Why business can be good at solving social problems (video)
TEDtalk, Michael Porter, posted Oct. 2013
Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society's biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he's biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit -- which lets that solution grow.
As Syrian Refugees Develop Roots, Jordan Grows Wary
For Jordan, a small desert nation that is one of the world’s driest, the recent home improvement trends at its biggest camp for Syrian refugees may prove particularly unsettling.
Somali Militants Mixing Business and Terror
Illicit ivory, kidnappings, piracy ransoms, smuggled charcoal, extorted payments from aid organizations and even fake charity drives pretending to collect money for the poor — the Shabab militant group has shifted from one illegal business to another, drawing money from East Africa’s underworld to finance attacks like the recent deadly siege at a Nairobi shopping mall.
Documenting a Pakistani Girl’s Transformation
There is a story to Malala Yousafzai’s improbable transformation from a quiet, deferential 11-year-old living near Pakistan’s tribal areas to a teenage spokeswoman for girls’ education. Malala, shot in the head by the Taliban last year, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, to be announced on Friday.
World Bank, Rooted in Bureaucracy, Proposes a Sweeping Reorganization
Jim Yong Kim, the genial American physician who took over as the president of the World Bank last year, recently conducted a survey of its 10,000 employees. The survey revealed a “culture of fear,” pervasive “fear of risk” and a “terrible” environment for collaboration at the huge development institution, which lends more than $30 billion a year and works in more than 100 countries.
Escaping the Cycle of Scarcity
Sendhil Mullainathan, a Harvard economist, and Eldar Shafir, a psychologist at Princeton, propose a way to explain why the poor are less future-oriented than those with more money. According to these authors, one explanation for bad decisions is scarcity — not of money, but of what the authors call bandwidth: the portion of our mental capacity that we can employ to make decisions.
Mobile Payment Startups Face Reluctant Indian Consumers
When Mrugank S., 33, an information technology professional in Bangalore, Karnataka, ordered five teaming carts of produce from Big Basket, an online grocery store, he chose “card-on-delivery” as the mode of payment. But when the two deliverymen wheeled up to his flat on the 14th floor of a tower, he pulled out a wad of bills.
When Wealth Disappears
AS bad as things in Washington are — the federal government shutdown since Tuesday, the slim but real potential for a debt default, a political system that seems increasingly ungovernable — they are going to get much worse, for the United States and other advanced economies, in the years ahead.
Obama’s Absence Leaves China as Dominant Force at APEC
Secretary of State John Kerry sat in the chair reserved for President Obama at the opening session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting on Monday, leaving China’s leader, Xi Jinping, as the dominant leader at the gathering, devoted to achieving greater economic integration in the region.
On Global Envision
T-shirts, technology and trade: Planet Money host says experimentation, not theory, key to cutting poverty
Making t-shirts can help lift a country out of poverty, but t-shirts alone no longer cut it, according to economic journalist Adam Davidson, who spoke at the Mercy Corps Action Center.
Smart Gifts Keep On Giving
Stanford Social Innovation Review
A philanthropic investment in Guatemala has established an ongoing stream of revenue to reach at-risk kids.
Scale and Data
The Hidden Dimensions of Scale
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Examples from South Asia show there’s more to successful scaling than replicating a good model.
A development data revolution needs to go beyond the geeks and bean-counters
Will better data really lead to better development policies? Only if the right people have access and use it to make better policies
Do Companies Spend Too Much Time Searching for Groundbreaking Innovations?
The Apple iPhone and the Boeing 747 are typically considered groundbreaking innovations, but does every company need to create such pioneering products in order to stay afloat? With this question in mind, we asked The Experts: Do you think companies spend too much time searching for groundbreaking innovations at the expense of incremental advances?
Can technology solve our big problems?
TEDtalk, Justin Pontin, editor of MIT Tech Review
In 1969, Buzz Aldrin’s historical step onto the moon leapt mankind into an era of technological possibility. The awesome power of technology was to be used to solve all of our big problems. Fast forward to present day, and what's happened? Are mobile apps all we have to show for ourselves? Journalist Jason Pontin looks closely at the challenges we face to using technology effectively ... for problems that really matter.
How to Slice a Global Carbon Pie?
It was the middle of the night. In a matter of hours, journalists from around the world would be showing up, expecting details about the latest big United Nations climate report. But behind closed doors here, as the final wording of that document was being worked out, things were not going well.