I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and of the degree of the arcades' curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past...A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Eradicating Poverty Through Profit

The World Resources Institute sponsored a conference on Eradicating Poverty Through Profit last December. I was unable to attend, but a couple of my coworkers did and found it extremely stimulating. The conference operated on the underlying philosophy that large companies do have a role to play in development, by providing products and services to "bottom of the pyramid" markets. While there is interesting ethics involved in profiting from the poor, I think that they also have an interesting approach, in that large companies are going to be much more interested in profit than charity. They have just set up a website to continue the conversation at www.nextbillion.net.

A caveat--I did try to sign up for a password for login access and haven't received it yet. However, there is a lot of information available on the regular site, and there is an RSS feed.

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