Live Twits from the Harvard IDC Conference

Here is a breakdown on Pete’s talk (Workshop 1: Social Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries) at the Harvard International Development Conference, as I liveblogged it on Twitter. It feels a little bit like telegraph.

Ran into Ben Salinas from engineering student from Olin College. Looking out for Stephen Lee from Brandeis. 09:09 AM

Pete starts his talk off with this: http://tinyurl.com/jpq (dif in spread of grid globally) 09:14 AM

He moves on 2 talk about the differences in human development (UNDP’s HDI Report: http://tinyurl.com/dazj5) 09:17 AM

Impact of increased infrastructure development on health U.S: http://tinyurl.com/ys87t3 09:19 AM

He talks about the diff in the ease of starting a formal sector biz in various countries: http://tinyurl.com/28d8nm

Talks about the importance of operating in the formal sector if you are trying to have an impact on a large scale in developing countries 09:22 AM

Talks about new trends in NGOs, private entreprise, dev agencies & BOP consumers working 2gether to achieve econ/social transformation 09:24 AM

Co-creation & participatory development –> idea generation, concept evaluation, Detail design, fabrication, testing and evaluation 09:25 AM

BOP entrepreneurs examples: Vacutug-UN http://tinyurl.com/ysvv7a 09:27 AM

Vacutug: “a small scale enterprise that UN-Habitat has been developing in Nairobi, Kenya. It is… a latrine emptying service.” 09:28 AM

Ooh the new human development report: http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/ (Thanx Luca) 09:29 AM

BOP example 2: Motorola, large company targeting bottom of pyramid market. Talks about motophone (and how it looks like the razr) 09:30 AM

Motorola got cash from african telcoms to develop a small durable phone for the african market. Used the idea to dev the Razor (sweet) 09:32 AM

talks about how cell phone tech is changing the marketplace in developing countries. 4 more info: http://rru.worldbank.org/th… 09:34 AM

Next example: SKS India http://www.sksindia.com/ 09:34 AM

Here is a breakdown on Pete’s talk (Workshop 1: Social Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries) at the Harvard International Development Conference, as I liveblogged it on Twitter. It feels a little bit like telegraph.

Ran into Ben Salinas from engineering student from Olin College. Looking out for Stephen Lee from Brandeis. 09:09 AM

Pete starts his talk off with this: http://tinyurl.com/jpq (dif in spread of grid globally) 09:14 AM

He moves on 2 talk about the differences in human development (UNDP’s HDI Report: http://tinyurl.com/dazj5) 09:17 AM

Impact of increased infrastructure development on health U.S: http://tinyurl.com/ys87t3 09:19 AM

He talks about the diff in the ease of starting a formal sector biz in various countries: http://tinyurl.com/28d8nm

Talks about the importance of operating in the formal sector if you are trying to have an impact on a large scale in developing countries 09:22 AM

Talks about new trends in NGOs, private entreprise, dev agencies & BOP consumers working 2gether to achieve econ/social transformation 09:24 AM

Co-creation & participatory development –> idea generation, concept evaluation, Detail design, fabrication, testing and evaluation 09:25 AM

BOP entrepreneurs examples: Vacutug-UN http://tinyurl.com/ysvv7a 09:27 AM

Vacutug: “a small scale enterprise that UN-Habitat has been developing in Nairobi, Kenya. It is… a latrine emptying service.” 09:28 AM

Ooh the new human development report: http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/ (Thanx Luca) 09:29 AM

BOP example 2: Motorola, large company targeting bottom of pyramid market. Talks about motophone (and how it looks like the razr) 09:30 AM

Motorola got cash from african telcoms to develop a small durable phone for the african market. Used the idea to dev the Razor (sweet) 09:32 AM

talks about how cell phone tech is changing the marketplace in developing countries. 4 more info: http://rru.worldbank.org/th… 09:34 AM

Next example: SKS India http://www.sksindia.com/ 09:34 AM

Talks about sks using a high tech solution: http://tinyurl.com/2dkjnv

The sensible use of technology (palm pilots to track microloans) allowed sks to scale rather rapidly. Paper tracking is very inefficient. 09:38 AM

They could move from non-profit to for-profit and have been able to reach ALOT of people (http://www.sksindia.com/tec…) 09:39 AM

Next BOP example: Full belly project. Here Pete talks about standardization of their peanut sheller, invented by Jock Brandis. 09:40 AM

Full belly’s site: http://www.fullbellyproject.

Cooperative selling peanut sheller partners with cement manfucturer in indonesia. Cement is subsidized by biz because they collect peanut 09:41 AM

… shells to use as a sort for generating biofuel 09:42 AM

Next example: Light up the world foundation. LUTW provide white LED lights. It’s the product that an engineer could love (but not very purty 09:43 AM
Light up the world’s site: http://www.lutw.org/

Cosmos ignite: now their product is sexy. http://www.cosmosignite.com/

Next example: Kickstart (formerly approtech). Shows off moneymaker pump. Met martin fisher last yr. awesome: http://www.kickstart.org/

Next up: AIDG (hurray); Pete talks about biogas systems: http://www.aidg.org/biodige.

mproved stoves and cleaner burning fuel can huge positive impact on health: http://tinyurl.com/yteeoq

Pete finishes up with the aidg model. For more info: http://www.aidg.org/

Maarten's Work in Tierra Colorada

Maarten instructs Lety on how to use her biodigester

Maarten has spent this last week in Tierra Colorada installing a biodigester system with Candido for Dona Lety. Dona Lety is a victim of domestic violence, and AIDG has donated this system to her and her 4 children to help offset expensive fuel costs and provide fertilizer to help increase her crop’s productivity. In this picture, Maarten is showing Lety how to mix pig manure with water before dumping it into the biodigester. Each day, Dona Lety is to put in more manure or food scrap, and in the coming weeks gas will be produced, and Dona Lety will have a source of clean burning fuel.

Bush Visits Guatemala

Last week President Bush visited various Latin American countries, including Columbia, Brazil and Guatemala.

Here is what MSM (mainstream media) and the blogosphere say about the trip. Tough crowd. Tough crowd.

  • Spring break from the Economist
    Expectations are low as George Bush sets off to a region he has neglected throughout much of his presidency

    Here is a letter to the Editor from the Foreign minister of Guatemala in response to comments madethe above article

    Why Mr Bush paid a call

    SIR – You said that George Bush’s visit to Guatemala was “largely to thank the government for joining America’s ‘coalition of the willing’ in Iraq” (“Spring break”, March 3rd). In fact, Guatemala was the only country in Central America that did not join the “coalition of the willing” in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution sanctioning the use of force in Iraq.

    We would like to think that President Bush’s stop in our country was partly because Guatemala has had such a compelling story to tell since the signing of the 1996 peace accords. While still facing difficult challenges, we have made progress towards becoming a pluralist, democratic society. It is well known that the United States has not always been an objective bystander in domestic events, but I am happy to confirm the point you made that in more recent times our bilateral relationship has been very constructive and mutually respectful.

    Gert Rosenthal
    Foreign minister of Guatemala
    Guatemala City

  • Guatemala: Photos from indigenous protest of Bush visit from Boing Boing

    Read the text of the post for some commentary from Allen Sullivan, the photojournalist who snapped the shots.

  • Latin America Trip Not Entirely Business as Usual from NPR

Bonus Latin American Story:
Banana profits went to terrorists from Foreign Policy Blog
Banana companies, like Chiquita, have had to pay protection money to terrorist orgs to prevent their employees from being murdered or harassed.

Ask and you shall receive?

Hey folks,

I’m putting an all call out there to our friends and supporters. As you may know, we’re a young organization (we’re entering our third year of existence. Hurray!). We’re up and coming and have accomplished ALOT given a) how small and b) how young we are. We’re starting to have a bit of momentum in terms of getting our name out there, but we need your help.

So I want to ask you all a favor. If you believe in what we are trying to do and what to help us grow and build, please take 5 minutes out to tell four of your friends about us. You all are our best advocates and we need you to make our dream of getting green and renewable technologies to the rural poor a reality.

Click here to help us Spread the Word.

Other ways you can help

If you are signed up with Technorati, write a where’s the fire post about us: http://www.technorati.com/wtf?new&topic=AIDG. That would be a huge help!

If you have your own blog or website and want to help us with our 6 degrees campaign, post this charity badge on your site. The group with the most donors (not the most cash) by March 31st can get a $10,000 matching grant from Kevin Bacon.

http://www.networkforgood.org/pca/PersonalCharityBadge.aspx?pcaid=102749

Thanks so much for that taking this journey with us.

Warm regards,

Cat

So let me put my biases on the table before I begin the discussion. I’m black, a nice chocolaty black, not so black that I’m purple, but black. In the black community as in many communities around the world, lighter skin is viewed favorably particularly in women. There is the whole “lighter is brighter” thing plus the “good hair vs. bad hair” thing. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, particularly the scene with the women are having a pow wow. Anyhoo, that’s where I’m coming from when I read about the Fair and Lovely Debate being played out between C.K. Prahalad and Aneel Karnani from U. of Michigan. See these posts from Salon’s HTWW () and NextBillion.net () for a summary.

Here are a few questions the whole debate made me think of:

1) Is it progress when a person purchases a product that allows them to rise above their station when the underlying discrimination that determines their station doesn’t change?

This is one of those questions is that much better with examples as my answers definitely vary.

Example 1: A person with a thick Mancunian accent gets elocution language to sound posh like Lady Di.

Okay, that seems fair enough. Sure it would be nice if all regional accents were equal (some are actually quite lyrical) but that doesn’t bother me too much. It saddens me because diversity is lost, but it doesn’t really bug me.

Example 2: A

Example 3: A person with dark skin buys Fair and Lovely to lighten their skin.

Now that really bothers me. I was trying to figure out why aside from the obvious reasons.

2) Is it empowerment when people who would not have dared to try to “pass” can buy things that allow them to do so now?

I think it is in that people are recognizing the racist system in which they live and doing what they can do get by within it. It is crafty and from the buyer’s side is a smart move.

3) Is it an example that I would use to illustrate the success of the BOP concept?

Uh no. It’s creepy. However you slice it and regale the customer’s rationale choices, Unilever is making a profit off the fact that a certain type of racism/classism exists in India and other places. Ew. Yes it is a product that the people want, but ew just the same. Sure, I probably would be less bothered if it were any other cosmetic and yes I am sensitive about this issue, but still.