From a ‘Me’ to a ‘We’ Economy

Henrik Stamm Kristensen

Some weeks ago, I enjoyed a fantastic WE Day” in London with my family and thousands of true everyday heroes. The goal of these events are “to empower a generation to shift the world from ‘me’ to ‘we’, from a focus on the individual to the power of community”, through global platforms. This change of mindset is also needed in business, to boost collaboration as a tool not just for growth, but for creating a social, valuable impact.

We are living in a world where trends like digital and data processing have sped up change like never before. Consumer understanding and demands are forcing companies to be more real and committed to issues like ethics, sustainability, or transparency. This also allows for risk taking companies to look for new ways of fast innovation in a more connected, accelerated, and dynamic world – and it clearly contrasts with the way of how we have been producing food.

Food powder blends – sector which I know well and where I have been working throughout my career- have been operated in the same manner for the last fifty years: A few big branded corporations with big central food powder processing plants and internal formulation experts produce about 10% of the worlds food while thousands and thousands of SMEs and local/regional producers supported by many smaller technology providers produce the remaining 90%, supplying these products as “black box” formulations.

In a more connected and concerned world when it comes to transparency, this cannot continue that way. Simply, it is no longer sustainable nor effective. As I had the chance to discuss with Craig Kielburgerco-founder with Marc Kielburger of Free the children, after an impressive “WE Day”, food powder blends have an strategic position in how to connect the supply and food chain, and address the challenge to ensure that nobody will go to bed with a hungry stomach as Ban-Ki-moon have stated in a recent speech about objectives to be fulfilled by UN before 2030.

In the change from a ME to a WE economy, “Black box” and hiding IP trough this system are words of the past in our companies. Collaboration and transparency along supply chains, on the contrary, are the shift to achieve the challenge laid down by Ban Ki Moon’s to our industry.

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