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Philanthrocapitalism: How the rich can save the world

It's the title of a book by Matthew Bishop.

I'll come back to that, because for the moment I wanted to point to a discussion which begins with Tactical Philanthropy, and the assertion that social enterprise has failed.

So in an exchange over some weeks we explore what Tactical Philanthropy considers to be social enterprise, CSR and Philanthrocapitalism.

At this moment the discussion turns to Richard Branson speaking at the Ukrainian Lunch as Davos
which is hosted by oligarch Victor Pinchuk. He says business should focus more on solving social problems, which is where I thought social enterprise came in a decade or so earlier.

He's talking to a group about a country where social enterprise activism has had impact, by persuading the US that social enterprise needs promoting, which results in the launch of the East Europe Foundation a year earlier at Davos, and where the government has been persuaded to creat 400+ rehab centres and double the adoption allowance for orphans.

What's difficult to understand, perhaps because I'm too close to is, is how those discussion on business focussing on social problems could possibly miss this.

Matthew Bishop is there along with Dr Yunus, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Bill Gates.

What concerns me about Philanthrocapitalism as I see it developing in discussions like this is that it will end up with token initiatives, paying lip service to poverty eradication rather than offend their patrons.

So what do you think?

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Oh Billanthropy how clicquish your networks are at risk of spinning. Do you have a shakesperean fool tiraging who your court most needs to take soundings from so that diversity enters in where economics of global has not since 1984 -until 3 weeks ago - integrated any such dynamic from White Houses?

Since my father worked at The Economist for 40 years, we first invited its journalists to debate proof copies of Dr Yunus book 15 months ago. The response has been underwhelming. I am not sure that anyone there has read the book as one that maps microeconomics change towards a sustainable system the way my father forecast in 1984 we would need to before 2010 if we were not to compound the worst of Big Brother Glo...- I expect many have flipped through pages soundbiting bits and pieces. It is not as if The Economist of this decade has been ahead of any of the compound crises. Frankly speaking its committed the same global maths error as all the banks whose loss of transparency and interest in investing in human productivity have crashed markets around the world. They haven’t competed or even offered the most basic segment of need of banking on main street - safe deposits, invest in microentrepreneurs creating jobs, don’t addict people to debt and wasteful consumption. We have spiraled an economics so far away from that grounded in real adam smith, real entrepreneurship, the real values of the 1843 Scot who founded The Economist as to be beyond dismal.

As per the attached, there are 5 ways that Bangladeshi microeconomics brings to changing macroeconomics which has spun the fallible globalization we are all sinking in. Philanthrocapitalism is really only a small part of one of them - and frankly the philanthropists that are testing yunus strategies have not been covered by the Economist and have moved well below the radar of such PR circuits of the World Economics Forum. 15 months ago I also offered to provide a free copy of Yunus book to every WEF delegate of 2008. I was told they never sample books partly because their delegates don’t like to transport too much paper down the mountain. Then we found WEF was sampling its own quirky book.

It is my belied that all these old heads in the glare of global publicity are not going to save us from spiraling ever more conflict. Our best chance of sustaining microentrepreneurship is youth networks. At the very least they are reading the book and understand its five main moves. My difficulty is I don’t want to get into a debate with the old guard; I want to create space for trying own microeconomics systems. One of the big confusions is that when macroeconomics makes decisions its bets the whole house so yes there ought to be debate before you do that. Micro makes very small bets until it finds a franchise the works in one place, then can be proven to replicate, then by networking it anywhere needing an analogous solution it becomes big only after seeing its innovation work. So micro projects don’t need debates before you try them. Indeed old fashioned marketing that I still like practicing was quite happy with failing small and quickly until one finds success- its how true entrepreneurs have sustained breakthroughs that matter for humanity.

So I would like us to try and reframe this debate without having to start it with Bishops moves. Where I say us I have been shuttling up and down between Boston , New York and DC for 12 days in a row- inviting 50 youth to listen and then continue their own debate of what yunus said at GWU in DC. Joining debates of how Boston can connect 10000 people in getting on with yes we can test projects in coming months. Celebrating the best news of the decade which was announced at JP Morgan in New York last Tuesday as two of the banks for the poor made transparent all their trust dynamics in front of 200 surprised JP Morgan employees. The 85 minute session is on tape here

The best news of all is this 7 minute amateur extract I made
One ironical footnote. In July 2008, I had the choice of being 2 hemispheres apart. Trying to start a contrarian debate at the shareholders meeting of The Economist after 4 annual surveys of shareholders as to where is exponentials economic modeling gone in reporting what is being spun; or going to film the good news inside Bangladeshi’s micro economics organizations. Although there are over 20 good news video stories featured at this ning few people have even reviewed one of them. I am not sure that the virtual format is one I know how to animate. I expect to try and help teams in open space meetings of 10000 people play the 5 great collaboration games attached that Bangladeshi’s are now one third of a century into prooftesting. May their communities thrive even as our rich ones corrupt themselves into pieces unless youth can be the generational yes we can change that humanity needs. It is axiomatic in the 65 years of my families reporting of economics that healthy society compounds strong and sustaining economics not vice versa. Most billionaire philanthropists have extracted money using parts of the globally fallible model so it may be too big an ask to expect them to lead the opposite systems round maps.

Also having stated that I have grounds for having no faith in WEF leadership, it may be my prediction is biassed. But I dont see that PR forum as ever again being central to the micro up economics we now need to ,ap if sustainability is to be what we all choose to network. You had a good innings Klaus Schwab and Davos kings of the mountain - time to retire to the hall of fame?
Just putting Bill and Bishop aside for one moment I'd like to dwell on a though promtped by that video on the "life choice" of becoming a prostitute or a thief. I refer to a paragraph from the paper sent to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations which created the influence referred to above:

"We see a staggering array of social problems arising directly from poverty, including but not limited to tens of thousands of children in orphanages or other state care; crime; disrespect for civil government because government cannot be felt or seen as civil for anyone left to suffer in poverty; young people prostituting themselves on the street; drug abuse to alleviate the aches and pains of the suffering that arises from poverty and misery; HIV/AIDS spreading like a plague amidst prostitution, unprotected sex, and drug abuse; more children being born into this mix and ending up in state care at further cost to the state; criminals coming from poverty backgrounds, ending up as bandits, returning to communities after prison, with few options except further criminal activity. These are all part and parcel of the vicious negative cycle of poverty, and this threatens to destroy Ukraine, if Ukraine is defined in terms of people rather than mere geographic boundaries. Overall, population is steadily declining; families have not sufficient confidence in tomorrow to reproduce more than 1.2 children on average per couple."

We now know that it reached the two people who have since become the US President and his VP.

When a country like Ukraine, which this lunch was about is stripped of its wealth it's the bottom of the human pile which is harmed most when there are no resources left to provide state welfare. This reflects in my having to beg for attention for someone who could and should have been an inspiration to every one at that lunch. A disabled girl journalist who focusses on the lives of those even less fortunate:

Reading that, you might wonder who could possible be less fortunate. The answer of course is those who don't survive. They starve because there is no medical attention available to deal with a digestive disorder.

A lot of children rendered into these institutions due to poverty fade away like this, up to 12 percent annual attrition rate in the case of this one home. Some believe that young children reach the point of staring into the abyss, they simply don't want to be there any more.

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