Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
GIO on Africa.jpgAfrica – Which areas of innovation hold the best promise for enabling economic development?
This first-ever public ThinkPlace Challenge is a three-week online event designed to foster global collaboration on innovations that can fuel economic growth and improve the standard of living on the African continent. The ideas developed in this on-line challenge will immediately shape the agenda for the IBM Global Innovation Outlook/Africa deep dive sessions which will be conducted in person in locations around the world beginning in June. The input will also inform IBM’s World Development Initiative, a new long-term effort to identify commercial opportunities addressing the needs of the vast population currently living on less than $5 a day.
Rob Katz has contributed with filling the Mesofinance Gap. “Small and medium enterprises need financing to scale up. However, most SMEs in the base of the pyramid can only access microfinance (loans up to $10,000) or formal finance (loans of more than $1 million). We need to fill that “mesofinance” gap.”
Other ideas range from mobile to mobile platforms, microfranchising, microfinance, infrastructure and electricity. And this is just the beginning! Share your own ideas and/or contribute to ones already posted and be part of a program aimed at helping improve the quality of life for many people in Africa.
submit your ideas and collaborate with others on this topic by May 25, 2007.


Steve Kloeblen May 8, 2007 - 11:55 am

I would like to welcome you to join our on-line collaboration that will help us build a multi-year strategy for IBM to apply its resources to building commercially scalable solutions addressing the Societal Issues At The Base of The Pyramid. We would be very encouraged for your active participation and ideas, and to ask you to forward onto others who you feel can contribute. The best ideas will help inform a project we are launching around Africa, however, I am leading a global strategy for all underserved markets and this will very helpful to us in that regard.
IBM launches first-ever public ThinkPlace Challenge: How can economic growth create positive change in Africa?
Over three months beginning in June 2007, IBM and its partners will convene more than 150 global thought leaders to identify new opportunities to advance innovation and economic development for the people of Africa. Leaders participating in these special Global Innovation Outlook sessions are committed to surfacing and acting on new frontiers in technology, business and societal advancement for the continent. You have the opportunity to help contribute to this discussion. Participate in the first-ever IBM ThinkPlace Challenge open to the public and collaborate on this important topic.
The ThinkPlace Challenge URL is : http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/thinkplace/execchallenge/html/archive/exec_challenge_2.html

baby girl May 16, 2007 - 11:19 am

An interesting idea – thank you for publicizing this on the blog. I hope this online forum is getting enough advertising and media coverage to attract a wide range of contributors.

Kid July 17, 2007 - 9:26 pm

Well this is a good start. Something has to be done. Also, fair trade needs to start being promoted!

Simulation pret immobilier January 31, 2009 - 6:29 pm

That is a very interesting idea. I like the idea of sharing this on this post.

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