Recently, I attended Centro Fox\u2019s CITEK Forum 2015 in Leon, Mexico, where IT, energy, automotive and aerospace experts came together to discuss innovation and business opportunities in technology. While the experience was enriching in many ways, the opening of the event\u2014in which a talented children\u2019s orchestra played four numbers\u2014was perhaps the most remarkable. What does this have to do with outsourcing? Bear with me as I trace the steps of my thinking.\nOne of the things I love about outsourcing is that, as an industry, it\u2019s a real, live meritocracy. It relies primarily on knowledge\u2014not assets\u2014so anyone who works hard and gets an education can succeed. This is particularly apparent in countries with low wages: India\u2019s middle class has been built almost entirely on the back of its powerful outsourcing industry. Even in small countries like Costa Rica and Panama, as much as 10 percent of the population works in business services. Outsourcing is rewarding to me, in part, because I see the economic impact it has on developing nations.\nAn important piece of the puzzle, of course, is education. There isn\u2019t enough available, and many who would like to partake in it aren\u2019t able to because of financial limitations. It is no surprise that countries like India, and, on a smaller scale, Chile and Costa Rica, have fared better than their neighbors largely because of essentially free, high-quality higher education.\nBut education alone is not enough. Good employees are most often people who from an early age were taught to think, encouraged to become better students, and learned to prioritize competing demands and forge ahead amid challenges. Students like these may just land a job that gives them satisfaction and upward mobility, perhaps in the outsourcing industry.\nAnd this is where the children\u2019s orchestra comes in. First of all, these kids were good. Second, the orchestra, part of a charity run by\u00a0Marta Sahag\u00fan, the wife of Mexico\u2019s former President Vicente Fox, busses these kids in from poor neighborhoods for four hours of musical education and rehearsals four times a week. They are committed. More importantly, these children are getting an opportunity to develop their brains in a safe environment away from the temptations of far less productive teen and pre-teen experiences.\nWhile these kids may not all grow up to be world-class musicians (though I bet some will), they will all grow up with the well-documented benefits of a musical education, and most will be able to find their way to the kinds of opportunities their parents could only dream of. Some will probably end up as engineers, accountants and managers in the outsourcing business.\nIn a world of quarterly performance pressure, it is hard to take a generational view on progress. By getting involved in efforts like this orchestra, IT executives are behaving like true stewards on behalf of long-term stakeholders\u2014not just those with stock in the company, but the communities they serve, recruit from, and sell to.\nPoverty is a reality for over 75 percent of the world\u2019s population. Families often need their adolescents to work in order to survive. In environments like the neighborhoods that surround Leon, where the transition from schoolchild to breadwinner can be brutally quick, programs like this children\u2019s orchestra promote economic progress, community safety, language ability, creativity, and yes, a greater talent pool for our industry.