Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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If there where any place where I would like to be today instead of “not yet so sunny Madrid”, it would either be at a paradisiacal beach in the Mayan Riviera or, last but not least, at the TED 2007 conference in Monterey.
Jeff Skoll, Bill Clinton, News photographer James Nachtwey, Biologist E.O. Wilson, Tracy Chapman, Richard Branson, Hans Rosling and many others are taking part in these conversations.
Several bloggers are following the event and you can also visit Teds Blog to get a glimpse of the conversations that are taking place as we speak. These will be uploaded on their site at Ted Talks, space of which we have previously spoken on this blog. You can still see some remarkable speakers there and be patient for the upload of this year’s conferences.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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How about a real space that fosters social innovation? A space where social entrepreneurship can be breathed on every corner. This has been The Hub in London experience. Their core product is flexible membership of inspirational and highly resourced habitats in the world’s major cities for social innovators to work, meet, learn, connect and realise progressive ideas. It is now present in London, Bristol, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo and Cairo. But the conversation is ongoing and advanced in the Netherlands, Mumbai, Berlin, Belgium, Halifax, Mexico and has several synergies with the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, which is a “convergence facility” for the social mission community, The Melting Pot in Edinburgh and others.
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The market need is expressed by social innovators whose ability to thrive requires access to highly resourced, flexible and safe spaces within which to scale up, change gear, take risks and make mistakes. Over time, social innovators need access to a range of just-in-time resources and market-facing opportunities to thrive: knowledge, capital and networks. The Hub provides channels to such resources and opportunities, without crushing the innovators initial spark and ingenuity.
We are engaging on a couple of action led conversations, one of which includes the openning of a hub like space in Madrid. If you want to be part of this conversation contact me.
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Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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You’ve got things to do. People to meet. Ideas to realise. Events to host. A business to run. So what’s the deal? You need the flexibility to scale up, wind down, change gear, move on. You need a space you can call your own. You need a safe space, professional space, dynamic space. That is, A Space for Social Innovation.
Next week I’ll be at The Hub in London and Briston, attending “The Art of Hosting Spaces for Social Innovation”. What? An international seminar and inquiry exploring the art of crafting and hosting spaces that incubate imaginative initiatives for a radically better world. Why? A new model and pattern is emerging in physical and virtual spaces that support pioneering social initiatives. These habitats create the conditions for collaboration, serendipity and emergence such that value is created far in excess of the sum of their parts.
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The objective is to build a network of inspirational habitats in major world cities for social innovators to work, meet, learn, connect and realise progressive ideas. The Hub is a place for making things happen. All the tools and trimmings needed to cultivate an idea, launch a project, host a meeting and run a business.
Over time, social innovators need access to a range of just-in-time resources and market-facing opportunities to thrive: knowledge, capital and networks. The Hub provides channels to such resources and opportunities, without crushing the innovators initial spark and ingenuity.
Well, these and many other conversations will take place next week. Hope to be able to post on a daly basis, in order to start the conversation of The Hub Madrid. Up to now The Hub in Madrid is what I have in mind as providing this social innovation stretch, a space where MBA alumni and others can start their social enterprises, meet, interact and learn from practitioners in the community and abroad. At the same time, these practitioners certainly will be enriched by the business perspective of value creation that IE MBAs can offer. Bluntly speaking, it is a great model which makes perfect sense on my mind. I’m certain that my perception will still change 180 or 360 degrees next week, hopefully bringing it closer to the right direction.
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Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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A €1.16 billion program is being funded in order to encourage drug companies to come up with vaccines to help prevent pneumonia and meningitis, intended to save the lives of more than 5 million children by 2030, in the world’s poorest countries.
The idea of the fund, which is to begin with the pilot program in pneumococcal disease, is to act as a bridge between poorer countries and drug firms. Italy, Canada, Norway, Russia and Britain are the first countries to back up the fund. The plan is to subsidise the future purchase of vaccines, hoping to serve as an incentive in order to bring drug firms into action.
If a developing country agrees it needs a drug which industry can develop, the fund provides a commitment to purchase the vaccines once they are produced.
“The key aim is to ensure there is secure funding for the vaccines urgently needed in the poorest countries, where thousands of children die every day from diseases that can be prevented,” Paul Wolfowitz, World Bank President
Companies must agree to sell the new vaccine at a price that developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America can afford. After a period of 7-10 years, vaccine producers are to continue supplying their products, at a discounted price.
On another note, the first large-scale trial of an HIV vaccine is set to begin in South Africa. Three thousand HIV negative men and women who are sexually active will be immunised in a 4 year study.
This is a highly needed element in Public Private Partnerships. Pharmaceutical companies have their very important and fundamental role to play, but so do governments from developed and developing economies, NGO’s, other agencies and philanthropists, in order to generate incentives which increase R&D of neglected diseases, which still is in a low 10% of the whole R&D expenditure.
Learn more about The Global Fund and their January 2007 Africa Update.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on vaccine preventable diesases.
Learn about the International Aids Vaccine Initiative.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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Don’t miss the chance that technology has brought in enabling you to follow conversations which make a difference. How about sharing the table and most importantly, the conversation on The Shifting Power Equation with E. Neville Isdell, Angela Merkel, Sunil Bharti Mittal, and Eric Schmidt…
Here are some conversations which might also interest you:
Climate Change: A Call to Action with Montek S. Ahluwalia, John McCain, Zhang Xiaoqiang, and Martin Wolf
Billions in Development Aid: What Are the Results? with William Easterly, Jakaya M. Kikwete and Maria Ramos
Sustainable Energy Consumption: Does Anyone Care? with Fatih Birol, Emanuel Höhener, C. S. Kiang and Christine Maier
A Business Manifesto for Globalization with Lord Browne of Madingley, Patrick Cescau, Ian E. L. Davis, James Dimon, Carlos Ghosn, James J. Schiro and Joseph E. Stiglitz
Scaling Innovation in Foreign Aid with William Easterly, William H. Gates III, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Paul D. Wolfowitz and Fareed Zakaria
A Conversation with the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón-Hinojosa (this is of personal nature, forgive my partiality on internal affairs…)
Delivering on the Promise of Africa with Tony Blair, Bono, William H. Gates III, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Thabo Mbeki, Kumi Naidoo and Sadako Ogata
Frozen Trade Talks and the Need for Progress with Pascal Lamy, Doris Leuthard, Peter Mandelson, and Susan Schwab
Don’t miss the opportunity. I have as many of you a quite busy agenda. Despite of this, I would have gone to Davos if invited, perhaps next year… but for this year, missing these conversations which help build speakers and attendants’ accountability certainly has a stake at setting this years global agenda.
Join the conversations here.


Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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Dell, The Conservation Fund and have just announced a joint, global carbon-neutral initiative to offset the carbon dioxide produced when customers power their computer systems. Called “Plant a Tree for Me,” the program allows customers to make a donation that will be used by the two nonprofits, The Conservation Fund and, to plant trees in sustainably managed forests.
Through the program, a customer donation of $2 for a notebook and $6 for a desktop computer will offset carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to powering the average computer for three years. Dell will remit 100 percent of the donations received from the “Plant a Tree for Me” program to The Conservation Fund and to be used to plant trees.
The “Plant a Tree for Me” program is available now to Dell customers making new computer purchases. It will be available in February to U.S. consumers and in April to global consumers for any brand of computer.
After being pointed our by activists in regards to their environmental footprint, it is an interesting example to see how Dell is aligning CSR to their strategy, bringing together initiatives such as their Energy-Saving product strategy or their free recycling of products. Will this have an impact on your computer purchasing decision? Whatever the answer it might be, the negative impact would certainly affect your decision, plus, it certainly offers a differentiating factor which easily enables the customer to reduce his/her CO2 footprint with the click of a button.
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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…


Santiago Iñiguez, Dean and Professor of Strategy
Referring to the text about TED Global, November 30, I should mention a presentation made by professor Hans Rosling, that concerns Africa and its growth, that was made at TED and more recently in Paris at LeWeb3.
Here is the link to his presentation
“Hans Rosling is professor of international health at Sweden’s world-renowned Karolinska Institute, and founder of Gapminder, a non-profit that brings vital global data to life. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, he debunks a few myths about the “developing” world. (Recorded February, 2006 in Monterey, CA.)”
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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.

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