I’m pleased to announce that Floating Doctors is launching as this post is being published!
We wrote about Floating Doctors previously in Rising Pyramid, but their launch was delayed. Apparently, there must have been a reason for their delay, because the disaster in Haiti occurred just as they wrapped up final preparations. Floating Doctors has adjusted their course to stop at Haiti first and to provide general aide. The majority of doctors providing support in Haiti require lodging and food, but Floating Doctors come with their own “house” as well as $3M of supplies.
Safe sails Floating Doctors, Rising Pyramid wishes you all the best!
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
- Albert Einstein
In order for the markets in the developed world to connect to the developing world, a major paradigm shift must occur. According to Steven R. Covey, “Paradigms are the mental models that every person uses to perceive information, people and themselves. These are filters that help us make some sense of reality and act as a lens from which we see the world.” In laymen’s terms, a paradigm is the way our minds are trained to react to something. In the developed world, charity donations are the ‘go-to’ method for helping out those less-privileged. In times of crisis, as we have seen with Hurricane Katrina and the massive earthquake in Haiti, donations of food and money are of the utmost importance at the time. So much money will have to be reinvested into the infrastructure, buildings, medical aid, and food, that large scale donations of money are imperative. However, when we re-examine the BoP and their daily struggles, it is not the case that donating money will solve the larger issues.
There are a few shifts that I think are necessary for increased communication, collaboration, and market connection between the developed and developing worlds.
1. Improved and expanded media coverage of the developing world
2. A shift towards more innovative ways of helping the poor
3. A shift away from the negative stereotypes of market interactions with the developing world.
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Tuesday’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti was a travesty of epic proportions, but it also paves the way for humans to show their compassion in a meaningful way. I’m still feeling shocked by the sheer size of the death toll. Early reports indicate that the earthquake could have resulted in as many as 100,000 deaths, which is over 30 times the number that died on September 11th and nearly 50 times the number of deaths from Hurricane Katrina. As in past disasters, the survivors need support now more than ever before.
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This week I want to highlight an initiative that the Rockefeller Foundation started in 2007: Accelerating Innovation for Development. In a Business Week interview at the Aspen Design Summit, Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, highlights some fascinating and exciting paths towards working with the Bottom of the Pyramid. Mr. Bugg-Levine heads the Accelerating Innovation for Development initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation, a study assessing the right approach towards a design-centered business model that applies in the developing world. What is truly inspiring to observe is the role of the locals/BoP consumers in this study. They are not viewed as end-users who will accept any product that is placed in their locale. Instead, they are integral in the success of such design business models. The Rockefeller Foundation has outlined four key outcomes that they wish to accomplish through this initiative:
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As we enter a new decade, let us take a moment to pause and reflect on the true intention of social businesses. As we’ve stated before, a social business is any business that is focused on providing goods and services that will help those developing countries rise out of poverty and improve their standard of living. Taking a step back, what does this really mean? What is the definition of “development”? How do we measure poverty? What is the true purpose of a social business?
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