End Poverty is number 1 job of any keynsian and millennials; future capitalism
|Log of how to invite policymakers and professionals to help make 2010s the Yes We Can End Poverty Decade At minimum this is a game of 2 halves - encouraging P&P to connect everything in their power to reach millennium goals of 2015; moving on to set and action goals and system designs that end poverty after 2015
New Actions for Aug 2009 :please help place op-ed of Sam Daley-Harris (founder of microcreditsummit) wherever we can
Sam's Story celebrating presidential honor Here's where the op-ed's been published so far:
Publications of : Champions of Yes We Can
April 4, 2009 Microfinance Focus Bangalore, India
April 5, 2009 Khaleej Times, Dubai, UAE
April 6, 2009 The Star Nairobi, Kenya
April 7, 2009 Business Daily Nairobi, Kenya
The Times Trenton, NJ, USA
Promised (so far)
Omaha World Herald Omaha, NE, USA
Chronicle Herald Halifax, Canada
A Champion of Yes We Can
When President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Freedom to 16 distinguished American and international ‘agents of change’ at a White House ceremony on August 12, one of the honourees will link him to both his past and to the future he is so committed to creating.
Among the 16 leaders who will receive America’s highest civilian honour is Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which makes tiny loans for self-employment to some of the poorest people in that country. Prof Yunus is also one of the world’s most effective champions of the ‘yes we can’ spirit.
Decades ago, the economics professor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate described his search for new bank clients as a process of “looking for the most timid.”
He wasn’t looking for the villagers who were the first to step forward to ask for a micro-loan starting at less than $10, he was looking for those who were last to come forward and who trusted their abilities the least. To those villagers he and his staff would say, ‘Yes you can.’
Thirty-three years later, nearly eight million members of Grameen Bank (a total of 40 million when you count their family members) are saying ‘yes we can’ to the whole world.
Since its inception, Grameen Bank has lent more than $8 billion to the poor in Bangladesh.
So how does one start an enterprise that reaches nearly 40 million people in one’s own country and touches the lives of tens of millions more in replications around the world? Dr. Yunus had his own ‘yes we can’ moment as a young economics professor who faced an agonising famine that left him doubting his value as a teacher and as a human being.
He was so shaken by the sight of people dying of starvation that when he set foot into Jobra, the village next to his campus, all he wanted to do was to see if he could be of use to one person for one day — not 40 million — just one. It was in that village that he met a stool maker who horrified him when she explained that she earned only two cents a day for her beautiful craftsmanship. With no money to buy the bamboo she needed, Sufia Khatun was forced to borrow from a money-lender who demanded that she sell her finished stools back to him at a price he set — a price so low that she made only two cents a day profit.
When he asked whether she could earn more if she was freed from the moneylender, she told him, ‘Yes I can.’ Professor Yunus had a student look for other villagers who were in the same dilemma. The student found 42 people who needed a grand total of $27 to pay-off the moneylender, buy their raw materials, and sell their wares to the highest bidder. That’s right; all they needed was an average of 68 cents each. With her loan of less than $1 the stool-maker’s profits soared from two cents a day to $1.25 a day. Now Prof Yunus has set his sights on titans of business and industry with his social business concept and the chairmen of Dannone, Intel, and BASF are beating a ‘yes we can’ path to his door to create new non-profit/non-loss businesses that have as their sole goal improving people’s lives.
The corporations can recover their initial investments in the social businesses, but after that, all profits are plowed back into these new companies. They include a joint venture with Danone producing nutritionally fortified yogurt for malnourished villagers, another with BASF producing chemically treated bed-nets to protect people from mosquitoes carrying malaria, and still another with Intel bringing information technology solutions to rural villages.
When the US President shakes the hand of the Bangladeshi micro-banker at the White House ceremony this week, Mr Obama will be touching his own past and the microfinance work his mother did in Indonesia. And when Professor Yunus opens the Microcredit Summit next April in Nairobi, Kenya, the micro-banker from Bangladesh will launch the next phase of microfinance in the birthplace of Mr Obama’s father and throughout the continent.
President Obama should accompany Muhammad Yunus to that Summit in Kenya to join in the micro-banker’s most inspiring appeal — a daring call to put poverty in the museums where it belongs.
Yes we can!
Sam Daley-Harris is Founder of the Microcredit Summit Campaign which seeks to reach 175 million poorest families with microcredit
|being a systems maths guy I recommend one lists the rules that must never be broken first (others need a definite local adaptation reason for breaking) ; within each primary rule there also needs to be a what-else detailing because empowering rules need to be living communally not concrete in stone
MICRO UP SYSTEMS ARE UNIQUE TO WORLD SUSTANABILITY INVESTMENT DESIGNS IF & ONLY IF
1 owned by poorest over generations -ie system transparency and hi-trust = compound consequence driven, never 90 day success measured as anyone including poor might define quarterisation;
poorest actually means those that colonial system (big capital cities) compounds most conflicts around- which means that 1) your micro up model isnt much use unless its going to resolve whatever systemic conflicts are still spinning that poverty; 2) in a particular locality -as in grameen bangladesh - you choose the poorest group whose lifetime depends on communal collaboration - ie in 1970s this was poorest village women and their end poverty goals were very clear- make us income generating to gain respect and free us of such enslaving traditions as dowries, give us a communal centre for each group of 60 women to action learn and communally support each other, but invest the surplus in health and education of our kids especially girl power; bare as grameen's late 1970s model looked it was the perfect knowledge sharing design to evolve and now its digitally connected it is one of the few whole truth (ie gandhian satyagraha) deep 140000 hubs and spoke networks anywhere
(1a there is sometimes a confusion - a micro up model every time it replicates must start again with the poorest in that target area otherwise over time it will become eg banking for the less poor instead of the poorest; however of course after 30 years of bmediating micro up system like grameen and brac they are also responsible for sustainably investing (eg vocational education and employment agencies) in the next generations they have brought on; this is perhaps where they use hybrid models not only the micro up model that they keep deisgning round the poorest)
2 must have a positive cashflow model that everyone can see how to work (none of which is ever to be syphoned off outside the local communities or away from the poorest); in most countries a new law is required so that such a micro up organisation can never be tampered with
3 system design to reinvest all surplus in a purpose which of its kind nobody in deep local contexts can come close to beating - often it designs 10 times more economic and more responsible that that service has ever value exchanged before - a success that is judged over time as what compounds round future exponentials rising; by being so simply best and collaborative and open others interested in the same empowerment purpose join it rather than thinking for one second to compete with it;
if we analyse micro up models there are common reasons how they achieve 10 times more economic tehse include:
next to zero marketing costs and often bottom up ownership of whole channel
deprofessionalisation so local people can do most of the work and be educated on very specific practices - para-nurses of eyecare can be trained up in 2 months even if they began as semi-illiterate female teenagers in the vilage
absolutely zero-conflict between all sides- which maximises positive emotional energy- in fact social business models are true knowledge models where the business only sustains growth if its custmers, employees, societies do
4 seeding worldwide transformation: yes we can win war between opposite economics systems -micro up versus macro down - only one of which can sustain humanity lovally to globally if end poverty is to be the networking generation's defining achievement, micro up has a quality certification process that all of the world's deepest micro-ups can be mapped and celebrated - in the united race to poverty museums everywhere;
its best to ask worldwide youth to become the umpires of what is and isnt micro up since top down govs are sure as hell not going to regulate that as wall street has proven; micro requires every profession to return to hippocratic oaths; exact opposite system design than the way each global profession for last quarter century and currently is measuring or unfreeing speech around its vested interest as licensed to monopoly rule; the 40 year old gandhi's defining (system whole truth moment 1906 was aha its my profession that is the colonial world system spinning conflict; he mapped how education then media had to be transformed before he could battle my grandad in bombay courts one bar of london barrister to another- and have a 20 year chance of winning- humanity does not have time not to learn from grameen and brac now.
have I forgot any system-defining rule?
|450-word piece I wrote for www.ideas4change.tv, relating to my new venture. It was hard to express what I wanted, in 450 words! Enjoy!
"One could be forgiven on August 12, 2009, when Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, as founder of the Grameen Bank, for focusing on the Bank as his main accolade. It is after all one of the few stable banks in the world, and at a point where confidence in the banking sectors is at a global low point, that is no small achievement.
But look beneath the institution, and you will find something that shapes it, which is shaping much more than the bank. Look nearby within the same city, Dhaka, and you will also discover this in another organizational heavyweight, BRAC.
And if you lift your head up away from the ground level of practice and institutions to Bangladesh; you will see a picture of a nation where changes speak for themselves. It is the only country that is on its way to reach the MDGs. It has put itself on the world map for gender equality.
There is a quiet revolution afoot in these lowlands and something called Social Business has everything to do with it. In a country where 10 years ago, a rickshaw driver interviewed on the street would not have wanted his daughter to go into education. Now the contrary is common. A shift in attitude has happened.
Change at this level does not come overnight. It has taken nearly 4 decades. But I believe that these kinds of attitudes, as they embed themselves, are fomenting the destiny of the nation.
So what lies underneath Grameen? And underneath the BRAC phenomenon? And even under Social Business?
I believe it is a simple dedication to keep asking a very simple question: “What creates poverty and what can we do to transform it?" I have come to think that the simpler the question, the longer its staying power over the years. If you are relentless about a quest, you are likely to achieve it.
I also believe that if you want to transform a system, you have to work with the whole system. It is hard. You have to experiment. You have to have staying power. You cannot short cut this approach. I think that there should be no surprise when real change is not achieved if there is no clear intention at the start. So those who succeeded are likely to have been relentless in their quest.
So here is the opportunity that London Creative Labs invites you to take up with us: keep the simple question about poverty alive, experiment with prototypes, scale up what works, be relentless, think deeply systemically. Unleash the power of Social Business to transform society."
|Gandhi Peace Prize 2000 Citation : Grameen bank, Bangladesh
There are few institutions that inspire faith in humanity even in the an environment of material greed, soulless careerism, exploitation and pursuit of naked power, institutions that live with the credo that “small is beautiful” even when the world is being besieged by the philosophy of the big. They are the institutions that live with a soul committed to fighting the inroads of global homogenization, seeking to provide succor to the deprived yet diligent common people and proving that unity can work miracles even in an age of growing individualism. The Gandhi Peace prize 2000 is being awarded to one such institution which has been helping the marginalized masses to reject charity and to master their own destiny instead. It has been helping them tap their innate capabilities of entrepreneurship, thereby bringing them hope confidence and cheer. Here is a fraternity of perseverance and service that promotes dignity and adherence to truth. Here is development which enabled millions of women from poor households to acquire a new meaning in life. Here is development with a human face which is not populist but people-centred and which promotes self-help and self-respect, values dear to Mahatma Gandhi.
Professor Muhammad Yunus, economist at the University of Chittagong, probably did not know that he was launching a revolution when he started his action project and lent a small amount of money to a poor woman to help her build her own life. The success of this experiment gave birth to Grameen bank. This bank radically reversed conventional banking practices with their emphasis on collateral security, practices which has given rise to the witticism that the best way to get a loan in convince the banker that you don’t need one. Here is a new banking system in rural areas that is based on mutual trust, solidarity, participation, peer monitoring and accountability. Its operations indicate the faith of its founding father, Muhammad Yunus, that if financial resources are made available to the poor on terms and conditions that are appropriate and reasonable “these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder.” The success of grameen bank has won international acclaim and emulation. With its participatory approach, emphasis on women entrepreneurs, women’s empowerment and employment creation, the microcredit projects have come to be hailed as a very promising approach to poverty eradication.
Mahatma Gandhi gave the world a talisman
“Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you apply the following test
Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man whom you have seen and ask if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his life and destiny? In other words will it lead to Swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and your self melting away”
Grameen bank, Bangladesh is an invitation par excellence, which passes the test with great elan