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Building a vibrant global community is key to worldwide prosperity

Xero CEO Rod Drury shares his thoughts on attending Facebook's F8 conference.

Despite the world becoming increasingly tribal, Facebook has built a global platform connecting more than one billion people worldwide.

For the past decade, Facebook has done a really great job of connecting friends and family, today, they’re realising their new responsibility: to build vibrant communities. By getting people talking who wouldn’t normally, they can stamp out confirmation bias and help people find common ground. It’s a reality that Facebook's CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, acknowledged in his F8 keynote this year.

“This is an important time to work on building community. We live in a time when society is divided, and we all have a lot of work to bring people closer together,” he said.

What’s the one thing tying people together? Business. It’s the common ground that spans across groups, oceans and timezones. While there’s a lot of work to be done, technology will be the key ingredient in unlocking this vision.

By teaching small businesses to export and trade globally, they can service markets beyond their backyard, and we need to help them learn to do so. A small business in rural America that can provide services across the world, leveraging technology, shows that we can build a better planet by collaborating and understanding.

In order to grow, small businesses need access to the necessary capital. Xero is where the rubber meets the road. Beginning to unlock growth and productivity in small business markets is the financial web, where information flows between accounting and global banking systems. Data-driven by nature, the financial web frees up capital for small businesses, enabling them to make smarter decisions and drive economic growth.

Over the past year, we’ve learned that globalisation hasn’t distributed jobs evenly or enhanced inclusion. Brexit, the US election, and global immigration reforms are examples of the division manifesting itself worldwide, but while this is happening, technology is becoming more global and more connected.

At Xero, we work hard to be a positive global citizen, embracing an environment where diversity is supported and celebrated. It’s critical to our success because it’s a reflection of our subscribers, and helps us build a platform that connects entrepreneurs right around the world.

We are uniquely positioned to demonstrate how businesses with strong values can address the biggest social challenges many nations face. With tens of thousands of accounting partners and one million subscribers using Xero, we can better connect and help people understand each other.

A thriving small business economy is paramount to dissipating youth unemployment, economic disparity, and discriminatory practices. By helping foster this, working with like-minded companies to establish a global ecosystem, we can make the world a better and more prosperous place. 

Rod Drury is CEO of Xero.