Nothing will change until leaders address the cycle of corruption

This blog is part of a series published on WEFLIVE from the One Young World community who are addressing issues across the world relating to the World Economic Forum 2017 theme of 'Responsive and Responsible Leadership'. 


Is the level of corruption in business and government getting worse?

Young leaders from around the world seem to think it is.

Every year, One Young World, the premier forum for young leaders worldwide, conducts a Global Consultation Process among its 8,000 ambassadors from 196 countries. For the past four years, corruption has featured in the top five concerns. In some Latin American countries, and in South Africa and India, it tops the list.

There are many government leaders whose records in this regard are far from acceptable. Alarmingly, many of these have been democratically elected, and sometimes despite the fact that their corrupt acts have been exposed and publicised.

Is it unreasonable to look to all the power that gathers and concentrates in Davos this week and ask that it acts to end this corruption in government and business? If this was its sole focus, what might be achieved? Let's look at the WEF's theme, this notion of Responsive and Responsible Leadership, through the lens of ending corruption - and acting against it.

Elites should not be surprised by the disenchantment seen in elections and referenda in 2016 – the elite is not responsive at best and at worst it’s irresponsible.

There can be no real progress toward ending extreme poverty, mitigating the impact of climate change, eradicating infectious diseases or any of the things that the citizenry of the world really care about when the leaders of business and government are deceitfully lining their own pockets.

High-level corruption is flourishing. It is having a really good 21st century. 
 

Formerly Global President of Havas Worldwide, Kate founded One Young World in 2009. In 2015 she quit the world of advertising to work on One Young World full-time.

Since 2009, One Young World Summits have brought together over 8,000 young leaders from 196 countries, and provided a global platform to affect change among sectors including government, business, academia and NGOs. Noted global leaders who have attended include Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson, Desmond Tutu, Emma Watson, Justin Trudeau, Bob Geldof and Professor Muhammad Yunus.