Inclusion is a Value, but what values promote inclusion is the question to ask.

Many countries still have large hordes of people excluded from the streams of income; there are women who are excluded (only 20% of women earn an income), hordes of people below the poverty line who are excluded, older people could be excluded in younger societies or vice versa and then you have weaker sections, who could be excluded for other reasons.

On the other hand you have countries where the entire population is included in the economic progression; if someone chooses to be excluded it is his or her choice, not driven by any imperative; generational exclusion is also limited.

Norway stands first in the Global pecking order on Inclusiveness, that includes sustainable environment, being responsive and taking ownership of the future (including to what degree the future generations would be indebted) and making growth equitable.

Norway and the top league of countries have achieved the status of almost 100% inclusion because they have different values that drives collective effort towards inclusion.

The values for inclusiveness are different, here you are committed not to wealth creation (like following the GDP growth) but to what degree that wealth is useful to society and the environment at large. The purpose of wealth is to make you more responsible.

Switzerland is also in the top league on Inclusiveness. I remember how the country cared for the animals, keeping enough food for them for the long winter, even caring for the birds so that they do not have to migrate. I cannot forget the experience of seeing an old lady in the middle of a severe winter, keeping seeds at the base of the trees so that the birds get them and do not have to fly in the snowy weather. When the foxes come out of the woods in search of food, nobody goes out to kill them; ensuring that they have an alternate access to food is where the collective attention is diverted.

Values of inclusion runs deep, sharing the nature and stopping any kind of waste and excess is at the core. If there is waste could it be recycled is the question. For that processes are defined and the treatment is binary, there is no other choice but to follow. Recycling almost everything that can be recycled is where the collective thought and action is directed.

The same ethos runs deep in the values for the community.

When the financial crisis struck in 2008, the Swiss were the first to recover because the burden was shared by all three constituencies, labor and management and the government. Short time work where shifts came down from eight hours to five hours helped to recover while jobs were not axed permanently but temporarily. When there was no credit available anywhere there were hordes of them in Switzerland who came forward to help.

The CEO of UBS used to travel in the same train I took from Forch to Stadelhoffen; the Minister did the same for the train to Bern. The pride was never in flaunting but in belonging; this was perhaps why there were so few checks on the train for tickets, trusting that a passenger would behave responsibly got the better off running an inspection service.

Valuing what you have abundantly is more important. The Swiss are endowed with maximum per capita availability of water, but they have put the highest tariff for water use in homes. Driving the right behavior runs at the core of inclusive values.

Endowed with all the best things that nature can offer does not make you care less but more for preservation of the endowments from clean water, air and the quest for exploitation of nature’s resources is never a priority. The measurements of progress are different.

Yes, this raises cost and there are no subsidies, you have to pay for everything. This is a distinctly different value then waiting for bail outs, which is what dampens our resolve to behave responsibly.

No where there are free lunches to pick up; you must earn it diligently.

The most striking example is that of generational inclusion, how retirees are included in the mainstream. The social security systems and processes take care of them.

If you visit Switzerland in September, you will see large groups of retirees travelling on trains on leisure tours across Europe. It is their time, preserved for their convenience just before the winter sets in.

They lead an independent life, their dependence on the earlier generation is limited while they pursue their life’s goals to the very end.


Values for Inclusion: What promotes inclusion?

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