This week’s horrific events in Brussels (following the November attacks in Paris–my home away from home) reinforces my belief that cultural diplomacy with a message of entrepreneurship can be a strong weapon against radicalism. Entrepreneurship is a pillar of democracy. Inspiring a dream and providing the tools to live that dream offers an attractive alternative and counter identity to jihadism. The growing disaffected youth population around the world needs to hear and recognize this message. We must plant the seeds that inspire a positive identity within each of them, and most essential, follow through by teaching them how to turn their passions into professions.
It is incumbent on every artist, teacher, and entrepreneur to use “business as a force for good” (borrowed from Richard Branson). We can complain about our leaders’ political and economic motivations, or we can use our skills and talents to change the world despite political and economic motivations. The military must not be the only boots on the ground.