Trust is the ultimate currency. It is the unseen mortar that binds together the bricks of interpersonal relationships, civic institutions, and shared beliefs. It is the basic ingredient that enables collective action and facilitates a functional, sometimes even harmonious society. Without trust, society unravels, rendering essential social contracts and mutual agreements unworkable. Despite being a foundational ingredient for a thriving society, trust in our institutions and each other is at an all time low across the globe. Globally, a majority of people believe they are being lied to by journalists (67 percent, up 8 points) and government leaders (66 percent, up 9 points), and nearly one out of every two respondents view government (48 percent) and media (46 percent) as divisive forces in society.
The absence of trust sows seeds of doubt, breeding polarization, fostering discord, and undermining the shared sense of reality that societies depend upon for stability. In the workplace, trust plays a similar role as it does in society, functioning as the bedrock of efficiency, creativity, and collaboration, enabling the interweaving of diverse talents and ideas into a seamless fabric of productivity and innovation. Money itself is based on trust. Without it, the gears of business would grind to a halt, choked off by suspicion and uncertainty.