Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger – BOP and Business for Development

What is the role of business in creating sustainable development?

baach_vegetables_brentstirtonThe Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger is a truly innovative, interesting, and promising approach exploring how to build on the capacity and dynamics of business to create sustainable development and alleviate hunger and poverty. The initiative was started in 2006 by a group of visionary CEOs and public leaders, who outlined an action plan for business to help reduce hunger. Through BAACH, business leverage their expertise and capabilities to improve value chains – from production processing, and packaging, to retailing and marketing, with the aim to increase food supplies, nutrition, and income in regions with malnutrition and food insecurity.

The pilot project of the BAACH is now taking action on the ground in Kenya, in the Siaya region. Hear Roselyn Omondi, the program manager of the BAACH tell about the project and the experiences so far in this short video-interview:

Why is BAACH an important and interesting initiative?

Milton Friedman long time ago argued that the business of business is business, and their contribution to society would be through creating jobs and paying taxes, and maybe once in a while channel a bit of the surplus for charity. And indeed, in many development sector arenas the expected role of business still seems to be as donors of generous grants as part of a CSR scheme. Donations do have their reason to be, since for sure not all challenges and activities can be solved with a business model. But for really sustainable development, we need sustainability both on social, environmental, and economical parameters. Continue reading

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid in Nairobi – The Way to Vision 2030

CK PrahaladOn August 17th CK Prahalad was the guest of honour at the conference organized by KPMG training solutions, bringing the ideas of ‘The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid’ to Kenya.

Long before the actual date, CKP’s picture had been cruising the city of Nairobi via the addposter on the busses, spreading the concept of BOP, which is still not a very wellknown three-letter-abbreviation around here. Although the price for attending this event made it very clear that only TOP were intended, about 300 participants showed up for this event. Of the guests, most were from Kenyan public sector and private companies, plus a few NGOs. I was, representing my current employer Grundfos LIFELINK, one of the only guests from foreign companies.

That, however did not in any way make the event less interesting. On the contrary! One of the key questions of the day was, how the BOP strategy can be applied in Kenya as a tool for development to meet the ambitious Kenyan Vision 2030. CK Prahald’s message was clear: Without an inclusive development strategy that will uplift the 65% of Kenya’s population living below the poverty line in rural areas and urban informal settlements, Kenya will see social conflict and uprising on a large scale like the tragic events of the post-election violence in 2008. You cannot build a prosperous future and a prosperous society without including and developing the resources of the poor majority of the population. Download CK Prahalad’s slides HERE.

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Advancing Sustainable Global Enterprise – You can still make it!

Net ImpactAre you a changemaker, an innovator, and/or a problemsolver working to build on the capacity and competencies of business to create sustainable solutions to the challenges in the world? Then check out the NET IMPACT CONFERENCE on ADVANCING SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE.

WHAT:

2009 Net Impact Conference: “Advancing Sustainable Global Enterprise: Changemakers, Innovators and Problem Solvers”

·         Will bring together the players behind the sustainable global enterprise movement, including sustainability and corporate responsibility practitioners, social entrepreneurs, and nonprofit leaders.

http://www.netimpact.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=2029

KEYNOTES INCLUDE:
·         Jeffrey Immelt, CEO, GE
·         Seth Goldman, President & TeaEO, Honest Tea
·         Lisa Lorimer, former President and majority owner, Vermont Bread Co.
·         Jeff Furman, Legal Counsel, Ben & Jerry’s

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When BOP meets Clean Tech – Insight and Outcome of the Cornell Global Forum on Sustainable Enterprise

The Great Convergence

What happens when you bring together 100 change agents, social entrepreneurs, business leaders, intrapreneurs, academics, development sector representatives, and financiers for 3 days in a hotel in New York?

What you get is a lot of connections, a lot of conversation and a lot of conspiration in the most positive sense of the work on how to develop the way forward for bringing clean tech solutions to people in the developing countries.

Personally, what I take away from the Cornell Global Forum on the Great Convergence between Clean Tech and Base of the Pyramid is a lot of inspiration and good conversations ! Very few times in my life have I had the privilege of being in the company of so many visionary people from around the world with their hearts and minds in the right places. Every evening when retiring to my hotel room my head was buzzing with new inspirations, insights and ideas on how to incorporate the strengths of the private sector in delivering solutions to the social and environmental challenges in the world.
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INVITATION: Workshop on Climate Challenges and Base of the Pyramid

The Great Convergence

INVITATION:

Practitioner workshop on BOP and climate challenges at the Joint Actions on Climate Change Conference in Aalborg, Denmark, on June 10 2009.

Driving forward The Great Convergence between Green Technology and Base of the Pyramid

For the full program and further details, please download the invitation here: BOP WORKSHOP AT JAOCC – JUNE 10 2009

PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR JUNE 1ST! COME JOIN US!

Introduction: Setting the Scene for Green Tech and BOP

•    4 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid need basic products and services to escape poverty and build sustainable lives in a reality where the global climate changes is a constant challenge
•    A range of sustainable technological solutions already exists, but they seldom reach the needs and markets in the developing countries

Based on this apparent paradox we invite representatives from private and public sector, NGO’s, and academia to explore the potential of business and cross-sector collaboration to bring innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions to developing countries.

The workshop will build on the work and recommendations from the summit of Cornell Global Forum on Sustainable Enterprise in New York in early June 2009, where 100 international leaders and change agents across sectors meet for 3 days to develop solutions and drive forward The Great Convergence between the fields of green technology and Base of the Pyramid (BOP) strategies for doing business in developing countries (www.cornellglobalforum.org).

As part of the Joint Actions on Climate Change June 10th 2009, Aalborg University (www.jaocc.net) we will take these insights and recommendations further and explore barriers and opportunities to develop and implement business-based solutions for climate challenges in developing countries.

The program includes a cross-sector panel debate on the recommendations from Cornell Global Forum, and workshops on BOP Business models, BOP cross-sector partnerships, and people centred innovation with BOP.

Note that deadline for registration is coming up soon – the 29th of May. We hope to see you there!

The workshop is co-hosted by BOP Learning Lab at Confederation of Danish Industries, access2innovation, and BOP Innovation.

Base of the Pyramid – The Business of Development

Shakti Lady“The world of today has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them”

These words of wisdom from Einstein provide the outset for my article in the online magazine “International Development” where I introduce the concept of Base of the Pyramid to an audience primarily from the development sector, and explore the potential of a closer collaboration between business and development through the mindset and methodologies of innovation.

Download the article International Development 13 – Louise Koch, or read it online (p.23)  in International Development HERE:

iBOP Asia – Science and Technology Innovations for BOP

iBoP ASIA joins the community of researchers and practitioners who are striving to develop sustainable technologies and business models to improve living conditions for people in low-income communities. The project is a partnership between the Ateneo School of Government in the Phillippines, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

I believe that one of the important contributions from iBOP ASIA – apart of course from the development of appropriate technologies – is the focus on the role of the public sector and policy making to bring forward the work in BOP. This perspective has so far not been adquately addressed, since the current research and practice in BOP is mostly growing out of a business context. To challenge to improve the living conditions of the poor 2/3′s of the world’s population demands new and innovative partnerships across sectors.

Read more about the objectives of the  iBOP ASIA here below, and check out their website for more information HERE.

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