Archive for the ‘Nonprofit’ Category


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
HBS Working Knowledge has just interviewed Professor Kasturi (Kash) Rangan on his latest book, Business Solutions for the Global Poor, which includes the conclusions of the December 2005 Conference on Global Poverty: Business Solutions and Approaches.
“To the degree that these ventures empower the poor—either by improving their quality of life (clean water, for example), providing them with productivity tools and services (cell phones, for example), or creating jobs—that’s where the goals of poverty reduction and economic profit can align.”
According to Kash Rangan, there are three major challenges when considering the BoP:
• Cultural distance between corporate decision makers and the poor
• Lack of infrastructure in poor markets that can make operating at the base of the pyramid difficult, and potentially costly.
• Companies are challenged to find ways to bring BOP initiatives to scale and sustainability within the time frames dictated by traditional corporate targets. In many BOP ventures, the true profit driver lies in volume rather than in profit margins
Read the whole Q&A session here.
Interested in Improving Health for the Poor?, read the Q&A session with HBS Professor Michael Chu.
Last but not least, the Q&A session in regards to The Corporate Value Shift with Professor Lynn Paine, who argues that companies can’t consider themselves amoral or apart from society anymore—that the relationship between companies and society at large necessitates bringing a moral dimension to decision making.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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Time’s Person of the Year is YOU. The tool that makes this possible is the World Wide Web. And we didn’t just watch, we also worked. Its also time to take part on conversations that matter and to engage in actions that make a difference.
The World Economic Forum, which will take place January 24-28th, will use new web applications which will extend the discussions at the Annual Meeting 2007 to a much wider audience. The debates and discussions at Davos will be open to the general public via traditional broadcast channels, but also via webcasts, podcasts and for the first time, vodcasts.
The Forum will webcast over 50 of the 220 sessions. 31 of the sessions will be webcast live and a further 20 will be available for download once the session is over. All webcasts will be available also as pod- and vodcasts for download from Google video. All webcasts and vodcasts can be accessed here.
If you can physically join the event don’t miss the chance. If you were not invited, do join the conversations, it will definitely be worth your while.
…Still’s never been a time when both private citizens and public officials had the potential to shape a world of peace and prosperity. Could we screw it up if we let AIDS eat us alive? Yes. Could we go back to an ice age if we don’t do something about global warming? Absolutely.
…we’re building something we never had to build before so, don’t be discouraged and don’t use your political disappointments as an excuse to avoid personal commitment. Bill Clinton

Need to capture the essence of the annual meeting?
Plan your schedule in accordance to the Programme.
Join the Davos Conversation.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
2006 was a year full of highlights in corporate responsibility and sustainability. Going from a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to international awareness on global warming, it certainly was a year which proved the tipping point in these conversations. Here are some of the most important things that happened in 2006:
Drummer Boy Small.jpgMuhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank win the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
UN Principles for Responsible Investment Launched
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
An Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore
The Clinton Global Initiative and more than US$7 billion in Global Aid
IFC’s Lighting the Bottom of the Pyramid
Five big stories on Global Health
Carbon Neutral is “Word of the year”
The 2007 perspective looks even more promising, lets build on this conversation…


Harvard Business Review has just published on their December issue two great articles together with an editorial and material which relates to Strategy and Society: The Link between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility and to Disruptive Innovation for Social Change. The first is authored by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer and the former by Clayton M. Christensen and others.
I sincerley recommend purchasing these articles or moreover, December’s issue of HBR; both CSR and social innovation are very well envisioned, together with an editorial and Michael Porter’s Mapping Social Opportunities, which helps you visualize how an organization can set a successful CSR agenda which maximizes social benefit while making business sense.
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Here’s an abstract of Strategy and Society: The Link between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility:
Governments, activists, and the media have become adept at holding companies to account for the social consequences of their actions. In response, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged as an inescapable priority for business leaders in every country. Frequently, though, CSR efforts are counterproductive, for two reasons. First, they pit business against society, when in reality the two are interdependent. Second, they pressure companies to think of corporate social responsibility in generic ways instead of in the way most appropriate to their individual strategies. The fact is, the prevailing approaches to CSR are so disconnected from strategy as to obscure many great opportunities for companies to benefit society. What a terrible waste. If corporations were to analyze their opportunities for social responsibility using the same frameworks that guide their core business choices, they would discover, as Whole Foods Market, Toyota, and Volvo have done, that CSR can be much more than a cost, a constraint, or a charitable deed—it can be a potent source of innovation and competitive advantage. In this article, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer propose a fundamentally new way to look at the relationship between business and society that does not treat corporate growth and social welfare as a zero-sum game. They introduce a framework that individual companies can use to identify the social consequences of their actions; to discover opportunities to benefit society and themselves by strengthening the competitive context in which they operate; to determine which CSR initiatives they should address; and to find the most effective ways of doing so. Perceiving social responsibility as an opportunity rather than as damage control or a PR campaign requires dramatically different thinking—a mind-set, the authors warn, that will become increasingly important to competitive success.
Purchase this article.
Here’s an abstract of Disruptive Innovation for Social Change:
Countries, organizations, and individuals around the globe spend aggressively to solve social problems, but these efforts often fail to deliver. Misdirected investment is the primary reason for that failure. Most of the money earmarked for social initiatives goes to organizations that are structured to support specific groups of recipients, often with sophisticated solutions. Such organizations rarely reach the broader populations that could be served by simpler alternatives. There is, however, an effective way to get to those underserved populations. The authors call it “catalytic innovation.” Based on Clayton Christensen’s disruptive-innovation model, catalytic innovations challenge organizational incumbents by offering simpler, good-enough solutions aimed at underserved groups. Unlike disruptive innovations, though, catalytic innovations are focused on creating social change. Catalytic innovators are defined by five distinct qualities. First, they create social change through scaling and replication. Second, they meet a need that is either overserved (that is, the existing solution is more complex than necessary for many people) or not served at all. Third, the products and services they offer are simpler and cheaper than alternatives, but recipients view them as good enough. Fourth, they bring in resources in ways that initially seem unattractive to incumbents. And fifth, they are often ignored, put down, or even discouraged by existing organizations, which don’t see the catalytic innovators’ solutions as viable. As the authors show through examples in health care, education, and economic development, both nonprofit and for-profit groups are finding ways to create catalytic innovation that drives social change.
Purchase this article.
Interested in this subject? You should also read The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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The Acumen Fund is trying to create an “entrepreneurial bench” of top talent with strong financial and operational skills as well as the moral imagination to build appropriate enterprises with local stakeholders. Through the Acumen Fund Fellows Program, they have identified and developed in their own words “some of the world’s next generation of leaders”.
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They have just announced a call for extraordinary individuals to build the Acumen Fund Fellows class of 2008, a program which provides them with a unique opportunity to use their skills to effect real social change with our portfolio organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, India and Pakistan, and to build lasting relationships with other like-minded individuals. Fellows will spend one year working with their team and with local entrepreneurs, gaining intensive experience in price performance, logistics, distribution systems, scaling and innovative technology. Fellows will learn and apply these skills while enjoying an unusual level of responsibility both at Acumen Fund and within our portfolio organizations.
Ideal fellows include those who have already decided on a career in venture philanthropy, those who are seeking a career at the highest levels in the corporate world but want to better understand and have an impact on problems of global poverty, and budding social entrepreneurs who want to learn about managing organizations in the most demanding settings.
The application’s deadline is January 31, 2007, having the selection phase by mid-April and the program beginning in September. You can find more information and application guidelines at Acumen Fund.
Apply now.
Learn more about the Fellows Program.
Acumen Fund and Social Entrepreneurship in Action.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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The Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has around $10bn raised money to fight these diseases, has recently held its 14th board meeting. It’s interesting to see the views from different stakeholders in regards to this meeting in order to make an assessment of their work. Although it has a very challenging future, being results focused, governance and other methods make it a learning organization which allows them to improve their processes and methodology on an ongoing basis.
According to the Financial Times, “its governance structure, which offers board seats to developing nations and non-governmental groups as well as donor nations and the private sector, is one of the more pioneering aspects of its operation. It is designed to provide “ownership” to recipients as well as donors, encouraging them to be more responsive and effective.” It has however challenging issues which it must still tackle.
They have planned a Five-Year Evaluation which will be implemented under the guidance of the TERG. It is framed by a set of three overarching questions related to the organizational efficiency of the Global Fund; the effectiveness of the Global Fund partner environment; and the impact of the Global Fund on the three diseases. This report will be ready in 2008.
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“Four years ago, almost nobody in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world was receiving treatment. That well over one million people with AIDS are on now on treatment through the support of Global Fund is a remarkable achievement,” Professor Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
Feel like contributing with your knowledge? How about taking part on the Five Year Evaluation of the Global Fund? You have until January 15th, 2007.
Feel more committed? They are recruiting!
See a very compelling video by Kristen Ashburn, who has photographed the impact of AIDS in southern Africa in case you still need a small motivational push…


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Watch a 40 second message of Bono in regards to AIDS.
In 2000, heads of state made a promise to halt and begin to reverse the spread of AIDS by 2015.
New reports by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that, as of 2006, the epidemic continues to spread in every region of the world. By now more than 65 million people have been infected with HIV and well over 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981, 2.9 million in 2006 alone. At this rate, the WHO predicts that in the next 25 years another 117 million people will die, making AIDS the third leading cause of death worldwide.
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Anything strange about this familiar image? The (RED) campaign is getting a great boost today by
According to research revealed by the BBC, More than a million jobs are being lost every year from the spread of HIV/Aids, the bulk of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Clinton Foundation is to Lead $50 Million Effort with UNITAID to Assist 40 Countries to Expand Treatment to 100,000 Additional Children in 2007
“Accountability — the theme of this World AIDS Day — requires every President and Prime Minister, every parliamentarian and politician, to decide and declare that “AIDS stops with me”… But accountability applies not only to those who hold positions of power. It also applies to all of us… And it requires every one of us help bring AIDS out of the shadows, and spread the message that silence is death.” Kofi A. Annan
Read his full message here.
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The Independent is following up with their second (RED) Edition.
Visit the World AIDS Campaign.
Visit the World AIDS Day webpage.
Which is the actual situation in regards to AIDS and Africa?
Facts about AIDS.
Uniting The World against AIDS.
The Global Business Coallition fight against HIV/AIDS.


Arusha, Tanzania, June 4-7, 2007
TED’s first global conference is taking place with amazing people who are doing something valuable for Africa’s future. Their voices will inspire. And their ideas will spread.
“Over the past few years a growing number of people in the TED community have become passionate about Africa, a continent that appears to be at an important tipping point. Its problems and challenges are well known. Less well known is that across the continent, change is afoot. Instead of relying only on development aid, Africans across the continent are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Ingenious solutions are being applied to tackle some of the toughest health and infrastructure problems. Businesses are being launched that are capable of transforming the lives of millions. New communication technologies are allowing ideas and information to spread, enabling markets — and governments — to be more efficient. And the numbers suggest that incomes are starting to nudge up in some countries and real growth is on the way. A new Africa beckons.”
Some of the speakers already confirmed include:
Jacqueline Novogratz: After 20 years’ involvement in Africa, she founded the Acumen Fund, a leader of the “new philanthropy” movement which, instead of offering charity, supports entrepreneurs who are building businesses in areas such as healthcare, low-cost housing and water distribution.
Eleni Gabre-Madhin: Economist and leading researcher on African agricultural markets.
Danniel Annerose: CEO of and founder of Manobi, developer of prize-winning cellphone-based services that, for example, give farmers market intelligence and allow them to achieve better prices for their crops.
Jane Goodall: Famous for her pioneering work with chimpanzees in Tanzania, she has become a globally recognized conservationist and a United Nations “Messenger of Peace.”
Patty Stonesifer: CEO of the Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic organization. The Foundation funds multiple projects in Africa with a major focus on tackling AIDS, malaria and other public health issues.
See the full list of speakeres.
You can Register here.
What is TED?
What are TEDTALKS?.


Oxfam International has just brought out their report on Health, Education, and Water and Sanitation for All.
This report shows that developing countries will only achieve healthy and educated populations if their governments take responsibility for providing essential services.
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Rich country governments and international agencies such as the World Bank should be crucial partners in supporting public systems, but too often they block progress by failing to deliver debt relief and predictable aid that supports public systems.
For those job hunting, in order to provide basic health care and education for all, the world needs 4.25 million more health workers and 1.9 million more trained teachers.
I believe that Oxfam reports, by being so critical put things in balance and bring people, institutions and governments into action, which is already a big contribution; but I also find it important to be critical with such reports and moreover with their overall contribution.
It is interesting to see raising critical voices on this year’s Oxfam report, as being “more of the same”, arguing that “The Oxfam doctor’s prescription is to throw more money at these self-same entities – but more consistently and in larger amounts”.
How much value are these reports really adding? Can they be improved or modified in accordance to new realities?
Read the Oxfam Report.


Max Oliva, Associate Director of IE’s Social Impact Management
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Travelocity is looking at making Voluntourism mainstream as Part of ”Travel for Good” Initiative. They are inviting consumers to join employee volunteers on National Public Lands Day September 30 as the First Step in its Far-Reaching Program.
They’ve recently launched their Go Zero program to help customers reverse climate change and enhance forests and wetlands through forestation programs. Now, under the Travel For Good initiative, Travelocity is kicking off a program called Change Ambassadors to help bring the idea of “voluntourism” to a broader, mainstream audience. In a 2006 Travel Forecast poll they conducted, 15 percent of respondents said they planned on taking a volunteer, education or religious trip this year.
Lonely Planet.gifIt is not only them who are taking part on this endevor. Lonely Planet has their very own Sustainable Travel & Responsible Tourism (START), having together with Rough Guides through Climate Care, a carbon neutral initiative.
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Another initiative was brought to me through the PSD Blog in regards to the, which connects travellers and accommodation providers via locally-owned and operated e-marketplaces.
According to The Transnational, Two-thirds of 90 British companies polled by the Institute of Travel Management have implemented corporate social responsibility programs.
Be it for CO2 emissions, responsible tourism, making it easy for volunteers to find opportunities to spend part of their next vacation volunteering, it seems that there is a big market which is about to reach its tipping point. Are you willing to be one of the early movers on this arena?
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Know more of Voluntourism and other responsible travel initiatives.
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Thanks to Gustavo Martinie and Antonio Lopez who shared this through the Tourism & Leisure Forum at Global Communities.

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