44-231 million humans died due to wars and conflicts in the 20th century, while 1 billion (or 15% of all) humans living below the poverty line barely survive and sometimes die for their families. 4 billion or 60% of humans follow guidance from Islam or Christianity. However, Muslims’ interpreted message from the Koran is to send non-Muslims to eternal hell, and Christians’ interpreted message from the Bible is to send non-Christians to eternal hell. To avoid all of us being condemned to eternal hell even though 3 billion or 40% of humans do not follow Islam or Christianity, Martin Luther King Jr. & Mahatma Gandhi appealed to our morality with the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.
The Golden Rule does not feed us. Our hard work contributes to our nation’s economic output and GDP is a reflection of our standard of living. For more than 1800 years, China had one of the world’s highest standard of living, with 35% of the Global GDP (GGDP) in the year 1820. USA’s share of GGDP between the years 1950 to 2001 was 32% to 35%, even as globalization (e.g. Japan produced cars in USA) made GGDP % less meaningful after China’s open economy started in 1978. This shift between 1820 and 1950 was driven by innovations. Christian-led industrialization included cannons and government-backed monopolies that focused on profit and often ignored moral foundations by, for example, forcing opium import into China to take >70,000 tons of gold and silver. Japan ravaged and looted Asian neighbors during Second World War when convicted war criminals forced prostitution, tested chemical weapons on humans, and massacred up to 300,000 unarmed civilians in a 40-day siege of Nanjing, China.
Innovate with the Golden Rule defines a Moral Innovations framework that requires knowledge through education. In today’s internet world, we have data that take time to convert into knowledge. USA’s Common Core based education system does not address our students’ decline in performance on a global scale. Educators have shown, through decades of international students in graduate schools, that we increase innovations when we study together. While there are already significant numbers of international students in our best graduate schools, we have seen more international undergraduates in the last 10 years, and starting to see high growth of international secondary school students in the USA.
USA’s share of GGDP has declined 12% points from 32% to 20% in the last 13 years and China has a strong economy again. The American Dream is alive and well, and USA still attracts plenty of students who aspire to become part of this Dream. Over time, international students can globalize this Dream.
Our appeal to morality in corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship initiatives have yet to reach (Malcolm Gladwell’s) tipping point. We have innovators turned philanthropists like Bill Gates who left a legacy of monopolistic business practices at Microsoft. We also have an increasing wealth gap partly due to the focus on short term profit from innovations that encourage moral short-cuts such as illicit drugs and the OPEC oligopolistic cartel. When motivated students and future role models stop the focus on maximizing short term profit, billions more of us can have hope and constructive dreams.
This is a call to donors, investors, contributors and followers who want to build a community of Moral Innovators that incubates and mentors future change leaders. Moral Innovation (MI) Club is the proposed incubator that follows the Golden Rule and helps motivated international students learn with disadvantaged students, supported by a community of mentors. MI Club is a long term, sustainable approach that gives us hope and increases our chances to realize our dreams. A community of Moral Innovators can change the world.