Innovation and Collaboration Take Center Stage at Global Partnerships Week 2016
In my office’s public-private partnerships trainings, we often open with an ice-breaker in which we challenge groups of participants to complete a puzzle as a team, without the box top as a guide. As the groups attempt to finish the puzzle, they eventually realize that they are missing one crucial puzzle piece—and have an extra piece that doesn’t fit. Entrepreneurial team members are able to figure out that one puzzle piece has been switched with another group’s puzzle, and it’s only by trading those pieces that each puzzle can be completed.
There is a fortune at the Base of the Pyramid, not waiting to be found, but awaiting co-creation. That’s the message Ted London delivers in his new book, The Base of the Pyramid Promise: Building Businesses with Impact and Scale.
At the 1959 World Health Assembly, Soviet scientist Victor Zhdanov put forth a radical idea: a global campaign to eradicate smallpox, a disease that first surfaced more than 10,000 years ago and which is estimated to have caused 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century alone. Local and multinational campaigns had shown great promise in defeating the disease across North America and Europe, as well as parts of South America, but a global campaign was an audacious suggestion. Nothing of the sort had ever been attempted.
Public-Private Partnership Builds Toward a Better Future
At the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Conference hosted last fall by Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program, former Administrator of USAID, Rajiv Shah, highlighted the changing landscape of foreign aid. In particular, he noted the game-changing emergence of the private sector.
Partnerships are intended to de-risk a project, but carry risks of their own,” Judy Brown, the Chief Advisor for External Affairs in the East Pacific and Latin America at Rio Tinto and a veteran of field-level sustainability work, advised a group of 15 students in the Georgetown Master of Science in Foreign Service program. For both the public and private sector, the advent of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) make partnerships that catalyze the development of local markets especially important.
Building a responsible business is a lot like baking a cake. Most cake recipes have certain ingredients in common—the flour, the milk, the eggs, and the sugar. The recipe tells you which ingredients to use, how much, when, and at what temperature. All of these affect whether or not you end up with a delicious cake or one that goes into the garbage. Similarly, responsible businesses have common ingredients—sustainable strategies, processes, and implementation practices.
“Rather than marketing solutions to build the coolest and newest applications, we need to help the telecommunications providers build and manage reliable networks.” In 2013, Matt Berry spent three weeks in Nigeria as part of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge. For Berry, who was Director of Marketing for IBM Mobile First at the time, he experienced a number of light bulb moments over the course of his assignment.
“I achieved so much because most of the people who came to speak to us were ladies and that also means that ladies can also do something,” said a high school student from the eastern region of Ghana about a recent project with the Peace Corps and IBM.
IBM and JPMorgan Chase Employees Help Develop Next Generation Workforce
Within five years, The McKinsey Global Institute predicts a global deficit of over 85 million high- and medium-skilled workers and a global surplus of nearly 100 million unskilled workers. In the United States, about two-thirds of companies already find themselves unable to fill positions due to a lack of qualified applicants—the resulting reduction in economic output costs the U.S.