Robert Shiller has made an attempt to help people understand the benefit Finance adds to society in a book called Finance and the Good Society. In it he goes through the different role-players and explains in as close to laymans terms as possible what they do and why it has helped moved the world forward. The Financial Crisis gave people inspiration to label basically anyone who wore a suit a 'Banker'. With little understanding of what they do or how they add value - they are assumed to be evil. This extends beyond Finance, to Law, Politics and even Alternative Health. If we don't understand what someone does, we need rules of thumb to class them and pass moral judgements. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is tough with regular hyperbole and stories of tragedies in the media.
It would be great if we could have a habit of developing an elevator speech (30 seconds), a Pecha Kucha pitch (20 slides, 20 seconds each) and a TED style talk of what we do and how it adds value. Better yet, perhaps we could have a habit of spending some time 'interning' for other professions. We spend a lot of time trying to get better at what we do. We need to be careful not to blinker ourselves.
Robert Shiller - Nobel prize winning author of 'Finance and the Good Society'
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