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Students and New Talent Help Cities Stay Competitive
Thriving cities all have one thing in common: a
The world’s most competitive cities
invest in human capital, both for
working age employees as well as for
students. Nurturing talent to create a
growing and diverse workforce provides a
valuable edge to competitive cities.
Most cities already know this, and yet
all but the tried-and-true global
leaders struggle to attract, develop and
retain high-quality talent.
London, New York, Singapore, Paris,
It’s no accident that these vibrant cities have dominated
the world stage for decades. A.T. Kearney’s Global Cities
Report examines top cities, as well as those with the most
potential, and quantifies what factors set them apart.
Human capital tops the list. Afterall, a city’s skill base
is what investors look at, what attracts and shapes
corporations, and ultimately what fuels an economy. Human
capital and a healthy business landscape are reciprocal
and form a closed-loop circuit. Talent feeds business,
which in turn attracts more talent.
The most competitive cities incubate
talent through top-tier schools, universities,
municipal programs and policies.
Policymakers have a real grasp of where and
how students learn and the path of students
post-graduation. Armed with that data, they
can create or enhance learning hubs and
other programs and policies that limit brain
drain. They can also focus on maximizing
diversity because it’s widely understood
that the world’s most competitive cities
draw talent from around the world.
Human capital and wellness
are also correlated.
Leading cities that improved in human capital have also improved in personal
well-being, keeping citizens satisfied and less likely to relocate. Top
cities have been testing strategies to increase the number of residents with
tertiary degrees, develop local talent, create more international schools,
and even help to better integrate international students into the
Cities that put their people first create higher quality living conditions,
a solid economy and sustainable growth. Developing policies and strategies
with talent at the core is the most effective way to become (or remain)