Global Ideas News Brief: Should business solve society’s biggest problems?
October 14, 2013 Editor 0
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.
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.
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.
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.Densely packed houses line a street in Jakarta. Two reasearchers have published a new book examineing why people get stuck in poverty and how to help. Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps
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