So inspiring it blew my mind!

Lately, I've been hearing about or reading about entrepreneurs who are creatively tackling some huge social economic issues by using good ol' capitalism. As with any tool, capitalism isn't the problem, it's the people who use it with disregard for their community or the environment that's the problem. Here are a few courageous people who are tackling some big problems in innovative ways, with a conscience.

1. RICHARD PULLEN, Development Technology Workshop, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
A company that looks at a product and designs it using local materials, local staff and local skills within developing countries. Some of their products include: collapsible walking cane; a braille writer that doesn't require electricity and "The Tempest", a large machine that clears vegetation for mine clean-up. They admit they are not experts in the areas of demining or creating braille equipment but believe that is an advantage.

Richard Pollen's company called Development Technology Workshop, or DTW is currently working in Cambodia. To read more go to Public Radio Marketplace or DTW Cambodia.

DTW is included in a new exhibit at the National Design Museum in New York: Design for the other 90%. It's about design with a social conscience, aimed at encouraging rural entrepreneurs in the Third World.

2. Sandra "Mama" Romero, owner of Mama's Hot Tamales Cafe in L. A. : Helping homeless become enterprising citizens through working Tamales carts.

She incorporates the excluded and is "putting to work economist Hernando de Soto's idea that marginalized workers outside the legal system are the SOLUTION instead of the problem." I read this facinating story in one of my new favorite magazines- Good. Read the full story.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Muhammad Yunus : Microcapitalism :
Companies would be judged for their social returns- lives improved or saved, instead of only judging them on their stock value.

BANGLADESH. Nobel Prize-winning economist Muhammad Yunus has a new idea. The pioneer of microcredit is launching a business model that he hopes will replace conventional capitalism and level the playing field between the developed and developing world. The approach, called “social business enterprise,” preserves the free market, but forces it to operate in tandem with social interests.

"An attempt to find out is underway in poverty-stricken Bangladesh, where Grameen Bank and the French dairy giant Danone have opened a new yogurt plant. The milk is supplied by farmers who have bought cows with Grameen Bank microloans. The vitamin-rich yogurt, meant to prevent malnutrition, is sold by salespeople who have taken out loans to purchase the yogurt." The full story can be found on Ode, my other new favorite magazine.

Please let me know if you have read or heard of like-minded people and

1 comment:

Kerry and Rachel said...

Fabulous stories you cite! They are all very inspiring. I hope that the trend spreads, continues and grows. We could use more like-minded people in this world!
Thanks for bringing these stories together!