1 Our gold standard is
Usahidi and Kenya's IHUB - hip hip hoorah http://www.ushahidi.com/mission/
which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya
after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come to represent
the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”.
Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used
to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones.
This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it,
which could be used by others around the world.
forward six years and Ushahidi has grown into a global non-profit technology company with origins in Kenya. Today Ushahidi’s
mission is the change the way information flows in the world and empower people to make an impact with open source technologies,
cross-sector partnerships, and ground-breaking ventures.
Ushahidi is responsible for
founding the iHub, a technology hub in Nairobi which has helped build the technology community in East Africa, growing to over 14,000 members,
has incubated 150 tech startups that have created over 1000 jobs. Ushahidi, together with partners Hivos and the Institute
of Development Studies, implements the Making all Voices Count Grand Challenge, a $55 million fund which focuses global attention on creative and cutting-edge solutions to transform
the relationship between citizens and their governments including seeding innovative solutions.
Lastly, as a group of technologists spread around the world who get really frustrated
when the internet doesn’t work, Ushahidi built and spun out BRCK, which builds rugged internet for people and things.At Ushahidi, it isn’t just about building software, it is about
solving problems. With Ushahidi we build open source software tools, at BRCK we build a platform for access to the web, and
iHub we help build the Kenyan tech sector by creating a community with access to services like the mLab, UX lab, and Gearbox. We build these organizations because we want to see more stories like Ushahidi’s in the world.
are curious will yunusolympics (ever since we first met him in 2007 - he was hoping his partners would talk a world sporting stage in code-sharing
his messags) - ever come over to MOOCYunus in time (see also openlearningcampus)
- note how Atlanta Nov 2015 celebrations designed round yunus and other nobel peace acticitists with youth are co-spodnored by the turner family
who have given back so much of what they made from CNN (Cable News Netwprk) to try and bring every netwprks of the UN back
to ground level citizen engage,en; note how out of paris ws the world number 1 supporter of yunus global media change - some
woenderful film directirs contributed in 2009 to www.notimeleft.org (see wenders contribution especially_ but where did all that storytelling go to? then there was vivian who signd up to direct
Yunus Movie but never got the complete support she needed
have a look at www.african24tv.com out of Paris- its founded round 80 journaliust looking for best leaders by and for africans- for example if africa is
ever to have iots own IBM who can elad that to sustain the human ;lot of africans
Yunus has inspired such
bbc film anchors as Paul Rose (filamaker oceans) and Michael Palin (now filmaker cutures round the world trip, also Monty Pyton) to come out to bat - what
teir next steps?
Breaking News July 2011
help make this first draft zing a bit
more -reference last year's isabella-cast --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOT MY NEWS OF THE WORLD
Hello young people everywhere from Tunisia to Egypt , Greece to Spain
, Japan to Bangladesh .
The 2010s can be the most exciting decade for us to lead productive lives as long as we know which media and economics to
get rid of, as well as whose social actions to joyfully celebrate.
That was the severe test my granddad set himself and fellow journalists for humanity - over 40 years of reporting
for The Economist. And that’s why Norman Macrae also asked people like me to storytell his life’s good news
fables once a year after his parting in the summer of 2010.
time the dumbest media in the world collapses that is a good news opportunity. In Britain this weekend youth have cause to
celebrate the end of The News of The World . Wrapped up in the 20th century’s most popular tabloid was everything we
don’t need advertisers to celebrate as young people take on the greatest sustainability games ever played.
Let’s hope the BBC in particular remembers that as it chooses how to celebrate
the Olympics – Queen Elizabeth’s swansong for the joy of youth, commonwealth and linking in sustainability community
The News of the World made the worst
use of mobile telecoms of any media platform. Since Norman first discussed how to network with mobile telecoms in 1984 his
entrepreneurial revolution friends have had 27 years searching for best uses.
We recommend nothing is more exciting to mobilise than what started in 1996 in Bangladesh when 100000 global villages
hubs of the world’s poorest mothers started linking in sustainability economics. We invite thousands of youth to diarize
good news stories of info technology at YouthandYunus.com - this happy dotcom is spelt
O U T H A N D Y U N U S
Lets hope the world’s most
powerful people join youth in exciting lessons on how NOT to use mobile phones. Give the Murdoch family the chance to invite
the net generation to co-create good news media in the place of the most salacious gossip sheet in his empire. The strongest
newspapers have always blended whole truth journalistic curiosity with at most a couple of goals chosen to improve the next
YES YOU CAN
help the Murdoch’s make their millennium goals wish come true. Let it be that their family re-examine how their
most powerful media can help youth celebrate another way to bail out banks. Join Queen Sofia's summit on this in Spain in
November. It is economically possible for media to help find a way in which youth are not trapped in picking up all
the bills of their elders. As we all found out in 2008, this remains the urgent and defining good news story of the decade
–the one that will shape generations and planet, for ever and a day.
Good News Bottomines:
1 Places everywhere now need
structures that mediate investments in their youth’s
co-production of heroic goals.
2 Consider how stories of bankabillion networks can be designed round girl power
are so much more joyous than banking designed for ever fewer big brothers.
3 Bon courage Rupert Murdoch, Au Revoir Norman Macrae
Jargon Note -
what Dr Yunus used to call Future Capitalism has since the launch of Global Grameen become known as Global Social Business and Sustainability Partnering
Breaking good news for
2010s- Nov 2009- inspired by the official launch by Dr Yunus and California State education system of the California Institute
of Social Business, our own launches of Global and London Institutes of Social Business aim to make priority connections between JforH in California, London and Paris - RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
if you can collaboratively help add in JforH from another future capital of sustainability
being a film producer lead sponsor of Cal Instit of SB
J Skoll & L Brilliant of Participant Productions
Webber (SF) and H Row (LA) former leaders of social capital intercity centres of fastcompany.com
(OT) - sustainability world's favourite pop group
Holly Mosher - filmaker of Yunus "Bonsai" and for The Global Summit hq in LA
Future Capitalism Birthday party
of the year - with Muhammad Yunus, Dhaka June 29, day after his 69th - will you be there? inquiries chris macrae washington dc
bureau 301 881 1655
tell us of ebs where you can find out what journalists are up to -eg journalisted.com
2009 Year of MicroCollaboration please help email@example.com catalogue advice for President Obama from the world's most trusted free marketers of ending poverty: eg1 the president can declare the date for zero poverty in the whole world at the same time encourage
the united states to set their date when their city be zero poverty when their county gets to zero poverty ..you
are never going back- city by city, county by county, state by state, it can be done and it will encourage everyone else –
..that state can do it, we can do it this
is the way to go, so poverty will be the challenge –and once you have solved poverty other solutions come right away,
environment will come right away - Muhmammad Yunus, California, Nov 08
We are journalists, media experts, microentrepreneurs, economists and citizens. We track how methods of Industry Sector Responsibility Mapping (ISRM) can support sustainability
investments in ways that Corporate Sector Responsibility advisory systemically could not. Leadership methods of ISRM
include Future Capitalism collaborations, Trillion Dollar Auditing and Community Impact Accountancy.
Future Capitalism has changed the world of goodwill valuation faster than other
network economics tools due to this year’s launch of its human sustainability imperatives by
of the world leaders like Bill Gates and Bottom Billion leaders like Muhammad Yunus. If you would like
JFH to demonstrate a Future Capitalism game for your sector, please contact us
Washington DC Bureau tel 301 881
Click to debate why so many of humanity's greatest stories are never seen on Public Broadcasting
Join Demos and Borders Bookstore for a reading with Nomi Prins and a discussion about the urgent need for real financial reform in America.
Nomi Prins is a journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos. In addition to It Takes a Pillage,
Nomi is the author of Other People's Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, a devastating exposé into corporate
corruption, political collusion and Wall Street deception. Other People's Money was chosen as a Best Book of 2004
by The Economist, Barron's and The Library Journal. Her book Jacked: How "Conservatives" are
Picking Your Pocket (Whether You Voted For Them or Not) catalogs her traveling around the country; talking to people
about their wallets, lives, and opinions: card by card - issue by issue.
Before becoming a journalist, Nomi worked on
Wall Street as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and running the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London.
She has appeared internationally on BBC World and BBC Radio and nationally in the U.S. on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, ABCNews, CSPAN
and other TV stations. She has been featured on dozens of radio shows across the U.S. including CNNRadio, Marketplace Radio,
Air America, NPR, WNYC-AM and regional Pacifica stations. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Fortune,
Mother Jones, Slate.com, The Guardian UK, The Nation.com, The American Prospect, The Left Business Observer, LaVanguardia,
Against the Current and other publications.
Grameen Bank officials believe that reducing poverty through microfinance banking is not just
for developing economies.
Recently, US President Barack Obama also created a $100m
microfinance growth fund for small lenders around world. (The microfinance growth fund would be a partnership of the Multilateral
Investment Fund at the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Inter-American
Investment Corporation. )
Though a good first step, it is still considered a small amount. Grameen Bank in
Bangladesh spends $100m on microfinance every month.
Currently, Grameen America depends
on donations and payments on existing loans. But the bank is planning to apply for a credit-union licence, which will allow
it to accept bigger deposits from US customers. The bank plans to use those deposits for granting more loans to thousands
Now the bank is expanding to other areas in the US. Soon a branch will open in Brooklyn
and plans include branches in states such as Nebraska and Ohio.
Branches of the Grameen Bank
are already operating in several other countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Kosovo and Zambia.
america's last 2 gandhians - & where did we go with journalist formats of severe test of leadership
This is quickly but consciously written so that should you choose to
do so you can edit out the deliberate mistakes which come from 2 most likely "errors of mine" - not having access
to some information you may have or trying to oversimplify so that this story stays on one page
1 I refer to bill drayton famous for
being the epicentre of anyone who believes social entrepreneurs www.ashoka.orgare the bees knees, and larry brilliant the person as ceo of www.google.orgwhose job is to have the most resources to be responsible with the internet; I am not referring to Indian
or bangladeshi expatriates in usa including 2 networks I am aware of - one actually run by a nephew of gandhi and the other
teasingly set up to be a space of conscience within 20 minutes ride from the white house
2 as the horrors of unsustainable
burning bush. "truth is inconvenient" commercials mass media (a third of all us broadcast time) and mba's
sponsored by wall street rolled globalization out over the first decade of this century, Americans and www social network
tools (mainly that deep minority of young or multi-cultured internationalist eg aiesec networks) looking
for something else tended to gravitae around bill drayton and his 1978 evolution of social entrepreneurship; what you
need to know first about bill drayton is he has a saintly (turn the other cheek frame, as well as reputedly having turned
celibate after one tragic childhood love) but also studied law at yale and from his undergraduate days he hosted discussions
on what if usa lawmakers thought like gandhi; he and larry brilliant also went on expeditions in the 1960s? in India with
leading gandhi alumni who walked for hundreds or thousands of miles trying to renegotiate land rights for landless people
-one of the bequests gandhi had in his list of to do's next after his assassination; bill took his lawyer's pen
to work for 10+ years at American environmental protection agencies but got bored with lack of progress and thanks to
foundations like macarthors branched out on his own in 1978 www.ashoka.org ; the interview we made with bill drayton is attached; bill now funds raises for over 2000 local social entrepreneurs-
a movement he started in India and Asia; teamed up with McKisney to do in south America; never wholly got mass for in Africa
though fundraising for his organisation www.ashoka.org would vehemently deny that
3 there are 2 fatal problems with bill's approach; he doesn’t require the people
he funds to develop sustainable system models so they ultimately need more and more aid which is actually the opposite of
what all other entrepreneurial system concepts were ever defined to be before drayton's 1978 coining of social entrepreneur;
McKinseys which is one of the worst of global consultancies (its war on talent at enron literally fired each year those 15%
who made the least money - an organisational design guaranteed to compound promotion
of the most corrupting of professionals, a tribe which when I was involved in 1998 interviews of 100 leaders of one big 5
firm proudly called themselves Androids) pretty well destroyed ashoka's culture of management; whether Larry Brilliant
(bill’s great mate knew this or not) as larry spent 25 more brilliant years in India doing things like ending the very
last case of smallpox and setting up 10 time cheaper end blindness hospitals , when Larry came to be chosen by Google’s
founders to be the internet's centre of conscious he threw a big networking part for his friend Drayton; got billionaires
like Jeff skoll who made his money as first ceo of ebay on drayton's side as well as Bill Clinton’s networks which
previously had more supported bangladeshi micoentrepreneurs to the extent that they had any grassroot connections
, it is the case my maternal grandafter spent 25 years being converted by gandhi as bombay’s 2 pre-eminent London-trained
barristers so unlike other be the change supporters I am aware that the number 1 revolutionary question gandhi was about is
what on earth does a country or a planet do when its lawmakers and other professional monopolies are spinning rules unsustainably;
gandhi didn’t have all the answers for the planet though he did enough for India and his systemic importance was refereed
by Einstein who basically expected there would be less than 25% chance that when technology made the world more connected
than separated we would have time within one generation to change all the ruling professions so that their Hippocratic oaths
became about sustainability rather than making money for themselves
5 right now all of that 25% connects around the
epicentre of Dhaka, not silicon valley, not wall street, not B Drayton in DC, not an African American in
the white house, not London nor other capital cities of old empires; its a pity that drayton and brilliant wont issue a network
correction on their own small wrong crossroads turn compared with the high and mighty ones of wall street but bill is so mothballed
by the people around him that he probably doesn’t understand how hard friends of bangladesh, nobel peace committees
and Muhammad Yunus tried for 3 years to help his social entrepreneur networks before realizing their lack is sustainability
investment culture was just another form of dying aid
6 as I said this was deliberately written to provoke people to edit in
lines of the sort of be more balanced here - you are misinformed here; but in neither usa nor uk have even 2% of young people
understood the 3 choices that we now urgently make to decide whether 21st century repeats the 1910s through wars, depressins
or both, as well as this time not just the destruction of isolated civilisation but the beginnning of the end of competing
with nature's sustainability designs which is not a good thing for any species even one called man to do
route a globalization
maps as wall streeted
route b globalization maps as
route c globalization maps as dhaka
7 if this
was a script for oxford union debate, I would close by asking the house to vote that the one and openly future
journey with a mathematical chance of sustaining 7 billion people and making the most of collaboration network age
media is the road to dhaka
http://yunusforum.net (june 29 be there for youth or sustainability investment's sake or send a collaboration delegate)
can you bookmark us to any interesting genre of deep democracy dialogues
eg1 - attached collaboration wish portraits
below oxford union debates
Growth depends on never letting politicians spend more
than one quarter of GDP
Oxford Union Debate of 30 May 1996
For the motion : Norman Macrae (CBE and Japanese Order of the Rising Sun), economist, market
futurologist, writer of over 2000 editorials, mainly retired after 5 decades of journalism at The Economist and The Sunday
Against the motion: Rt Honourable Michael Foot, UK Member of Parliament for Plymouth
(1945-1955), Ebbw Vale (1960-1983), Leader of the Labour Party (1980-1983) and succeeded by Rt Hon Neil Kinnock (1983-1992)
Original text for debate forwarded by Norman Macrae
On the night I was conceived in 1922, by a then junior British diplomat in New York, the lucky
Americans similarly enjoying themselves around him had only 8% of their GPs spent by politicians. So Americans in that decade
brought the world's cleanest environment revolution, as they triumphed over that pollutant vehicle the horse, put mankind
on motor cars' wheels, and built sudden industrial strength which alone meant that Hitler, who by my 18th Christmas in
1941 held Europe from Atlantic to 20 miles from Moscow, was not quite strong enough to shove into gas ovens tiresomely argumentative
people like me - and it would later, sir, have been you and all those so happily arguing still in this House.
the war, we dinosaurs doddered. As I think the second oldest speaker tonight, I am properly desolate, sir, that we hand on
to you of my granddaughters' generation an advanced world, at present divided into what comprehensive schoolteachers would
call three halves.
In the 15 countries of our west European home, politicians spend between 42% and 63% of our
GDPs, in deadening ways so job-losing and so sclerotic that - has old Oxford not noticed this, or
does its brain hurt? - unemployment, especially for those whose European youth has been less gilded than yours, rises at each
comparable stage of each successive trade cycle, and must thus continue until you see why.
of GDP dwindles to "only" 35% in Europe's next two clear competitor countries. In America and in Japan which
I briefly economically advised 35 years ago when its real GDP at yen exchange rate was one eighth of what it is now. The surge
after 1950 by Hiroshimaed Japan in (eg) life expectancy (49 years for a Japanese in 1950, way over our 79 for its old ladies
now) - plus its leapfrog beyond us in living standards, in education for its humblest inter-city children circa six times
better than ours, in lower crime - was to us who tended it then by far the most exciting sudden forward leap in all the economic
history of the world. Do note that it started, and had its main impetus, when its politicians spent only 24% of its GDP. In
both Japan and America state spending has been subjected to an upward creep - a good soubriquet, that, for Clinton and Blair
and Hashimoto - but since politicians' GDP pinch is still curbed to only 35%, both still exceed Europe in faster innovation
and thus fuller employment.
The 1950s-1960s role of Japan is now carried forward by the third group of competitors
poised to pinch our patrimony. The Hong Kongs and Singapores, which were coolie countries when I first saw them, have duly
passed Britain in living standards, in inner city non-yobdom, in far better education than ours for the mass of their 17 year
olds - even though, no sir, because their politicians spend, by IMF valuation, only 18% of their GDPs.
penny really not dropped among Oxford's dreaming spires? When technology surges forward as in this computer age, the new
wealth of nations springs from three main manifestations of human wit. One, a relentless daily search among a million competing
profit centres on how best next to improve use of that technology next morning. Second, maximum competition in forecasting
and guessing and experimenting with what the future may bring. Never allow politicians' monopoly in that. Third, I am
sorry if this offends, avoid yesterday-cuddling trade unionisation of who does which, when, at what fixed price, and traditionally
how. In our lifetime, it has been proven (a) that free markets bring forth those three qualities circa six times more efficaciously
than when politicians say "let's appoint a monopoly organisation to produce some bright wheeze like a channel tunnel",
ooh; and proven (b) that international institutions and politicians (of all parties) fib incredibly about the statistical
results of this.
When Brussels said that communist East Germany had surpassed Harold Wilson's Britain in prosperity,
and Ted Heath and a credulous BBC trilled agreement, I went to East Germany. Anybody who noticed a Trabant was not worth a
Mercedes, could see East Germany outproduced even Wilson's Britain only in pollution and steroid-drugged lady shot-putters.
In its most showpiece factories I assessed productivity at some one-sixth of Wilson's Britain's factories per man
and per almost every other unit of input. When the Berlin Wall came down, my assessment proved to have been a little too kind
to socialism as usual. If you compared the state factories of North Korea with the private factories of South Korea, you'd
get the more dramatic figures typical of Asia. In the early 1990s the nationalised telephone utility of India had 40 times
more employees than the privatised telephone utility of Thailand, although little Thailand was then just passing mighty India
in the number of telephones actually working.
In Europe, we have the usual figures which might seem rude to the
right honourable ex-member of Ebbw Vale. In the dozen years since British steel was privatised, its productivity per man has
risen six times. If he says this is because of wicked sackings and shuttings, remember that Oxford's Attlee in 1947 told
Britain's then 367,000 coalminers that coming public ownership would ensure nobody producing such valuable stuff as coal
would lose his job this century. It is only the long overdue privatisation that can save even 12,000 of those jobs now, but
don't let me claw at scabs of old wounds.
The question for your generation, sir, is whether you are going to
drive ever more underclass Britons into unemployment by allowing five vital industries (accounting for three quarters of public
expenditure) to be run by politicians at circa one sixth the efficiency that freer markets would bring. These are (1) social
security insurance; (2) education; (3) health insurance; (4) a regulatory bureaucracy now five times larger than in Kaiser
Wilhelm's Prussia; (5) crime non-prevention.
In education you will have to move to competitive vouchers, with
payments highest for those who set up competitive schools in the worst inner cities, where state teaching of both facts and
behaviour has incredibly declined in the past 50 years, while private industry has spread once unimaginable durables like
colour tvs from 0 to 98% of households. One part of education (assessing by computer a particular child's learning pattern,
seizing from that the next questions or facts to impart) will become telecommunicable from far countries. Bovine politicians
don't see the same is true of social security insurance (if clients choose to stick to behaviourial norms like staying
in married families, you can insure them and theirs far more cheaply against most social ills), and in health insurance (where
doctors from Singapore will diagnose the right medical and diet regimes for the tummy from Wigan just X-rayed down their screens).
The world's greatest experts on these three and other telecommutable subjects will congregate in the lands with lowest
taxation, and all of you voting against tonight's motion will just be brutalising, ruining and killing poorer people if
you say that's jolly unfair to British politicians' monopoly welfare state.
Crime rates will depend on
whether you elect over-arrogant politicians. In the first decade of my life America produced gangsterdom as well as boom,
because its politicians (in a folly my dad said would never be repeated) decreed alcohol could only be sold by Capone's
vicious criminals. In this last decade of my life two-thirds of British crime is drug-related, because politicians decree
sales of other drugs must be profitably reserved only for criminals. Under any sensible tax plus licensing regime such as
we now have for alcohol, you don't get 15-year olds hooked on a wild and muggery-necessitating £200 a day alcohol
mania, because a pub, fearing a loss of licence, would refer any such client for special treatment. In crime prevention we
will also have to move to the methods of Japan, which has one seventh as many lawyers as we, a court system based on "did
he do it, and how most cheaply to stop him doing it again?" which does not include stuffing hordes into expensive British
prisons which statistically make inmates more likely to reoffend.
Can you see any other trade apart from heavily
trade unionised British prison screws who have actual negative gross production? Yes, a few feet away. A chart from that Swedish
Royal Commission chaired by the profs who award the Nobel prize in economics showed that the most effective number of members
of parliament for a country of Britain's size would be 90-something. We have 651, and for the imminent general election
they have pushed it up to 659 jobs for the boys.
I'd like to end on a more kindly note. If I'd been told
in youth that politicians would spend 42% of Britain's GDP, which is more than Hitler spent of Germany's GDP in 1937,
I'd have assumed we would by now be living under a monstrous tyranny. After 50 years of reporting on parliament, let me
end with my favourite story which shows it just as an elephant's joke. The story is denied by the two self-credulous politicians
concerned, but confirmed by the Americans who observed it. One day in the mid-80s, a party of American tourists was as usual
being shown reverently around the palace of Westminster. The Lord Chancellor of England appeared in full gig on a staircase
above them, and he needed to talk, on some matter of altering a timetable, to the Right Hon gent's successor as Labour
leader who was disappearing down a corridor the other way. so Lord Chancellor Hailsham, in full-bottomed wig and black and
gold robe, called to the other by his Christian name. Over the heads of the American tourists, he bellowed "Neil".
Instantly, and without hesitation, all the American tourists in the middle fell fully to their knees. A similar
obsequiousness is not required to all the forecasts I have shouted at you this evening. A small genuflection will suffice
to the simple rule by which your generation could octuple Britain's real national income during the 40 years of marvellously
increasing computer technology which will be your working lives. That rule, sir, is never, never, allow politicians to pinch
and spend more than a quarter of GDP. Everything will be so easy for the poorest of your contemporaries if only you understand
Dear Alan and Tony-
as discussed previously I am aiming to complete draft rules on the 10 roles that determine whether sustainability or its destruction spins systematically around
free markets and organisational goodwill. You spend a lot of your lifetimes on the customer role connecting to leadership.
Do you have any editing suggestions to this draft?
Ultimately the voice of the customer
is to choose which organisations continue to exist –this is direct if the game is being played in business sector where
individual choices of enough customers continuously determine whether an organisation is sustained and more collective in
We believe that what most makes or breaks
the trust of customers is whether the organisation is spinning an informed or misinformed relationship with those whose custom
it most seeks to sustain. If you are playing from this seat you might wish to look at a site such as http://www.cluetrain.com which describes how different types of media and messages could be used to inform or
Businesses in particular
should be designed to serve a segment of customers (whilst compounding no harm on anyone). What most breaks my trust is a
business that seeks to profit disproportionately from my ignorance (eg like most people I am relatively ignorant about stuff
I only occasionally need to buy, particularly in a sudden crisis) by being non-transparent with its cost/pricing structure
or pretending that I am one of the customers it is designed to serve when it isn’t.
Of course the customer role depends acutely on how vital the problem which a purchase
is seeking a solution to. But in turn no industry sector should lose touch with what its most vital purpose is. Why would
customers want to spend their money? employees want to spend their lives? societies want to host an industry or organisation which
is evolving no human and communally good purpose whatsoever?
the customer role may sound simple when described in these terms, over the last third of a century an awful lot of global
media has been developed that is intent on dumbing down instead of smartening up customers. At the same time as the cluetrain
web shows the possibility of internet media is to be the smartest and most collaborative humans have ever worked with. But
this is where the customer role increasingly needs to be "interactively" smart in choosing the media that it
values an organisation using. Over the last quarter of a century we have all joined in that generation with an unique responsibility
to the sustainability of our species. The one that ultimately decides how satellite communications removes the cost of geographical
distance between peoples and make us ever more interconnected. This most extraordinary change in the history of our species
will determine one of 2 opposite outcomes
will 7 billion people communicate round – the scenario
in which hi-trust multiplies and we search out solutions to all peoples life-critical needs before celebrating more trivial
things like who is best at hitting a ball into a hole?
or will an orwellian big brother world spin in which ever fewer big powers control the rest
of humanity by trapping people in misinformation and literally using adverts and other media to addict.
Of course this means that the customer-trust seat
and the society-trust seat need to value each other’s win-wins more and more. This is the most important
responsibility of journalists for humanity and other “economic” professionals advising leadership on how to do no harm as well as pursue the greater good
that is assumed whenever debates on free markets are truly staged. We firstname.lastname@example.org are happy to try and help you search out such people if you ever start playing a game whose
free market is one where the customer seat becomes life-critical.
Have your team already briefed rick wartzman in california - he is a former full-time journalist
but may know some still mass channelling; he heads the drucker institute; was one of the few people to publicly interview
Dr Yunus on his book tour this time last year
as well as his own interests in waving your fabulous news on millennium
goal pracfice - and mapping who at drucker's school might be most interested because yunus and drucker mean(t) by
knowledge working what few others in Knowledge Management on west coast internet mean, Rick may know how to contact jane
wales who calls yunus the world's number 1 problem solver and thus the one Obama needs as his counsel and alan webber
who wrote in usa today back in march http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20080521/oplede_wednesday.art.htm that we need to unite Nobel economics and peace prizes - boy that's the first thing Obama should ask of Nordica
Its possible that kevin will know Vivian the partly french lady at huffingtonpost because I think she is connected
with the film of yunus that the french have been making for 5 years - I am not sure about that all of that team's media
abilities but its clear where Vivian Norris de Montaigu is coming from
Two people who need a special (ie
timeless) brief because they are not going to write anything immediatley but want yunus choice debated are Charlie Rose
in NY and David Frost in London. The problem being instead of interviewing yunus live they need some time to reflect the bigger
future stories that are connecting around him which its difficult to ask if you havent had a brief first. There is a bigger
(much more pessimst's) problem at The Economist and Financial Times becasue unlike Frost and Rose who are at
least on the side of questioning choice, their reporters haven't questioned the futures wall street was spinning for at
least 8 years and they haven't exponentially questioned their own assumptions of what Free market means in each sector-and
frankly economists who dont transparently try to question exponentials arent worth an Enron damn and nor an Orleans levee
-at least btaht was the brief of the founder of The Economist in 1843 and it does no harm to inter-action it
Community Crises of Banking*Solar Energy*Media Truth
are some variations on your theme jerry but yes unless a nobel prize is awarded to those who practice the
social business economics of 10 times lower cost branding and marketing channels we will never get there
systemicly we, the networking generation, will never see
maps of how a humanly sustainable globalisation is possible that much was made clear by my father's work
at The Economist and written up in 1984 http://www.normanmacrae.com/netfuture.html ; we will consign my 11 year old daughter's generation to the Big Brothered hell of seeing the planet fall
apart naturally, economically and socially- something up with which I will not put
MICRO VERSUS MACRO
(in this sense
systemisation = wall street economics sponsored by the biggest and most short-run and what my father's 1984 published
works called disgraceful political chicanery accidentally created by tv mass media (non-free market) age;
in every way the oposite of hi-trust service economics http://www.normanmacrae.com/intrapreneur.html
micro = economics sponsored by those who believe in microentrepreneuship and transparency's mediation of
exponential sustainability around context/community purposeful compound investment)
YES WE CAN use millennium goal mediated www to map free market of ending poverty
OK , so the 2 economics -competition between micro (goodwill transparency networks) and Macro blindwill
(see year 2000 book Unseen wealth Brookings/georgetown Law school) - can exist side by side with people in
rich cities continuing to make choices: do we want to buy images that cost 10 times more than the basic product
if they wish;
yunus future capitalism, mackey conscious capitalism, kuttner's 2007 book debating capitalism
www.squanderingofamerica.com - see & help co-create events at http://futurecapitalism.ning.com/events (sadly I cannot see how gates creative capitalism genre connects with yunus. mackey, kuttner, obamanomics but I am delighted
if a transparent debate of this proves me to have missing info)
Whole Truth of Economics assumptions
but we certainly dont have
'free marketing principles' existing until there is space for every youth to know that if they want to explore
how to compound 10 times less cost or less risk marketing in each specific global market sector there is a way in to connecting
to practitioners of this
1 one way to make it clear of what is
involved is to award the nobel economics prize jointly to yunus and any national leader
who does the following
ok banks we have bailed you out - part of the deal is we want one nationwide mutual
chain of microcredit banks; this will be run by and for the taxpayer but by the smartest microcredit people not politicians
and mr banks we expect in 10% of your outlets you to put a desk where poor people who want to get loans to invest in
their producivity can get in touch with this nationwide mutual bank- the same desk can have local contact points of how to
practice mutual solar energy; how a community can insure its own health service -other innovations that community-up banking
is now proving how to sustainably invest in
In each country you have to ask yourself why would this be politically,
culturally or socially incorrect. I cannot think of a single reason why it would be politically incorrect for obama to annonce
this on day 1 of hius inauguration - isnt its simply economics true to the yes we can party
2.1 http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20080521/oplede_wednesday.art.htm alan webber specifically proposed the double nobel prize in usa today -previously alan had been a co-creator of fast
company the magazine that started up as an alternative to the harvard businass review; at its height held 100 person monthly
social capital meetings in over 200 cities across the world but got caught up as being seen as a dotcom thing whereas it needed
the depth of real microcredit
2.2 there are many amazing california hosts who have Q&A's yunus in public-
the 2 I remember most are :
jane wales http://wacsf.vportal.net/?fileid=5634 whose interview last month of yunus as the number 1 problem solver she ever met has extraordinary advice on choices
facing obama that any economist should have to debate
when dr yunus was in glasgow last month, the daughter
of the BBC's famous quizmaster magnus magnussoon very postivively interviewed dr yunus on bbc radio; magnusson came from
iceland in 2008 the first nation whose people were bankrupted by international financial corruption since the
same happened to scotland in 1700 - it was because of the hostile takeover by england of scotland that adam smith developed
both his frameworks of free markets and relative advantages of nations but most of what he framed is now quoted 180-
degrees against the logics he was actually proposing; we face the same danger todays with MFIs being designed around opposite
system of microcredit which is another erasone why yes we can economics needs the nobel prize in 2009
can we help you organsise colaboration cafes in norway around the topic of merging nobel economics and peace celebrations?
Barack Obama has made it very clear that he intends to govern as a bridge-builder. Ideology is a bad word in Obamaland.
He will lead as a pragmatist, and also reach across the aisle to Republicans.
This stance has stimulated a passionate
debate among progressives, on HuffingtonPost and elsewhere. For some, this is just the latest disappointing case of a candidate
arousing the hopes of the center-left but governing from the center-right (viz. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Gerhardt
Schroeder). Hey, it's capitalism, what did you expect?
For others, this is neither politics as usual nor capitalism
as usual, Nor is Obama the president as usual. And so it will not be opportunistic pragmatism as usual.
In the new
normal, what is pragmatic is actually fairly left wing. If massive public spending, and re-regulation of Wall Street, and
green energy, and universal health coverage can be characterized as mere pragmatism, bring it on. We can acknowledge later
that we have moved the center to the left and shifted the prevailing ideology. Clever guy, this Obama.
But what about
the post-partisan part? Here again, it may just be shrewd positioning. But if President-elect Obama actually believes that
this is a bipartisan moment, he is in for a rude awakening.
The lame-duck Senate Republicans have just blocked the
bill to provide temporary financing for the auto industry needed to give the new administration and Congress time to work
with the automakers on a restructuring plan. Not much bipartisanship there. Indeed, it was George W. Bush, the least bipartisan
president in decades, who came to the rescue of the industry and the Democrats by relying on emergency use of the bank bailout
funds. Just imagine what Republicans will do in the next Congress.
If you have been watching or reading Republican
pronouncements lately, just about nothing in the Obama program is likely to get the support of the Republican leadership.
Bank re-regulation? The Employee Free Choice Act? Hundreds of billions for green energy? Universal health insurance? A trillion
dollars of stimulus as the downpayment on a permanent increase in public investment?
The Republican story is that the
best stimulus is more tax cuts, and that the money should be found by reducing the deficit. That leaves no room for more public
spending, only for more spending-cuts. And despite the fact that deregulation caused the financial collapse, Republicans still
insist that regulation did it--the evil Community Reinvestment Act (which in fact explicitly required that sound lending standards
were not to be waived. Most subprime lenders were not even covered by CRA.)
Here is an easy prediction: When President
Obama reaches that hand of bipartisanship across the aisle, he will find that the Republicans bite it.
Of course, it
is smart politics to pick off Republicans for a progressive agenda wherever possible. Splitting the Republicans is much better
than splitting the difference. By January, when Congress takes up the emergency stimulus bill, unemployment will be heading
toward double digits, and state and local governments will be slashing public services. In that emergency climate, Obama may
well get some Republicans to cross over and vote for a Democratic plan.
But that strategy is not being bipartisan.
It is being an astute partisan. And there will be many other times when Obama will need to rally all of his Democrats to enact
progressive legislation over the strenuous objection of most Republicans. This economic emergency and its political opportunity
is no time to compromise for the sake of hollow unity. If Obama can win over a few Republicans for a progressive program,
great. If he put can Republicans in the position of haplessly opposing popular and urgently needed legislation, so much the
By the end of his first year, either Obama will have put the economy on the path to recovery based on a progressive
program that represents a radical ideological shift; if he achieves that, he will have done it with precious little Republican
support. Alternatively, much of his program will have been blocked by Republican filibusters enabled by a few conservative
Let's hope it's the former. And let's hope he has the audacity to call progressivism
by its name. Either way, one thing Obama will not be is post-partisan.
Robert Kuttner's best selling
book is "Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency."
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 was controversially awarded in Oslo to
a "banker for the poor" in once basket case Bangladesh. Since the microcredit system pioneered by this Doctor Muhammad
Yunus really has raised record millions of Bangladeshi women from the world’s direst poverty, Yunus was greeted on his
recent visit to London largely by the misunderstanding Left. But as my friends and I had lunch
with him, we thrilled to openly explore his stated aim to "harness the powers of the free market to solve
the problems of poverty", and his brave belief that he can "do exactly that". This apparent appearance of a
viable system of banking for the poor has important implications we had better start by examining how microcredit almost accidentally
START IN A STARVING VILLAGE
During Bangladeshi's terrible famine year of 1974, Dr Yunus (who had attained the doctorate of economics
in a fairly free market American university) was back at his 1940 birthplace of Chittagong as a Professor of Economics
at the university there. He took a field party of his students to one of the famine threatened villages. They analysed that
all 42 of the village’s small businesses (tiny farm plots and retail market stalls) was indeed going bust unless they
could borrow a ridiculously tiny total $27 on reasonable terms.
If you can become an angel for $27, why not rehearse for becoming a superangel? open source Grameen America
First thought was to give the $27
as charity. But Yunus lectured that a social business dollar that had to be paid back from careful use in an income generating
activity, was much more effective than a charity dollar which might be used only once and frittered away. All of those first
42 loans were fully repaid, and lent back, and after 9 years further experiments Yunus in 1983 founded his Grameen (which
means Village) Bank. Its priority was to make loans that were desperately needed by the poor instead of the usual banking
priority to make the safest loans to the rich who could provide collateral against what they happened to want to borrow.
In the next 23 years, Grameen provided
$6 billion of loans to poor people with an astonishing 99% repayment rate. In 2006, it had seven million borrowing customers,
97% of them women (who tend to be the poorer sex in rural Islamic societies) in 73000 villages of Bangladesh.
Microcredit had by then reached 80% of Bangladeshi’s poorest rural families and over half of Grameen’s own borrowers had
risen above the absolute poverty line.
When a Grameen bank manager goes to a new village, he has entrepreneurially to search for poor but viable borrowers . He
earns a star if he achieves 100% repayment of loans, and another star if he attains achievement of the 16 guarantees that
all customers are asked to pledge, ranging from intensive vegetable growing through attendance of all children at school,
to abolition of dowries. A branch with five stars would often transfer to ownership by the poor women themselves. A branch
with no stars would be in danger of closing, so borrowers tend to rally round with suggestions, such as which unreliable repayers
IN SEARCH OF OPEN SOURCE FRANCHISES FOR MICROENTREPRENEURS
An early breakthrough -and replicable income generator- was the profession
of telephone ladies. They borrowed enough to buy a cheap mobile phone from a Grameen subsidiary. They world draw fees for
phoning to see if more profitable prices for crops were available in a neighbouring village, and from anybody who wanted to
hire the phone to contact the outside world. This is a job that could only become important in a microcredit setting; the
owner of a mobile phone in richer suburbia would not find many customers to hire her set.
One special desire
of Yunus was to improve the nutrition of poor children in the villages of Bangladesh, and so Future
Capitalism first social business multinational partnership came to be branded with the large French food multinational
called Danone. The brand architecture of Grameen-Danone was test marketed to find what sorts of fortified yogurt Bangladeshi children would like. Although
Danone at first wanted large plants with refrigerated systems, Grameen won the debate to make then small plants who bought
local milk and very cheap local distributors who knew which families had children who might buy the cheap yogurt fresh. Danone
had to agree not to pay any dividend from the sales of the yogurt in Bangladesh so as to keep the
price cheap at a few US cents per cup, but its $1 million investment remains returnable and it has learnt a lot about sales
of a new product in poor countries.
Will such Social Businesses spread as far as Yunus hopes? A
lot depends on human co-creattity. Great leaps like Microsoft’s invention of good software are often made by small
but initially hugely profit making small businesses. So it may be easy for
Is there is a better 5 month report on Future Capitalism? - RSVP email@example.com ...............................................................................................................................................................................................
. Good Morning: It as a very special privilege for me to speak at the commencement ceremony of this prestigious
institution. What a wonderful feeling to be here today. To be with all of you, some of the brightest minds in the world, right
at a moment when you decide the path you will embark on in life. You represent the future of the world. The choices that you
will make for yourself will decide the fate of mankind. This is how it has always been. Sometimes we are aware of it, most
of the time we are not. I hope you'll remain aware of it and make an effort to be remembered not simply as a creative
generation but as a socially-conscious creative generation. Try it.
I had no idea whether my life would someday
be relevant to anyone else's. But in the mid-seventies, out of frustration with the terrible economic situation in Bangladesh
I decided to see if I could make myself useful to one poor person a day in the village next door to the university campus
where I was teaching. I found myself in an unfamiliar situation. Out of necessity I had to find a way out. Since I did not
have a road-map, I had to fall back on my basic instinct to do that. At any moment I could have withdrawn myself from my unknown
path, but I did not. I stubbornly went on to find my own way. Luckily, at the end, I found it. That was microcredit and Grameen
Now, in hindsight, I can joke about it. When people ask me, "How did you figure out all the rules and
procedures that is now known as Grameen system ?" My answer is : "That was very simple and easy. Whenever I needed
a rule or a procedure in our work, I just looked at the conventional banks to see what they do in a similar situation. Once
I learned what they did, I just did the opposite. That's how I got our rules. Conventional banks go to the rich, we go
to the poor; their rule is -- "the more you have, the more you get." So our rule became -- "the less you have
higher attention you get. If you have nothing, you get the highest priority." They ask for collateral, we abandoned it,
as if we had never heard of it. They need lawyers in their business, we don't. No lawyer is involved in any of our loan
transactions. They are owned by the rich, ours is owned by the poorest, the poorest women to boot. I can go on adding more
to this list to show how Grameen does things quite the opposite way.
Was it really a systematic policy æ
to do it the opposite way ? No, it wasn't. But that's how it turned out ultimately, because our objective was different.
I had not even noticed it until a senior banker admonished me by saying : Dr. Yunus, you are trying to put the banking system
upside down." I quickly agreed with him. I said : "Yes, because the banking system is standing on its head."
I could not miss seeing the ruthlessness of moneylenders in the village. First I lent the money to replace the
loan-sharks. Then I went to the local bank to request them to lend money to the poor. They refused.
of deadlock I persuaded them by offering myself as a guarantor. This is how microcredit was born in 1976. Today Grameen Bank
lends money to 7.5 million borrowers, 97 per cent women. They own the bank. The bank has lent out over $ 7.0 billion in Bangladesh
over the years. Globally 130 million poor families receive microcredit. Even then banks have not changed much. They do not
mind writing off a trillion dollars in a sub-prime crisis, but they still stay away from lending US $ 100 to a poor woman
despite the fact such loans have near 100 per cent repayment record globally.
While focusing on microcredit we
saw the need for other types of interventions to help the rural population, in general, and the poor, in particular. We tried
our interventions in the health sector, information technology, renewable energy and on several other fronts. Since we worked
with poor women, health issue quickly drew our attention. We introduced health insurance. We succeeded in developing an effective
healthcare program based on health insurance, but have not been able to expand this program because of non-availability of
doctors. Doctors are reluctant to stay in the villages. (It has become such a big bottleneck that we have now decided to set
up a medical college to produce doctors.) Under the program a villager pays about US $ 2.00 a year as health insurance premium,
to get health coverage for the entire family. Financially it is sustainable.
I became a strong believer in the
power of information technology to change the lives of the poor people. This encouraged me to create a cell-phone company
called Grameen Phone. We brought phones to the villages of Bangladesh and gave loans to the poor women to buy themselves cell-phones
to sell their service and make money. It became an instant success.
Seventy percent of the population of
Bangladesh do not have access to electricity. We wanted to address this issue by introducing solar home system in the villages.
We created a separate company called Grameen Shakti, or Grameen Energy. It became a very successful company in popularising
solar home system, bio-gas, and environment-friendly cooking stoves. It has already reached 155,000 homes with solar home
systems, and aims to reach one million homes by 2012. As we started creating a series of companies around renewable energy,
information technology, textile, agriculture, livestock, education, health, finance etc, I was wondering why conventional
businesses do not see business the way we see it. They have different goals than ours. We design our businesses one way, they
design theirs in another way.
Conventional businesses are based on the theoretical framework provided by the designers
of capitalist economic system. In this framework 'business' has to be a profit-maximizing entity. The more aggressively
a business pursues it, the better the system functions æ we are told. The bigger the profit, the more successful the
business is; the more happy investors are. In my work it never occurred to me that I should maximize profit. All my struggle
was to take each of my enterprises to a level where it could at least be self-sustaining. I defined the mission of my businesses
in a different way than that of the traditional businesses.
As I was doing it, obviously I was violating the basic
tenet of capitalist system æ profit maximization. Since I was engaged in finding my own solution to reach the mission
of my business, I was not looking at any existing road maps. My only concern was to see if my path was taking me where I wanted
to go. When it worked I felt very happy. I know maximization of profit makes people happy. I don't maximize profit, but
my businesses are a great source of my happiness. If you had done what I have done you would be very happy too! I am convinced
that profit maximization is not the only source of happiness in business. 'Business' has been interpreted too narrowly
in the existing framework of capitalism. This interpretation is based on the assumption that a human being is a single dimensional
being. His business-related happiness is related to the size of the profit he makes. He is presented as a robot-like money-making
But we all know that real-life human beings are multi-dimensional beings æ not uni-dimensional
like the theory assumes. For a real-life human being money-making is a means, not an end. But for the businessman in the existing
theory money-making is both a means and also an end.
This narrow interpretation has done us great damage. All
business people around the world have been imitating this one-dimensional theoretical businessman as precisely as they can
to make sure they get the most from the capitalist system. If you are a businessman you have to wear profit-maximizing glasses
all the time. As a result, only thing you see in the world are the profit enhancing opportunities. Important problems that
we face in the world cannot be addressed because profit-maximizing eyes cannot see them.
We can easily reformulate
the concept of a businessman to bring him closer to a real human being. In order to take into account the multi-dimensionality
of real human being we may assume that there are two distinct sources of happiness in the business world æ 1) maximizing
profit, and 2) achieving some pre-defined social objective. Since there are clear conflicts between the two objectives, the
business world will have to be made up of two different kinds of businesses --1) profit-maximizing business, and 2) social
business. Specific type of happiness will come from the specific type of business.
Then an investor will have
two choices æ he can invest in one or in both. My guess is most people will invest in both in various proportions. This
means people will use two sets of eye-glassesæ profit-maximizing glasses, and social business glasses. This will bring
a big change in the world. Profit maximizing businessmen will be amazed to see how different the world looks once they take
off the profit-maximizing glasses and wear the social business glasses. By looking at the world from two different perspectives
business decision-makers will be able to decide better, act better, and these decisions and actions will lead to a dramatically
While I was wondering whether the idea of social business would make any sense to the corporate
world I had an opportunity to talk to the chairman of Danone Group Mr. Franck Riboud about this subject. It made perfect sense
to him right away. Together we created Grameen Danone company as a social business in Bangladesh. This company produces yogurt
fortified with micro-nutrients which are missing in the mal-nourished children of Bangladesh. Because it is a social business,
Grameen and Danone, will never take any dividend out of the company beyond recouping the initial investment. Bottom line for
the company is to see how many children overcome their nutrition deficiency each year.
Next initiative came
from Credit Agricole of France. We created Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation to provide financial support to
microfinance organizations and social businesses. We created a small water company to provide good quality drinking water
in a cluster of villages of Bangladesh. This is a joint venture with Veolia, a leading water company in the world. Bangladesh
has terrible drinking water problem. In a large part of Bangladesh tubewell water is highly arsenic contaminated, surface
water is polluted. This social business water company will be a prototype for supplying safe drinking water in a sustainable
and affordable way to people who are faced with water crisis. Once it is perfected, it can be replicated in other villages,
within Bangladesh and outside.
We have already established an eye-care hospital specializing in cataract operation,
with a capacity to undertake 10,000 operations per year. This is a joint venture social business with the Green Children Foundation
created by two singers in their early twenties, Tom and Milla, from England and Norway.
We have signed a joint-venture
agreement with Intel Corporation, to create a social business company called Grameen-Intel to bring information technology-based
services to the poor in healthcare, marketing, education and remittances.
We also signed a social business joint
venture agreement with Saudi German Hospital Group to set up a series of hospitals in Bangladesh.
Many more companies
from around the world are showing interest in such social business joint ventures. A leading shoe company wants to create
a social business to make sure that nobody goes without shoes. One leading pharmaceutical company wishes to set up a joint
venture social business company to produce nutritional supplements appropriate for Bangladeshi pregnant mothers and young
women, at the cheapest possible price.
We are also in discussion to launch a social business company to produce
chemically treated mosquito-nets to protect people in Bangladesh and Africa from malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Your generation can bring a breakthrough in changing the course of the world. You can be the socially-conscious
creative generation that the world is waiting for. You can bring your creativity to design brilliant social businesses to
overcome poverty, disease, environmental degradation, food crisis, depletion of non-renewable resources, etc. Each one of
you is capable of changing the world. To make a start all that each one of you has to do is to design a business plan for
a social business. Each prototype of a social business can be a cute little business. But if it works out, the whole world
can be changed by replicating it in thousands of locations.
Prototype development is the key. In designing a prototype
all we need is a socially-oriented creative mind. That could be each one of you. No matter what you do in your life, make
it a point to design or be involved with at least one social business to address one problem that depresses you the most.
If you have the design and the money, go ahead and put it into action. If you have the design but no money, contact your dean
-- he will find the money. I never heard that MIT has problem in finding money when it has a hot idea in its hand. MIT can
even create a social business development fund in anticipation of your requests.
I can tell you very emphatically
that in terms of human capability there is no difference between a poor person and a very privileged person. All human beings
are packed with unlimited potential. Poor people are no exception to this rule. But the world around them never gave them
the opportunity to know that each of them is carrying a wonderful gift in them. The gift remains unknown and unwrapped. Our
challenge is to help the poor unwrap their gift.
Poverty is not created by the poor. It is created by the system.
Poverty is an artificial imposition on people. Once you fall outside the system, it works against you. It makes it very difficult
to return to the system. How do we change this? Where do we begin ?
Three basic interventions will make a big
difference in the existing system : a) broadening the concept of business by including "social business" into the
framework of market place, b) creating inclusive financial and healthcare services which can reach out to every person on
the planet, c) designing appropriate information technology devices, and services for the bottom-most people and making them
easily available to them.
Your generation has the opportunity to make a break with the past and create a beautiful
new world. We see the ever-growing problems created by the individual-centered aggressively accumulative economy. If we let
it proceed without serious modifications, we may soon reach the point of no return. Among other things, this type of economy
has placed our planet under serious threat through climatic distortions. Single-minded pursuit of profit has made us forget
that this planet is our home; that we are supposed to make it safe and beautiful, not make it more unliveable everyday by
promoting a life-style which ignores all warnings of safety.
At this point let me give you the good news. No matter
how daunting the problems look, don't get brow beaten by their size. Big problems are most often just an aggregation of
tiny problems. Get to the smallest component of the problem. Then it becomes an innocent bite-size problem, and you can have
all the fun dealing with it. You'll be thrilled to see in how many ways you can crack it. You can tame it or make it disappear
by various social and economic actions, including social business. Pick out the action which looks most efficient in the given
circumstances. Tackling big problems does not always have to be through giant actions, or global initiatives or big businesses.
It can start as a tiny little action. If you shape it the right way, it can grow into a global action in no time. Even the
biggest problem can be cracked by a small well-designed intervention. That's where you and your creativity come in. These
interventions can be so small that each one of you can crack these problems right from your garage. If you have a friend or
two to work with you, it is all the more better. It can be fun too.
You are born in the age of ideas. Ideas are
something an MIT graduate, I am sure, will not run out of. The question I am raising now -- what use you want to make of them
? Make money by selling or using your ideas ? Or change the world with your ideas? Or do both ? It is upto you to decide.
There are two clear tasks in front of you -- 1) to end poverty in the world once for all, and 2) to set the world
in the right path to undo all the damage we have done to the environment by our ignorance and selfishness. Time is right.
Your initiatives can produce big results, even lead you to achieving these goals. Then yours will be the most successful generation
in human history. You will take your grand-children to the poverty museums with tremendous pride that your generation had
finally made it happen.
Congratulations, for being part of a generation which has exciting possibilities, and
advance congratulations to you all for your future successes in creating a new world where everyone on this planet can stand
tall as a human being. Thank you.