Archive for the ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ Category


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
We’re back from the summer break and eager to continue the conversation on corporate responsibility and sustainability. As last year, I include a list of events and topics which took place in the month of August:
The winner’s of the “Disruptive Innovations in Health and Health Care” have been announced.
5 new Ashoka fellow’s in Mexico
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Echoing Green has announced their 2007 Fellows
Cemex is considered as one of the leaders in BoP space both through Construmex and Patrimonio Hoy
Harvard Business Review’s article on the dangers of Microcredit
GE Money and their Earth Rewards credit card
The 2007 Global Development Awards and Medals Competition is now open
$100 laptop production launched
Take a look at people who live in Manhattan and yet receive agricultural subsidies from the US federal government
Interesting initiative of “Executives Without Borders” shared by Pablo Halkyard
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Snapshot at Global Migration
Upcoming Social Venture Conferences
Social Enterprise Competitions


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
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Hans Rosling‘s first GapCast is here. Professor Rosling shows how economic growth, public health and sexual rights have changed in Sweden during 300 years. How has life expectancy and GDP per capita of Sweden evolved from 1709 to 2004? He further explains how to use gapminder world in order to make statistics work for development. This is just the first on the series which promises to be a fantastic way to bring development into a visual and entertaining arena, thus further enriching the conversation and our understanding into how to make the “seemingly impossible, possible”.
If you haven’t seen him yet, invest 6 minutes of your time and I bet you won’t regret it. If you watch this and are asking for more, how about sword swallowing at TED? O see our post on Hans Rosling on Africa and its growth.
Want to play with World statistics? Google found Gapminder fascinating and decided to be part of it.
And finally, a very recent achievement on the statistics arena led by Hans Rosling has been that of attaining access to all UN Statistical Division’s data for free from May 1 this year. You can read this and other news at Gapminder.


Fostering Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Written on June 25, 2007 by Max Oliva in Social Entrepreneurship

Waya Quiviger, Director of Special Projects, Social Impact Management
On Friday 8 June, I was invited to speak in the context of the “Fostering Entrepreneurship and Leadership” seminar organized by the Centre for Applied Studies in International Negotiations (CASIN). More specifically, I represented IE Business School in a session chaired by Pamela Hartigan, Managing Director of the Schwab Foundation, on Social Entrepreneurship. The audience was composed of 50 high level leaders from business, government and civil society who had come from all over the world for this 10-day seminar and training in government, governance, entrepreneurship, development and leadership. Other session topics included negotiation, global trade, access to micro-credit (see attached Program and participant profiles).
Pamela set the stage by defining the “social entrepreneur”: a unique, motivated individual who takes direct action to solve a social problem using entrepreneurial skills. She also gave examples of what social entrepreneurs were NOT: lobbyists, activists, socially-responsible-for-profit businesses. Social entrepreneurs’ main goal is transformational change and maximizing lasting social impact. For Pamela the social entrepreneur is a cross between Richard Branson and Mother Teresa.

Read more…


Max_P.jpgMax Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
On June 7th, Bill Gates addressed Harvard students with an eloquent and well prepared speech on their graduation ceremony. But it was not just another speech. Referencing Marshall’s speech 60 years ago when talking about the great challenges they faced in implementing the Marshall Plan, this was intended to be a speech with just the same impact.
I truly encourage you to watch the video or read the transcript . It’s not sophisticated but rather simple and down to earth. But it is simple ideas which address complex issues those that work best. From developing a more creative capitalism which helps better address the world’s inequities, to committing ourselves and our best minds to dedicating our time and effort to solving our biggest problems, I include some excerpts of the speech, hoping they will motivate you to see/read it all.
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“…I had just come from an event where we were introducing version 13 of some piece of software, and we had people jumping and shouting with excitement. I love getting people excited about software—but why can’t we generate even more excitement for saving lives?
You can’t get people excited unless you can help them see and feel the impact.
…To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.
The defining and ongoing innovations of this age—biotechnology, the computer, the Internet—give us a chance we’ve never had before to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.
You know more about the world’s inequities than the classes that came before. In your years here, I hope you’ve had a chance to think about how—in this age of accelerating technology—we can finally take on these inequities, and we can solve them.
We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism—if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes.
If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world.
Let me make a request of the deans and the professors—the intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please ask yourselves:
Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?
Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the world’s worst inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the depth of global poverty… the prevalence of world hunger… the scarcity of clean water …the girls kept out of school… the children who die from diseases we can cure?
Should the world’s most privileged people learn about the lives of the world’s least privileged?”


Waya Quiviger, Director of Special Projects, Social Impact Management
Invited Speakers: Pamela Hartigan, Managing Partner, Schwab Foundation, Switzerland; Mel Young, Founder, Homeless World Cup, Scotland
On Monday 11 June, Dr. Pamela Hartigan, Managing Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and Mel Young, Founder of the Homeless World Cup shared their passion and commitment to social entrepreneurship with the International MBA class.
Pamela began by giving a definition of what a social entrepreneur is. According to her, social entrepreneurs possess the following characteristics: motivation, creativity, the capacity for direct action, courage and fortitude. These unique individuals address social problems with creative, entrepreneurial solutions. Social entrepreneurs are NOT philanthropists, lobbyists, volunteers or charities. They lead productive enterprises whose end goal is lasting social impact. To illustrate her argument, Pamela defined a social entrepreneur as a cross between Richard Branson and Mother Teresa. Social entrepreneurs can run non-profit , for profit or hybrid enterprises.
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What Pamela does at the Schwab Foundation is promote social entrepreneurship worldwide and build a global community of entrepreneurs by identifying them and putting them in touch with the World Economic Forum’s vast corporate network, all potential partners and investors.
Mel Young is a social entrepreneur, founder of the Homeless World Cup, a global sports event that targets disenfranchised homeless men and women and gives them a sense of purpose and pride. The statistics are there to prove the success of his endeavour: after the World Cup, 92% have a new motivation for life; 35% have found regular employment; 44% have improved their housing situation; 39% have pursued education; 72 % continue to play football after the HWC.
Students seemed quite impressed with Pamela and Mel’s testimonies. Indeed, Social Entrepreneurship is a rapidly expanding space that is attracting more and more entrepreneurs year after year — committed individuals who want to make lasting transformational change. Let’s hope this session inspired a few IMBA students to take the leap!


J.Pozuelo-Monfort, MSc candidate in economic development at LSE.
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Extreme, External, Eternal
Published at elPerió (In Catalan).
The three words that the debt and the poverty of the developing world have in common.
Extreme because debt and poverty have reached levels that are so regretful, so inhumane, and so beyond the normal levels, that need to lead to serious thinking in the industrialized world as to when and why this has happened.
External because the current levels of debt and poverty have been fostered by external causes. Their root might be in the developing world itself, but oftentimes not in its citizens, but in its corrupt leaders that once upon a time where given a wildcard to borrow as much money as they felt they needed to undertake their personal vision, far away from being backed and supported by their own citizens.
Eternal because debt and poverty risk to be long-time companions of a world that heads off in the wrong direction. An unequal world that operates according to the rules of a minority that is powerful and wealthy. An unequal world that operates according to the rules of a select club of nation-states unable to move forward and face the real challenges of the XXI century.
The Triple E. A challenging trilemma. One wonders who in this world of ours is responsible and can be accountable for a change. We are reaching a point in which the developing world will cry out loud and say it is enough. It is enough. We need public administrators ready to deliver. We need public administrators eager and willing to deliver. A huge responsibility lies on our shoulders as citizens of a democratic world whose leaders are not being consecuent and coherent.
The Triple E. Let’s get to work.


J.Pozuelo-Monfort, MSc candidate in economic development at LSE.
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The universe of outcomes is an unexplored series of potential future scenarios, some of which are more likely to materialize than others. More likely than others because in the minds of the everyday people, some futures are more readily imaginable than others. More likely than others because a majority of citizens are unaware of thinking beyond the usual, unable to think beyond what is standard and understood by default.
Tomorrow is oftentimes a projection of today. Tomorrow is oftentimes a continuation of what we live, experience and are witnesses of today. But even though there are expectations about what tomorrow will bring, even though there are forecasts about what tomorrow will be, no one, not even the more accurate weather forecaster, not even the better stock analyst, is able to guarantee what tomorrow will bring.
The universe of outcomes is an unexplored series of potential future scenarios. Future scenarios that may or may not involve imagination, creativity, the ability to think beyond the ordinary, the ability to suggest alternatives to today’s problems. The universe of outcomes must not be controlled by the better off.
Imagine a tomorrow in which everything is possible. Forget about today, forget about what history has brought. Believe in a tomorrow in which everything is possible. Think beyond the ordinary. Include the universe of outcomes and assume each of them is equally likely to happen.
Another world is possible. Another word is possible. It is never late to dream with a better world. It is never late to think that the fate of the Human Kind is not predetermined. The ability of the Human Kind to reverse all the harm caused by centuries of exploitation and abuse, caused by a growing gap between the rich and the poor, the ability of the Human Kind stands out as the centrepiece of a theatre play that started long ago and has, still, not reached the end of civilization.


McKinsey Quarterly has just published an interview with Al gore and David Blood, from Generation Investment Management, which explores reconciling sustainability and socially responsible investing with the creation of long-term shareholder value.
It’s an interview worth while reading. Through Generation Investment, they’re changing the approach of investing to a long-term approach; that is gaining superior returns for investors while integrating sustainability into an investment model. They base this on the conviction that the context of business is clearly changing. “We are now confronting the limits of our ecological system, and at the same time societal expectations of business are widening. People realize that there are reputation issues related to sustainability, but they also recognize that, in the end, this is about driving profitability and competitive position.”
Read the Interview by following this link (Requires subscription).
* Three years ago, former US Vice President Al Gore joined with David Blood, the former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, to form an investment-management firm dedicated to investing for sustainability—that is, assessing the way social, economic, environmental, and ethical factors affect the strategy and valuation of businesses.


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.


Waya Quiviger, Director of Special Projects
Developing a coherent vision of political, social and economic trends is essential for business leadership. The Global Affairs Forum 2007 provides students with an overview of some of the global issues that impact business decision-making. The objective is to explore the ways in which business leaders can help address these problems and effectively become part of the solution.
In this ongoing seminar, outstanding business, political, academic and civil society leaders engage with the students and together analyse current challenges, threats and opportunities such as global terrorism, environmental degradation, the rise of China, and the importance of social impact in business.
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Today’s Invited Speaker: John Llewellyn, Senior Economic Advisor, Lehman Brothers
In this unique lecture, Mr. Llewellyn will present his recently published report: The Business of Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities. The publication first analyzes the hard scientific data about climate change, then explores the economic consequences of global warming and concludes with concrete examples of the impact climate change will have on different business sectors and industries. In Llewellyn’s own words: “Global warming is likely to prove one of those tectonic forces that gradually but powerfully changes the economic landscape in which business operate.” Those who seize the opportunity this represents will do well. Those that do not will be left behind.

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