A few weeks ago, as part of Acumen's work with a coffee social enterprise, I attended the Rwanda Cup of Excellence awards ceremony, the culmination of a two-week contest to identify Rwanda's best specialty coffee. With an auction for the winning coffees where prices will climb to more than 10 times the average export price, this was a huge day for Rwanda's smallholder coffee farmers. During the ceremony, one particularly inspiring story unfolded.
When Ami first tried launching her flower business, her father refused to loan her 50,000 rupees ($1,000), saying he would rather get her married. Priyanka was studying to be an entrepreneur, when she was forced to drop out as 4th year engineer student so that she could get married. And when Nayna* was launching her chocolate factory, her husband reminded her daily that it was a bad idea.
As discussed in my first blog post, this summer I have had the immense privilege of working at Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The hospital was forced to function massively over capacity, which is particularly impressive considering it sees over 130,000 patient in a normal year. While I was there the overflow of Dengue Fever cases forced us to set up beds in our hallways and turn classrooms into temporary wards.
With slightly less than two weeks left until the end of my internship with the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, I am using this blog post as an opportunity to reflect on the past two months.
Cambodia unfortunately experienced two major disease outbreaks over the last 3 months: Dengue Fever and the "Mysterious Illness" which turns out to be Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease. I have had the immense privilege of working at Angkor Hospital for Children here in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
This post is part two in a two part series about my internship at the United States Treasury. In my first post (dated August 13, 2012), I discussed the role of my group-the Office of Financial Institutions Policy (OFIP)-within the U.S Treasury. In this submission I will describe in further detail the work that defined my summer experience.
A number of reports have crossed my desk recently about how to accelerate and advance social innovation. In many of these reports I notice a big imbalance in representation between those I’ll call the “doers” and those who consult, advise and fund the action. For example, on a back of the envelop analysis of four reports by leading social impact experts and consulting firms, just 24% of those surveyed/convened were “doers” who directly provide programs, services and interventions. The remaining 76% were assorted funders, consultants, intermediaries, advisors, and donors. In one report the doers accounted for a mere 3%. These percentages resonate with my observations at a variety of gatherings over recent years, and they raise concern.
I leave the summer more excited about the prospects for education reform. The Education Pioneers fellowship opened my eyes to the vast network of individuals committed to restoring the U.S. education system to its prior position as a global leader. How do we infuse the industry with passionate new leaders able to lend new perspectives and offer creative solutions to challenging, complex problems?
Social Innovation Financing/Pay for Success is a new mechanism that is winning widespread attention and rapid proliferation. As a result, new questions, complications, and variations emerge frequently. In this post, I'll describe some of what I learned this summer about the conditions that help advance a PFS initiative based on my work on the first county-level application of SIF.
Water is used in the production of nearly every product in the global economy. It is a primary ingredient in the food and beverage industry. It is used for cleaning, rinsing, and cooling in industrial processes and power generation. It serves as a conduit for waste and the transport of goods. In its natural form, it impacts real estate prices, commercial fishing operations, and the recreational sector. In so many ways, water impacts and is impacted upon by business.