change things for the better. As a boy from Africa who was lucky enough to have an opportunity to succeed, I hope my foundation can play a role in creating better prospects and opportunities for our young people. They are Africa’s greatest asset and we owe them a brighter future.


LORD (JOHN) BROWNE


Chairman of BeyondNetZero and former chief executive of BP


The pandemic has exposed a whole range of inequalities in society and has shone a light on the causes of these disparities. It has also sharpened our focus on those which are only just beginning to emerge, such as those resulting from climate change. I cannot remember a time when inequalities of access to healthcare, education, work, leisure and even physical space have been so obvious. For me, this experience has served as a reminder of the holistic nature of wealth. To have the freedom to travel, to pursue education without hindrance, to enjoy green spaces, to choose how to make a living, to spend time with loved ones or simply to do nothing at all – these are measures of wealth. The use of financial resources makes all this easier for the wealthy, but that is not enough. To sustain these freedoms requires us to exercise profound generosity and to reinvest in the whole of society. And it requires us to believe that however good the past has been, a better future can be created. I have developed these beliefs and actions over my lifetime. The pandemic has made me want to do more and do it more quickly.


JENNIE EDWARDS


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