From designer crops to social stocks: Our top five posts of 2012

Mobile Technology

From designer crops to social stocks: Our top five posts of 2012

It's holiday season here at Mercy Corps headquarters—time for the Global Envision team to look back on our work this year and look to what's next.

Our most popular stories of 2012 were a nice cross-section of our subject matter, from mobile money to food security to a look at some movers and shakers of tomorrow:

1) How Haiti is fighting poverty by killing cash

"Two years after 2010’s devastating earthquake, mobile money has taken off in the island nation," contributor Margo Conner wrote last January. Rich with links to recent reports and new programs that have brought digital cash to Haiti, this was a great introduction to a bright spot in the country's troubled earthquake recovery.

2) Bill Gates to world: 'Eat your GMOs. They're good for you.'

This short item by contributor Stephen Oliver reported on philanthropist Bill Gates's 2012 conversion to the gospel of genetically modified food. "Any conceivable plan to feed our growing population includes investment and development in GMOs," Oliver wrote that Gates had argued, resisting "overwhelming opposition to the technology" in Europe.

3) Infographic: The social innovation process

This catch from Nonprofit Quarterly, by our program manager Kyla Springer, shared a nuanced but helpfully reassuring perspective on the course of innovation, complete with a slough of despair, a moment of grateful triumph, and lots and lots of work along the way. (Here's the big version of NQ's clever, hand-drawn infographic.)

4) Five poverty-fighting women to watch

Microwork guru Leila Janah, heroic superwonk Esther Duflo, patient investor Jacqueline Novogratz, corporate value-sharer Gabi Zedlmayer and digital-money mastermind Shainoor Khoja (not to mention their Twitter feeds) made Springer's brightly written roundup of female antipoverty innovators around the world. We were proud that this was one of a dozen posts our partners at the Christian Science Monitor's Change Agent blog chose to republish this year.

5) Marrying cash and change: social 'stock markets' spread worldwide

Impact investment—putting capital to work in ways that set out to do good things profitably—is taking off, but until it has marketplaces of its own, its wings will still be clipped. In August, contributor Evan Weaver took a brisk stroll around the globe with this post to look at the state of various efforts to build customized investment markets for do-gooders.

The last year has been a transition for Global Envision, as we've honed our mission and stretched some new muscles. In 2013, the changes will begin with an exciting new look and feel for this site and a newly sharpened focus on the work we do best.

And we're looking forward to another year of revealing the fight against poverty for what it is: the biggest team effort in the history of the planet.

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