Simon Preston: Understanding Our Common Humanity

Simon Preston: Understanding Our Common Humanity

The Chairman of Young President’s Organization for 09/10 talks better leaders through education and idea exchange.

We need to collaborate at a very high level for our collective self-interest. 

The path to understanding our common humanity, says Simon Preston, lies in the power of personal relationships. “Whenever you meet someone, take a profound interest in them,” says Preston. “If you can create a context to ask questions to explore someone else’s life as a human being, they will respond." Preston was the 2009/2010 Chairman of Young President’s Organization (YPO). Founded in 1950, it is a nonprofit networking group of 18,000 chief executive members in more than 100 countries. To join YPO, a CEO must have 50 employees, $8 million in sales, and not be older than 45. “Our ethnicity and our cultural sense of belonging is just clothing,” says Preston. “If you want to create a global community, people need to have to profoundly understand and believe in that, and therefore how do we help people break out and extend their sense of belonging beyond their local community, their religion, their nation state.”


TakePart traveled to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, to pick the brains of the world’s biggest thinkers. These Innovators in Action are changing the face of the future with bold new ideas and profound enthusiasm. Motivated by personal experience and fueled by the hope that things can get better, these innovators—each of them true social entrepreneurs—are improving our world, one brilliant business idea at a time.

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