What does the Brexit vote mean for the future of America?


Until few weeks ago, the majority of Americans didn’t know what Brexit was. Now, some political pundits are predicting that the November election in the United States will follow the lead of the United Kingdom, elect Trump as a direct result of the Brexit election. I can’t disagree more. If Trump were to get elected in an exceptional, rare instance, it will be due to reasons other than the influence of the British vote, and the mindset of the United Kingdom.

People around the world who are making these parallels are getting the fundamentals wrong about how the United States as the strong union functions. By design, the founding fathers architect-ed the constitution with the vision to adopt the anti-monarchy, anti-dictatorial mindset, blatantly ruling out the notion of a nation capable of changing laws on the go based on nationalism hype (nationalism mindset has its place if interpreted for the right reason), and in worse case changing the laws retroactively to fit the narrative of the leaders.

This fundamental model allowed the United States to create an environment where the unprecedented leadership and checks and balances model to flourish in an impressive, exponential rate, in which individual leaders would never get an opportunity to be dictators and push their personal agendas ahead of the best interest of this greatest sovereign nation on the land. As a result, the good news is, this notion of false nationalism does not necessarily translate among the majority of the present day diverse population of the United States, in the same manner that we witnessed in the United Kingdom (where, 85% of the population is white, and I would not be far off if I were to say that the majority in the UK is still in this day and age influenced in various degrees by anchor biases of the aristocratic, bureaucratic, and in rare instances the colonist mindset.

In my opinion, at the core, the Brexit results reflect the lack of commitment, dedication to tackle leadership challenges that the EU currently faces, and to choose to go back to the old way of doing things instead of leading forward. This vote also demonstrates the lack of a strong sustainable collaborative mindset among European nations.

It is no accident that the United States recovered from the 2008 economic meltdown much quicker than our counterparts in Europe. I may be a little bit biased. I had the honor to serve as the region champion, and the Nevada state-wide leader for Startup America Partnership, a part of the White House initiative to help entrepreneurial clusters in the post economic meltdown. The results of various economic enrichment efforts like this one should speak for itself.

While some global pundits were speculating the demise of the American economy, the United States recovered quicker than any other nation, due to the strong culture of collaboration, innovation and the leadership traits that the US display on the global stage. While some far right politicians even here in the United States are still whining about the trade imbalance (citing for an instance, the age old debate related to the number of cars that Japan imports from the United States versus the millions that they export to the US; and, which by the way, this debate is nothing new, and has been settled.

The conceptual economy shall welcome various trade agreements that we have in place (and, mind you, most of these balanced trade bills garnered the bi-partisan support in the congress, at times upsetting the far left). Lee Iaccoca highlighted in his best-selling autobiography the relevance (or lack thereof) of this election-cycle trade-imbalance rhetoric back in the 1980s, with a clear evidence that the economy of the United States has actually flourished in the following three decades.

I am a believer that the conceptual economy is driven by collaboration, design thinking, empathy, compassion, sensitivity, innovation, open-mindedness, silo-less transparent governance among other non-tangible aspects of leadership traits.

The America that I know is the one in which the President and the American people respect individualism and entrepreneurial spirit, and a case in which the 44th president of the United States of America chooses the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley - to offer his first reaction on Brexit (and, it was the only Brexit comment played in the news cycle around the world most of that day). And, during the panel that followed right after his speech that he facilitated, when an entrepreneur from the Middle East was asked by President Obama about her successful venture, she started by saying ”I went to Startup Weekend..(in Cairo)….”

That single statement by the entrepreneur, a startup founder from the Middle East, sums up the power of influence, collaboration, entrepreneurial mindset, and the impact that the American leadership continues to have in the nooks and crannies of the world.

Note: In 2009, President Barack Obama was the first president to come up with a national policy for Innovation. More details can be found at the strategy for American Innovation