sustainable + development + Acumen Fund + TED

Just watched another fabulous TED video and had to share…

Jacqueline Novogratz shares stories of how “patient capital” can bring sustainable jobs, goods, services — and dignity — to the world’s poorest.

She founded the Acumen Fund – a nonprofit that acts like a venture capital fund, investing in high risk businesses that serve a cause (high risk for other investors, but very serious in its approach to get results) in developing countries. Very interesting approach to tackling poverty…

I met Yasmina Zaidman, Acumen’s director of knowledge & communications (and writes most of the blogs over at the Acumen blog at the Net Impact Conference I went to last month. What a fantastic speaker as well.

Watch the video though, it’s great.

Moving forward (albeit painfully slowly…) on the thesis front. Wanted to bang my head against the wall more than a few times.. but that’s the joy of thesis writing, no? 😉

Anyways, this topic touches heavily on my topic so, I leave you now with questions (not just about Acumen Fund and ‘patient capital’ but just sustainable development questions in general), no answers.. something just for pondering…

  • this is ‘patient capital’ – which is needed for projects like this and doable in this case since it’s being funded by philanthropic dollars… but for everyone else who’s out there to make a buck, ventures are about growth growth growth… How can we tell people to ‘be patient’ when their investors are down their neck?
  • sustainable development – the word in and of itself is oxymoronic… sustainable (circular) and development (linear)… not the first one to point this out, just an ongoing question in my head. Annie, from the Story of Stuff is bang on “you cannot live on a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely” – at the end of the day, no one is 100% sustainable – read the No Impact blog to see how hard it is even to try
  • it seems like everyone who wants to help needs to go there (to a developing country) to understand first hand… if you don’t everyone else will tell you that you don’t understand ‘them’ – you’re less qualified to ‘help’ in that sense. What about the people who can’t get there? Plus, aren’t the environmentalists telling us to slow down on the travel? How can we make it easier to connect these two worlds virtually? Asking cause I think its about time I get myself out of the western world and see the world that the other 5 billion people see…

Well.. should probably start answering my own thesis questions…. so, back to work.

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2 thoughts on “sustainable + development + Acumen Fund + TED

  1. leslie says:

    jane!!!
    glad you liked that clip. i’m 95% sure i will be heading somewhere in africa for at least a month next summer (probably july) – if you want to join me you are more than welcome!!!!!!! i was think either east africa again, or maybe southern africa (zambia, namibia, malawi, losotho… just ideas!). anyways just wanted to let you know for down the road!

  2. […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by LU81740 on 2008-09-25 sustainable + development + Acumen Fund + TED https://janeporter.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/sustainable-development-acumen-fund-ted/ – bookmarked […]

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