The Responsibility of Tech Leaders Not To Brain Drain Countries

The secret has long been out.

Thanks to the internet information spreads like California wildfires. And thanks to the world wide web, anyone can paint any picture they want to. The stock images can be very appealing, but we are far from a world where equality and opportunity are a reality, and I know this doesn’t surprise you.

For those of us in tech, it’s common knowledge that mammoth companies like Google and Facebook source their talent globally. To the untrained eye this seems like a wonderful idea- tantalizing people with the luxurious grandeur of living in America and relocating people from places like India to US cities.

However, the issue of “brain draining” a country is tantamount to paralyzing it

Brain drain is a term that means that highly educated or trained people are encouraged to leave an area (or country) for better pay, living conditions, or opportunity elsewhere more westernized. This is inherently not wrong, and honestly who could blame these emigrants. When you live in a country where indoor plumbing has recently become commonplace, and then you have Google or Facebook drawing you to America with a 6-figure USD salary, who would say no? But brain drain is termed intelligently because it means that the best engineers and architects of the future are lured from their home countries—countries drastically in need of help—to modernized countries and now that home country, is much worse off.

Facebook recently reached 2 billion users, and at the time of this article being written there are over 3.6 billion internet users internationally. What this means is that tech talent is needed. Tech talent is in demand. Yet companies don’t need to source their talent from overseas. Instead they should foster education of tech talent to get trained in their home countries and- if wanted- stay in their own countries. With technology soon to permeate literally all corners of the globe, it’s the responsibility and role of tech leaders to foster growth, education, and stabilization of people in their own countries, period.

Imagine a world where every country has equally educated and equally technically trained people. People who get trained by the world’s best in tech have a shot at turning around and helping their respective environments. If you train someone and then remove them from their home country, that country is left with a hole. There used to be someone there working and creating and helping, but now they’re not there. There is a void of talent and thus productivity. But if we train people in their home countries and encourage them to use these skills to solve problems locally, they will.

Precisely, these people will lift their countries UP.

Some- and possibly many people- will still want to move to North America or Europe for even better or just different standards of living, and that can’t be prevented. There will always be people who just want to live in San Francisco or New York City, etc. That can’t be changed, and if that’s what they want to do, they should. But plenty of people will want to stay in their home countries close to their families and personal history, and with tech companies providing training and jobs and outright insisting they use their talents to help their own countries:

Tech can change the world for the better.

Tech leaders already know their trade as evidenced by thousands of startups. No one can deny that technology is increasingly interfacing every nook and cranny of our lives. So now the Call To Action becomes: how can tech leaders educate people of other areas of the globe and provide factually competitive work environments, wages, and outright demand that people make their home countries more modern. More tech-savvy. More connected. Better for everyone.

Don’t necessarily dangle the carrot of western civilization in front of people.

Develop programs for every other country to get its willing citizens trained technically in a globally competitive fashion.

Have them make great money in the Congo. Let them solve the water problems in Africa. Watch them revolutionize the standard of living in Bangladesh.

And then demand they uplift their communities and make them better. The BEST future of tech is how can it improve the lives of everyone, everywhere. Not just people in the western civilization. How can tech legitimately improve communities? How can people get skilled up and educated on how to use their talents to make their local areas better around the globe. That is the most exciting part about the future of tech- how it transforms peoples’ lives. So let’s insist on it.

That’s how leaders lead.

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