Five minutes with Bruce Walker
Bruce Walker started WeAreTheFuture in a high school classroom in 2011, aged 17. Today it is one of the fastest growing global entrepreneurship organisations, hosting international summits across Europe, US, Middle East and Asia.
“A vibrant economy is a commercial landscape where successful, sustainable businesses are out to do good”
It doesn’t necessarily mean you excel at any one measure, like CSR for example, but the little things you do make the world more sustainable and more successful. This is about everything from the way you treat your employees to the way you treat your customers and how you build a supply chain. These are the things that companies can do that have a profound impact and can change the world.
“Our education is not moving as quickly as the rest of the world”
By the time government, councils and authorities have agreed on the curriculum – it’s already out of date. So what they need to do – in my view – is create a system where entrepreneurs come in and engage with school children throughout the year. They are the ones on the front line, pursuing the innovation and spotting the skills that are needed for future success. We need a curriculum that fosters entrepreneurial mindsets.
“Entrepreneurs will create 100% of the net new jobs”
A lot of the old style careers are massively being disrupted at the moment. What we’re seeing is that for a lot of young people, they don’t want to work for big corporates like they used to. They’re leaving high school and university and the graduate jobs that are on offer for them are not the careers where they see they envision themselves for the next five, ten years.
“It can’t be led by the public sector, and it can’t be led by corporates”
If you want to create a space that supports the development and growth of entrepreneurs, it cannot be led by people who have never been entrepreneurs. We need corporates and the public sector to support it – but they can’t dictate the direction.
“I don’t think the world can go on searching for profit and profit alone”
I believe that all businesses should be socially conscious. Consumers want the businesses they engage with to be ethical. The same is true for workers. People leaving school are far more conscious and aware of how the world works than ever before. This inter-connectedness means companies can no longer get away with behaving badly. They get found out so quickly. In this digital age there is nowhere to hide.
“We benefit from being a fairly entrepreneurial people”
The UK has been responsible for so many innovations and creations around the world. There is an unbelievable amount of support in this country for those who want to start a business. Not just starting a business, but the UK has become home to businesses that want to be a force for good.
“I think that entrepreneurs make a huge, tremendous difference”
The difference is wide-reaching. They have a positive impact on local areas as well as global economic environment. I think placing the onus on entrepreneurs, and giving them the freedom, to lead is really important. That’s all I hope for from the government – that in relation to business they trust entrepreneurs and make sure the regulatory environment supports them on a world stage.
“Most entrepreneurial journeys are roller coaster rides”
Five years ago we started in high school – and in five years we have grown exponentially. We have gone from the classroom to, just a few years later, operating across the UK, US, Middle East and Asia.
“Taking an interest in the world outside your door is beneficial for your company”
It’s a way to engage with people who may be your future employees or your future customers. It’s also an exercise in understanding what the future market looks like.
“Getting help from someone initially can often be far more beneficial than getting money from them”
Money is not always the key, but resources like opening up access to network can be. A network of key support, key individuals, and key influence – that trumps money every time.
“Everyone wants to give back and help out where they can”
When we approach corporates and big business, asking them if they would like to get involved with the Take Action education programme – they are incredibly receptive. They want to support, give back and help. Everyone I speak to is really supportive.