It’s the digital age, folks, and lots of young people are dreaming about becoming the Next Big Thing by inventing, creating or launching a technology business.
We look at people like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who came up with the idea of Facebook while at university, and see a man who’s made billions of dollars by harnessing the power of the internet and social media.
Countries around the world are keen to host the creators of the Next Big Thing. The UK is eager for a company founded here to become the next Google, Facebook or Apple.
But it all revolves around finding talent.
Creative, digitally minded people are all over the world, waiting to be discovered. They’re overflowing with ideas that could revolutionise the way we play, work or even function.
In the US, which leads much of the technology world from California’s famous Silicon Valley, business leaders are on the hunt for worldwide talent. So much so, in fact, that a collective of technology leaders formed an organisation called FWD.us a few years ago to help highly skilled immigrants resettle in the United States. They know that unless America allows these people entry, the technology industry is at risk of lagging behind other countries.
Basically, immigrants are essential for technology growth. ‘Talent diversity’, as it’s known, is crucial. And this means the best brains from anywhere in the world. According to some statistics, London offers the most diverse ‘ecosystem’ for start-ups in the world where around 53 per cent of the capital’s start-up employees are foreign.
Humans are at the heart of business, regardless of ethnicity, faith or religion.
The website Mashable recently published a story about what the technology industry would look like without immigrants.
In the article, they highlight that Google cofounder Sergey Brin arrived in the US from the Soviet Union aged just six. Apple cofounder Steve Jobs’ father emigrated to the US from Beirut in 1949. Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang was born in Taiwan.
It concludes that America simply wouldn’t have had the technology advances it has had over the last several decades, and certainly wouldn’t be the leader in the technology industry, without immigrants.
It makes a powerful point about immigration and the movement of people. In a time when immigrants – or refugees, or asylum seekers – are given a bad reputation, it’s important to realise the incredibly positive contribution immigrants can make to any society. In fact, they can help shape the future. A brighter future, not only for themselves and their families, but for us all.