"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Empowerment Capital

Empowerment Capital has gained widespread popularity in the 21st Century as companies are beginning to realize the benefits of developing knowledge and skill within the organization. Empowerment Capital was first acknowledged in the mid 1900s as researchers from around the world-notably Hiroyuki Atarni from Japan-began to study the invisible assets of companies. The term combines the concept of “empowerment” and human development with the economic concept of “capital” and believes that the individual development of employees will in turn result in a greater return for the organization. Empowerment Capital is a cutting-edge concept that encourages innovation and diversity; it believes in collective learning, and it focuses on enriching and deepening the abilities of employees to gain a competitive advantage through knowledge and skill.

So why is this significant for 21st century professionals? Today we live in the era of the knowledge-based company. In the knowledge economy, the value of corporations is directly related to their knowledge and intellectual capital. The firm can no longer sustain a competitive edge through cash investments and modern technology, and must rely on its ability to innovate and extract breakthrough ideas for corporate survival. The World is currently in a fast paced movement towards a new paradigm. People are looking for fulfillment in their work and are realizing their potential and value to the global economy. Investing in human capital creates positive dynamics in the workplace. It generates drive and motivation, and stimulates the creative ability of individuals that will allow for the greatest corporate return of Empowerment Capital.

Although Empowerment Capital was first a matter of corporate productivity, we can now expand our perception a little and begin to see the possible benefits that it can produce at the macro level, as well. If the investment in human capital generates the ability to innovate and perform more effectively in a micro organization, this creative and breakthrough area of research also has the ability to change how the public sector planning and development is done in cities, communities, and whole nations. By developing the abilities of citizens, we will foster creativity and productivity to advance struggling economies and perhaps lower the poverty line and improve health conditions in developing countries. Empowerment Capital will spark research and generate a vast sum of knowledge to tackle today’s major global issues, and through collective action and knowledge collaboration we can cultivate global unity and world peace for tomorrow.

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