Archive for the ‘Development’ Category


The Impact of mobile phones in Africa

Written on July 12, 2006 by Max Oliva in Development

Max Oliva, Associate Director of IE’s Social Impact Management
Africa 1.jpg
According to a recent article by the Washington Post on how for poor, cellphones bridge the digitlal divide, there are about 152 million cell phone users in Africa, up from 63 million just two years ago. This means that cell phone usage is growing faster in Africa than in any other part of the world; with almost 60% of users living in the developing world, it is considered as “the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users there than in the developed world”.
But how can the impact of such technologies be maximized development wise? A discussion regarding this and similar issues has just been started by the Private Sector Development Blog, on how to help technology help African Entrepreneurs.
A very interesting paper on “Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones” from Vodafone can help you start the conversation. It looks at potential explanations for the rapid spread of mobile phones in Africa, mobiles and economic growth and others.
Other discussions on development in Africa are Empowering Africa through e-learning. and Africa and what business schools can do.


TED Talks

Written on June 28, 2006 by Max Oliva in Development

Max Oliva, Associate Director of IE’s Social Impact Management
TED (Technology Entertainment Design) “Hosts some of the world’s most fascinating people: Trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses”, an annual event which gathers world renown speakers and thinkers has opened their discussions at Ted Talks. Speakers such as Al Gore, former Vice-president of the US, Sir Ken Robinson, Majora Carter and Tony Robbins can now be seen and heard there. To attend one of their gatherings you have to come up with $4,400 plus travelling expenses, not to consider the previous year registration. In their own words “ If you have a curious soul and an open mind, we think you’ll be hooked…”
What others think and say about TED
TED 2007 “Icons. Geniuses. Mavericks”


Jeffrey D. Sachs on Sustainable Development

Written on June 19, 2006 by Max Oliva in Development

Max Oliva, Associate Director of IE’s Social Impact Management
Jeffrey Sachs.jpg“We actually have within our ability, because of the power of technology and because of the phenomenal wealth that exists in the world, an opportunity that is remarkable and that, I think, is a great danger to not take. And that opportunity is to end extreme poverty in our time.” Jeffrey Sachs.
Recenlty written by on an article from Yale economic review, he is described by them as “at once a scientist and a preacher in the field of economics. One of the most recognizable and important academics today”.
Former candidate to the 2006 commitment to development award, he has been a forceful advocate for Africa, having teamed up with politicians, scholars and world leaders alike. Through his book on “The End of Poverty” , he assures that with the right policies, mass destitution of 1.1 billion extremely poor people can be eradicated by 2020. He has however had strong opposition regarding his views from economists such as William Easterly from NYU.
Director of The Earth Institute, He has recently spoken together with Mark Malloch Brown, George Kell and several others at the State of the Planet 2006. You can see the entire event here and make your own judgement as of how to reduce poverty and enhance development.
Download each audio file here.
Jeffrey Sachs podcast on Sustainable Development.


Max Oliva, Associate Director of IE’s Social Impact Management
Latin America should carry out microeconomic reforms to clear the path for more poor people to join the middle class, instead of locking itself in a debate over fiscal discipline and social spending, former U.S. president Bill Clinton said today. This conversation has just taken place during the Building Opportunity for the Majority conference.
“If you put yourself in a position of having yesterday’s debate, that is fiscal responsibility versus more social spending, you’re going to wind up with disappointment because you won’t reduce inequality either way,” he said. “And you don’t want to just appropriate the assets of the state, or the assets of the wealthy. What you want to do is to empower poor people to create wealth and become middle class”.
According to the former president, microeconomic reforms are a process that can only be done by trial and error and requires a long-term commitment from governments and international institutions to create the right conditions for poor entrepreneurs to prosper. Among the needed reforms he mentioned identity registration, legal recognition of property rights, elimination of bureaucratic barriers to entrepreneurship and enforcement of contracts.
According to Clinton, Hernando de Soto, president of the Lima, Peru-based Instituto Libertad y Democracia, has championed such reforms. The former will be on June 26th at Oviedo, Spain, on the 1st European-Ibero American Congress on Corporate Responsibility.
Get full access to Clinton’s conference review.

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