Dialogue, or not?

Many tech leaders have voiced their concern over US President Trump’s travel ban on citizens of 7 predominantly Muslim countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

However, some of these leaders, like Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick, are also on President Trump’s Economic Advisory Council. And as a result of this position, there have been calls for them to demonstrate their concern by not only voicing it but also leaving the Economic Advisory Council. So far, Kalanick has left and Musk remains on the council.

Faced with such a situation, what’s the right thing to do?

I think that, as things stand, the right thing to do is to remain on the council. Specifically, you need to remember why you joined the council in the first place. It wasn’t because you agreed with everything that Trump said during the campaign period. It was because Trump won the presidency and the council gives you an opportunity to advise him on the issues that matter to you while also giving you a platform to hopefully change his views and actions in areas of disagreement.

Leaving the council makes you lose the opportunity for dialogue that is necessary for the positive change you seek to achieve. And, as things stand, I believe that there’s still room for dialogue.


Also published on Medium.