Alltop répertorie de nombreux articles sur l'entrepreneuriat social à travers le monde.
10.12.2013 Scandinavian-style sustainability
This article originally appeared on Ensia.
From a window seat, the first glimpse of Denmark’s sustainability ambition waves at air travelers as they make their descent into Copenhagen’s airport. Middelgrunden, a row of 20 towering turbines audaciously anchored to a reef more than a mile from dry land, was the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it was built in 2000. Today, along with Copenhagen’s famous bicycle scene, these blades remain among the most visible signs of a decades-long green transition underway in this city, which aspires to be the world’s first carbon-neutral capital in 2025.
It’s big goals and big investments like these that have helped give Denmark and its neighbors Norway and Sweden an outsized presence in the sustainability world. As it sheds a dirtier, oil-dependent past, Scandinavia has become a mecca for green energy, design and policy, boasting some of the world’s most efficient buildings, lowest fossil fuel use and boldest emission targets.
Yet, exceptional as these Scandinavian countries appear — and they certainly are above average — each also faces significant questions and contradictions as it attempts to minimize its impact on the climate and planet.
READ MORE: "Fire and ice: Green-themed economic development heats up in Iceland," Sustainable Industries, March 2013
Denmark, for example, is home to some of the world’s most efficient buildings and best bicycle infrastructure — but it also has the baggage of a wealthy, consuming nation with a per-capita ecological footprint that tops that of the United States.
Sweden’s energy mix has one of the lowest proportions of fossil fuels in the world — but instead Swedes rely on nuclear, hydropower and wood fuels, all of which are environmental mixed bags.
Meanwhile, oil-rich Norway has become an unlikely global leader in electric vehicles, powered by its abundant hydropower — but the country is also the world’s third-largest exporter of oil and gas.
Denmark: Transformation trigger
It was a sudden shortage of oil that triggered Denmark’s transformation into one of the most efficient economies in the world. The 1973 Arab oil embargo led to shortages and skyrocketing prices that brought the Danish economy to its knees. At the time, the country counted on oil — almost all of it imported — for more than 90 percent of its energy.
“We found out how vulnerable we are,” says Iver Høj Nielsen, head of press for State of Green, a public-private partnership that promotes Danish sustainability solutions to the rest of the world.
[pagebreak]The experience would change the country’s course for decades.
Saving energy became an overnight priority. The country built hundreds of district heating systems — networks of pipes that carry heat from centralized power plants — to replace less-efficient heating oil furnaces in homes and businesses. It used taxes, subsidies and strict building codes to steer homeowners and builders toward better insulation and more efficient appliances. And car-free Sundays during the crisis brought bicycles to the streets and seeded the public demand for the two-wheeled infrastructure that would come to define its cities.
As a result, Denmark’s total final energy consumption in 2009 was actually slightly lower than it was in 1973, even though the country’s economy has nearly doubled in size since then. Denmark’s GDP per unit of energy today is almost twice that of the United States, and among countries in the OECD it trails only Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The oil crisis and subsequent search for alternatives also gave birth to the modern wind power industry. Vestas’ and Siemens’ wind units started here in 1979 and 1980, respectively. Wind power now provides more than 30 percent of Denmark’s electricity, and energy technologies account for about 11 percent of Denmark’s exports.
Sweden: Wood and waste
Sweden, too, was deeply affected by the 1970s oil crisis. At the time, the Swedes relied on oil for about 75 percent of their total energy supply, despite the fact Sweden produces no domestic oil. The country’s response to the crisis was a pivot toward natural resources that it does have — specifically wood, water and uranium.
“We suddenly were facing enormous prices on oil and had no control of them whatsoever,” says Johan Thorsell, business support manager for the city of Växjö, in southern Sweden. “We started to ask: What kind of resources do we have locally? Well, we have wood.”
Växjö is a city of about 80,000 tucked into Sweden’s Småland forests. With its abundant trees and lakes, residents are never far from nature. Along with a major university, the forest industry has long been one of the region’s most important employers.
In 1980, Växjö began replacing oil in its municipal power plant with wood chips and other waste products left over from area logging and sawmill operations. It was the first city in Sweden to convert its district heating system to run on biomass. Today, wood fuels supply about 90 percent of the city’s heating and cooling energy.
The rest of Sweden is steadily catching up, spurred by a carbon tax that took effect in the early 1990s. Most cities have district heating systems, and biomass accounted for 47 percent of energy input in 2011 — by far the largest source, followed by municipal solid waste at 20 percent.
While fossil fuels play a diminishing role in heating, they’re virtually nonexistent in the electricity sector. Sweden built a dozen nuclear reactors in the 1970s and ’80s to supplement its massive hydropower capacity. Together the two sources meet up to 90 percent of the country’s load.
[pagebreak]Among International Energy Agency members, no other country uses a smaller share of fossil fuels. As Sweden works towards a goal of zero net greenhouse emissions by 2050, its biggest challenge will be transportation, which accounts for nearly half its emissions today.
For a road map to electrifying vehicles, Sweden may need to look no further than Norway. In September 2013, the all-electric Tesla Model S became the best-selling car in Norway.
Norwegians’ interest in electric cars is being driven by a slew of tax breaks and other perks, including free parking, toll exemptions and access to bus lanes. The country was on track to have about 15,000 electric cars on the road by the end of 2013 — 10 times the number in Denmark or Sweden.
These EVs have a nearly carbon-free fuel source, too, because almost all of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower. “We don’t use oil and gas in our heating or electricity sectors,” says Janne Stene, head of the clean energy team at the Bellona Foundation, an Oslo-based environmental non-governmental organization. “We’re not dependent on it in the same way other countries are.”
Norway is still very dependent on oil and gas, however — just, as Stene says, not in the same way. Oil and gas may not fuel its power plants, but they certainly fuel its economy, accounting for more than 23 percent of the country’s GDP.
Norway’s status as the world’s third-largest exporter of oil and gas behind Russia and Saudi Arabia complicates its ambitious environmental aspirations. The country aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050, but can it really be sustainable as long as it’s enabling oil addictions elsewhere?
Denmark’s sustainability paradox stems not from what it exports but from what it imports.
As busy as Copenhagen’s bike lanes are, none gets as much use as the Strøget, the city’s two-mile-long, car-free shopping district. The outdoor mall draws an estimated 250,000 visitors per day in the summer. The oldest public squares in the city are now nodes connecting row after row of fashion boutiques, chain stores and sidewalk cafés.
While Danish consumerism may be more conscious and less compulsive than the American version, make no mistake: Danes like to shop. Copenhagen is a cosmopolitan city with booming foodie and fashion scenes. And thanks to the country’s progressive wealth distribution policies, most people can afford to buy nice things.
[pagebreak]All of that consumption adds up — sometimes in ways that don’t show up in official sustainability metrics. The most commonly cited statistics on carbon emissions, for example, show Denmark’s per capita carbon footprint trending downward since the mid-1990s. “This is something Danish politicians love to talk about, because they say this shows how we have been able to decouple economic growth from CO2 emissions,” says Thomas Færgeman, director of CONCITO, a climate change think tank based in Copenhagen.
As a small country that depends heavily on imports, however, Denmark’s impact isn’t accurately reflected by these official numbers, he says, which generally focus on the impact of goods produced in a country. CONCITO has done its own carbon footprint calculation based on what Denmark consumes, rather than what it produces. “It’s about 50 percent higher than the official numbers,” says Færgeman, and “it’s actually rising.”
Denmark’s appetite for meat and global goods contributed to its fourth-worst ranking in a 2012 report by WWF and the Global Footprint Network on the ecological footprint of nations. On a per capita basis, only three countries — Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates — are depleting the planet’s resources faster, according to the report. (The United States ranked fifth worst.)
Lessons for the rest of us
While reality is messier than the region’s green image, Scandinavia clearly offers success stories and lessons for the rest of the world. It’s a leader in energy-efficient buildings and bike and transit infrastructure. It has some of the world’s cleanest air and water, and most aggressive and broadly supported climate goals.
When Denmark’s parliament passed an ambitious law in March 2012 to accelerate progress toward a 100 percent renewable energy goal, it passed just eight votes shy of being unanimous — something that seems unimaginable in the U.S. Congress. Why is it that the lessons of the 1970s oil crisis stuck in Scandinavia while other countries forgot? How have Scandinavian countries managed to move forward without the distraction of climate denialism or industry opposition?
The answer may have to do with the countries’ small size and relative homogeneity. Scandinavians know they don’t have resources to waste. They’ve long been dependent on trade with others, more so than larger countries. Most citizens come from similar cultural backgrounds, and there are no extreme gaps in wealth to create factions, so it’s relatively easy to build consensus.
“These sustainability challenges demand we come together,” says Robert Strand, director of the Scandinavian Centre for Corporate Sustainability at the Copenhagen Business School. And that’s something Scandinavians have proven to be particularly good at. The region has a long history of multi-party governments that depend on compromise to get things done, as well as a tradition of cross-sector collaboration among government, academia and private industry.
[pagebreak]“We all talk to each other and have a common understanding,” says Katherine Richardson, leader of the Sustainability Science Centre at the University of Copenhagen. That’s allowed the region to set ambitious, long-term sustainability goals, and to stick with them even through changes in government.
And then there’s plain old pride — the good kind. When the BBC in 2007 set out to find the “greenest city in Europe,” it’s no surprise its search ended in Scandinavia. The network spotlighted efforts in Växjö to phase out fossil fuels, reduce energy use and clean up lakes. The recognition prompted the city to pass a more ambitious and comprehensive environmental program, and to this day it’s still trying to live up to its designation as Europe’s greenest.
“This is nothing that we are finished with,” says the city’s environmental coordinator, Henrik Johansson. “We can never say that we have succeeded — at least not yet.”
Dan Haugen is a freelance journalist who recently traveled to Scandinavia as part of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Climate Media Fellowship program.
Slideshow photo by LH Wong.
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10.12.2013 Lean Response – Applying the Principles of Lean Startup Methodology to Humanitarian Response
This was post originally published on Medium.com The whole humanitarian response system is undergoing a radical shift. We are moving from a top-down model to a bottoms-up survivor-centric model. In this new era, those affected by disasters become the center of focus, rather than the system trying to provide the response. While reading up about […]
The post Lean Response – Applying the Principles of Lean Startup Methodology to Humanitarian Response appeared first on Lean Impact.
A secret document released by Wikileaks showed excerpts of government commentary from a representing official of the TPP negotiations. Excerpts revealed that the US was putting significant pressure on other countries to reach an agreement, although countries were divided on an inflated 119 issues. Forbes reported today that an agreement was [...]
The post Countries fail to reach an agreement on TPP as Wikileaks releases more documents appeared first on The Grand Signal.
10.12.2013 Chuna Devi: Empowering Women in Rural Nepal
10.12.2013 Ukrainian TV Show Angers Tajiks
10.12.2013 Extending Pro-Poor Health Care (Blog)
10.12.2013 In honor of the man who could not cry
10.12.2013 Remembering Nelson Mandela
10.12.2013 USAID leads new alliance to ‘prime the pump’
10.12.2013 RIP Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
10.12.2013 Culture Journey: Achieving Sustainable Innovation and Principled Performance in a Morally Interdependent World
Born out of the Clinton Global Initiative, LRN’s Practice Forum for Principled Leadership, Performance & Operations is helping institutions move culture to the strategic center “If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and [...]
WorkSquare is revolutionizing the hiring placement industry in Miami, Florida. What began as an MBA thesis at Harvard Business School by founder Vanessa Bartram has developed into a people first, [...]
The post Social Enterprise WorkSquare Creates a “People First” Hiring-Placement Business appeared first on SocialEarth.
10.12.2013 Live Twitter Chat Today: Sodexo
10.12.2013 Green Globes Wins DoD Endorsement
Will the vital pollination provided by bees, which is currently at risk due to Colony Collapse Disorder and other stresses, be the next big eco-system issue? Image courtesy of bob in swamp: Flickr
On December 3, I moderated WBCSD’s US Midwest meeting, a one-day conference held in Columbus, Ohio whose theme was to “scale up and accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy, in the US and beyond.” The meeting was packed with excellent speakers, panels and working sessions on a diverse set of topics, including: ecosystem services, reporting, communicating with investors, inclusive business, innovation and business leadership.
At the end of the day I was asked to wrap up the meeting with a “Top 10 List” of the issues that stood out most for me. I ended up with eleven key words and phrases. Much as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel’s amplifier that goes to 11 was “one louder” than most amps, my Top 10 List is “one longer” than most Top 10 lists.
- Responsibility. I didn’t expect this to be on my list, but it popped up several times during the day. Ohio State University President Joseph Alutto kicked off the conference by telling us that OSU has a responsibility to address sustainability in both its operations and its curriculum. One of our corporate speakers declared that it is time for the business community to step up and take responsibility for leading the transition to a sustainable economy. With most of the conversation these days focusing on the business case, it was significant to hear that responsibility remains an important motivator.
- Accounting. Another word that I didn’t expect. But various aspects of accounting were on display throughout the day. From the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) ambition to change the rules of accounting to incorporate sustainability, to the movement to account for business impacts on ecosystem services, “doing the math” is critical.
- Financing. Solar power, entrepreneurs in developing countries, freshwater backpacks, and the $3 trillion building energy efficiency market are some of the examples cited that require innovative financing to make the investment economics work and get to scale.
- Pollination. In the context of eco-system services, several attendees thought that pollination (the ubiquitous and impossible-to-replicate service provided by bees currently at risk due to Colony Collapse Disorder and other stresses) may be the next big issue. And of course pollination was an apt metaphor for what happened in the room – the participants were both pollinating and being pollinated with ideas all day long.
- Government. The business people in the room spoke of the need for government regulations, incentives, investments and partnerships as essential to changing the economics, and consequently accelerating the adoption of more sustainable products and processes.
- Materiality. Materiality is the lens through which to view decisions about where to focus investments, management attention and reporting. SASB is developing standard lists of material issues by sector, GRI is requiring materiality assessments for sustainability reports, and internal auditing resources can be deployed to reduce sustainability risks that are material to the company.
- Increase the Pie/Cake/Wallet. While different speakers used different metaphors, they all seemed to agree that sustainability is not a zero sum game. Improving environmental outcomes does not mean sacrificing social or economic outcomes. And improving life for the poor does not mean a lesser quality of life for those more well off.
- Return on Investment. Okay, it’s not all about responsibility. CFOs still need to understand what the return is. ROI on sustainability includes both tangible, measurable benefits, and intangible, difficult to measure, but no less real benefits. Communicating effectively with CFOs and investors may be the key to scaling and accelerating sustainability.
- Collaboration. It seems this is THE buzzword of 2013, and with good reason. Many challenges we face are system-level challenges that an individual company cannot address on its own. From watershed management, to public policy change, to decarbonizing the economy, collaboration is key.
- Transformation. Incremental change will not get us to a sustainable economy. Transformation – changing fundamentally – is necessary, not just for the good of society, but also for businesses to succeed in the face of a daunting and exciting future. Transformation requires that businesses step up their innovation.
- Innovation. Innovation has been the mantra of both business leaders and sustainability advocates for as long as I can remember. And with good reason. As change in the world accelerates, so too does the need to think differently about our problems as well as our solutions to them.
As I step back and review my list, there is one word that is conspicuously absent: leadership. Perhaps because the conference was filled with those who think and act as leaders every day, the leadership imperative seemed to be a given, a requirement that didn’t need to be stated explicitly. Accelerating the transition to a sustainable economy will not be achieved by applying a simple list of ten (or eleven) words and phrases. Rather, it will require bold leadership by individuals and organizations across the globe, applied to the eleven facets reflected above.
10.12.2013 Quotable: Mandela on aid vs. trade
"We need trade justice: no more subsidies and tariffs from the west that harm the exports and the people of Africa and the developing world. We need help to build infrastructure so that Africa can take advantage of trading opportunities and be given a fair chance to compete in the world economy."
- Nelson Mandela, at the G7 finance ministers meeting, February 4, 2005. Via The Guardian.
10.12.2013 Mandela memorial: View from Cape Town
Reham Issam Di’bas had a new university degree and career plans when she began job hunting in Palestine. Facing rejection, disappointment and frustration, Di’Bas realized that her new degree wasn’t going to help her find employment.
So she decided to create her own.
While many youth around the world struggle to find work, the Middle East and North Africa battles with the world’s highest youth unemployment rate. A quarter of young men and 42 percent of young women aged 15 to 24 were unemployed in 2012. In contrast, unemployment among youth in the U.S. was 16 percent, while youth in the European Union face 18 percent unemployment.
As Di’bas learned, a college degree does not guarantee employment.
The World Bank estimates that almost 100 million jobs--or double the current rate of employment--must be created in the Middle East by 2020 in order to close this employment gap. While this “youth wave” appears daunting, young people with passion and skills can invigorate the region through social entrepreneurship.
And they are: Youth in the Middle East and North Africa are using their skills to create or join social enterprises that address many of the social issues plaguing the region, such as illiteracy, inequity, health problems, and environmental degradation, according to Synergos, a nonprofit organization reducing global poverty through partnerships with citizens, institutions, and sectors of society.
Surveys and research conducted in the region show that youth are receptive to the idea of social enterprise, indicating a social enterprise movement could be successful. More than 70 percent of young people surveyed in Bahrain, Iraq, Qatar, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates believe that entrepreneurs help create jobs, according to a 2009 Silatech survey.
To meet the employment needs of the youth population and larger social and development issues, policymakers and other organizations are supporting entrepreneurial programs that give youth the tools they need to create social enterprises, including technical assistance, mentorships, and peer network exchanges.
Here are four initiatives dedicated to propelling the social enterprise movement among youth in the Middle East and North Africa:
- Funded by the African Development Bank, the business incubator Yunus Social Business (@Yunus_SB) invests in young Tunisian entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. Although the organization helps set up the social enterprises, the businesses are entirely run by the entrepreneurs. Yunus Social Business works with companies in plastics recycling, women’s handicrafts, biological agriculture, and ecotourism.
- Created in 2008, the Arab World Social Innovators (@SynergosMENA) program supports 50 social entrepreneurs that serve underrepresented communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and the United Arab Emirates. The entrepreneurial ventures include education, garbage collecting and recycling, health, and microenterprise.
- Education for Employment (@EFE_Global) provides economic opportunities to unemployed youth in the Middle East and North Africa through entrepreneurship training programs and placement. Since its creation in 2006, the organization has trained and found employment for more than 3,300 youth across the region.
- TechWadi (@TechWadiorg) is a non-profit collaboration between California’s Silicon Valley and the Arab World. The organization empowers Arab entrepreneurs through mentorships that focus on making business plans, expansion opportunities, and connecting with investors, clients, and strategic partners.
The number of entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa is at an all time high. Business incubators, investors, nonprofits, and government organizations are coming together to create a better economic future for young people in the region.
“While many people will associate this decade with the Arab Spring, I see this as the beginning of a decade of entrepreneurship,” Ossama Hassanein, Chairman of TechWadi, told the Skoll World Forum.
There’s no bigger cop out than telling someone that you don’t have time to exercise or do anything. You make time for what is important to you. We often forget such a basic necessity of life when we’re working long days (combined with your no doubt stacked social calendar). I used to suck at sleeping. I’d watch TV shows or movies on my laptop to the wee hours of the morning, only to regret it when the alarm blares in the my face shortly thereafter. From there, I’d usually nuke the system with a ton of coffee through the day to mask my sleepiness, only to regret this decision upon trying to fall asleep the following night. It lead to a cycle of caffeine fuelled unproductivity. No messing around in the early AM I realized that the secret to getting shit done is waking up early. It requires discipline, but the benefits are a many and it starts with setting up a sound sleep routine. No one rises early just because. The most important thing is to link your wake-up to an event. There’s no messing around in the morning, you need to fill those early hours with something worth getting up for. If my alarm is for 6, I know that I need to be out the door and running by 6:15. This works even better if you plan to meet someone this early. The point is, you’ll never wake up early without an immediate purpose. This purpose motivates you to get out of bed when that alarm sounds. I use this time to run or go to the gym. Your body is smart No one likes the raccoon-eyed feeling, it’s not a good look either… That is why you need to gradually establish a routine for your sleep. When I converted from night-time-waster to an early riser guy, I eased by way in by getting up 15 minutes earlier one week, then the next I added another 15 minutes. Now I’m at the point where I spryly rise at 6 am. Keeping the body guessing is a crock of shit. The reality is that your body responds well to habit. Consistently great sleep is about controlling your internal body clock. The beauty of this is you can adjust it by changing when you go to sleep and when you rise. On weeknights, I start to wind my day down around 9:30. This means no technology: phone off with my alarm set and screens (tip: install f.lux on your computer) because they alter the natural release of melatonin. I’ll unwind by stretching and some meditation, then I’ll get ready for bed and read for half an hour before catching some Z’s. The unwinding period is crucial — if you’re like me and your mind races like crazy when you hit the sheets, unwinding helps your brain switch gears by consolidating your thoughts. The time where you putz around during the evening is never productive. You’re too wrecked from the day to exercise or do any meaningful work — instead you’re watching TV. Getting to sleep earlier converts this dead time to ultra productive morning time! Adjustments are okay! There’s nothing worse than making a bunch of hoopla out of nothing. Allow for serendipity with your sleep routine. By this I mean you shouldn’t fret over missing a day where you’re out late socializing or working. Mentally write this off and move on. It’s not like you’re a recovering drug addict and one slip-up screws three months of sobriety. You’ll never achieve perfection with your sleep, but you can certainly approach it. 30 Days of productivity With my incessant rambling, I offer you a challenge. Try a new sleep routine for 30 days. Wake up one hour earlier for 30 days and see how you feel when the month is up. That’s 30 extra hours of productivity to play with. Commit to winding down your day at the same time every weeknight. This means cutting your Game of Thrones marathon one episode early. What you choose to do with this time is up to you. I use early mornings to exercise as it energizes me for the rest of my workday. Bonus: It’s a cool feeling knowing that you are up hustling and have accomplished something while everyone else is sleeping. You don’t necessarily have to go this route — you could use the time to pursue a hobby, learn to code, or knit. With that, I ask for your input! When you do you get up? Are you more productive in the morning or the evening?
10.12.2013 New Financing Not Fundraising, Vol. 3 E-book
About the Author: Nell Edgington is President of Social Velocity (www.socialvelocity.net), a management consulting firm leading nonprofits to greater social impact and financial sustainability. Social Velocity helps nonprofits grow their programs, bring more money in the door, and use resources more effectively. For more information, check out Social Velocity consulting services and clients.
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10.12.2013 How I Lost Myself And Gained A Family
My father was an angry man. I never understood what made him angry, but I did manage to pick up on it. As a result, I entered adulthood with my own anger issues and ill-equipped to know how to deal with them. For a long time, I didn't. For years, I avoided the "L" word, the "M" word, and the "C" word - Love, Marriage, and Children. They may have been okay for others, but not for me. I had other things to do. I'm not sure what motivated me, except fear. I rationalized my bitterness, putting up a front that I was perfectly content living alone, being alone, staying alone. Truth is, I was lonely, bitter, and destined to stay that way. Then one day, I decided to make a change. I began to look for a wife.
10.12.2013 5 Tips for Getting Started in a New Industry
One of Edward Snowden’s released NSA documents has been reported by the CBC to reveal a vast network of spy outposts set up by the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC) on behalf of the NSA. Targeting 20 “high-priority countries” and some of Canada’s trading partners this clandestine network gave [...]
The post Canadian spy agency conducted global covert spying for NSA appeared first on The Grand Signal.
Le secteur privé peut permettre de répondre au déficit électrique qui freine le développement économique de l’Afrique subsaharienne. Les initiatives existantes l’attestent. Pour l’aider à...
Cet article La production privée d’électricité en Afrique : une alternative indispensable est apparu en premier sur iD4D.
10.12.2013 Entrepreneurship as Art
Although I’ve always dreamed of being an artist, my stick figure drawings or Power Point presentations have somehow never quite qualified me. However, according to one of Pakistan’s most well known novelists, my dreams might not be completely hopeless. During a talk last week at the Acumen Fellows’ Irtiqa conference, Mohsin Hamid painted a simple yet profound [re]definition of art: […]
Sustainable business strategy is not just for MBA students - many classes have a mix of student disciplines. Dr. Deborah Rigling Gallagher of Duke University, talks about the challenges and rewards of these combined classes.
The post Sustainable Business Strategy in an Experientially Diverse Classroom appeared first on Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit.
09.12.2013 Unrealised Human Rights
09.12.2013 A Point of Reflection
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09.12.2013 IxDA 2014
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09.12.2013 Bedouin Girls Educational Empowerment
|$20 — for three books for poor kids|
$35 — for teachers
$40 — for equipment
Bedouin students aspire to study and integrate into higher education, but are often forced by frustration and the lack of fair treatment by the teachers in the schools, we can also mention that they suffer from high rate of dropout from schools. In order to reduce this phenomenon, we developed an intensive year-long program to reduce the percentage of young girls and boys dropping out of school and help them and their parents understand, appreciate and adapt to the new role and status of women i
Project Needs and Beneficiaries
The elderly Bedouin generation(lacking formal education and understanding of official systems) wishes their daughters to marry in early age, in addition to working or staying at home, instead of obtaining education outside the home. Consequently, illiteracy and school drop-out are increasing, as well as idleness and lack of pride of the youth. Furthermore, the Bedouin community has no formal and informal frameworks available for youth, no green spaces nor infrastructure for sport, and no library
The pupils who will participate in the educational project will have two hours daily from Sunday through Thursday, during which they will receive help in their daily school homework and workshops in inter-communication, self-esteem and self-confidence and other workshops which can strengthen the students in aspect of personality and education. The participants will volunteer for the community.
Potential Long Term Impact
The project's long term goal is to improve the life of the Bedouin community in Taibeh. Increased education will help the younger generation to advance in society economically, socially, and politically. The program will change the attitudes of the community towards women and their place and role in society. The effect of improved academic achievements will change the attitudes of the Taibeh community towards the Bedouin minority.
Project Sponsor: Alkhaimah - the Association for Education & Development
Theme: Education | Location: Israel
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$25,000
Project #15117 on GlobalGiving.org
KIRUCODO in partnership with Maendeleo Foundation will be extending Mobile Solar Computer classes to Kikandwa C/U Primary School and Kibiribiri C/U Primary school. Both schools are based in rural communities of Mukono District in Uganda and they lack electricity and a great number of things for proper learning of their pupils. The innovative solar technologies that Maendeleo Foundation utilizes, will enable the pupils of the two schools to be trained in computer skills right at their location.
Project Needs and Beneficiaries
Computer knowledge is very minimal in rural schools due to lack of: electricity, skilled man power, good building infrastructures, and poverty, among others. Lack of computers in most of the rural communities makes access to information very expensive for everyone including children in primary schools. The solar mobile computer classes will help to extend cheap and affordable computer training services to not only children but also teachers and other community members especially the youth.
The computers which will be used for training shall be powered by solar power. The training will be conducted within the selected schools on a weekly basis. The training is mobile in nature and the same equipment shall be used from one school to another without any fear of storage, room, expense to acquire computer and maintaining them,etc. The project will provide skilled man power to conduct the training as well as maintaining the equipment.
Potential Long Term Impact
The project will reach to about 300 with practical computer skills within a year. About 200 participants will be able to utilize the computers for creating, accessing and sharing news and information. The state of communication and learning will improve greatly in the target communities. Lastly, the participants will be able to enjoy low-cost services that computers can offer as compared to traditional ones.
Project Sponsor: Kikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization (KIRUCODO)
Theme: Technology | Location: Uganda
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$2,000
Project #15914 on GlobalGiving.org
09.12.2013 The NSA and GCHQ also targeted online gamers
Reports from Snowden’s secret documents revealed that the NSA and GCHQ heavily monitored communication channels of online video games, with the intent of discovering terrorists groups congregating online. With millions of online gamers across the world, secret intelligence organizations saw the virtual world as a valuable asset for counter-intelligence. Whether [...]
Typhoon Haiyan Near Hainan Island, China. Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video: Flickr.
“But let us again be clear that we are witnessing ever more frequent, extreme weather events, and the poor and vulnerable are already paying the price.”
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, closed COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland — which took place Nov. 11 to 22 — with these harrowing words. Figueres puts a fine point on a key element within UN climate negotiations that have direct implications for the private sector.
We are witnessing the early stages of a new normal in terms of climate impacts, and an increasingly public discussion regarding how we best prepare, who pays for “climate resilience,” and how we address the needs of poor and vulnerable populations most in harm’s way. Addressing these challenges will require the private sector to drive innovation toward problems that are still emerging, to help people with little money to spend.
Key questions to ask
For corporate sustainability practioners, trying to determine what to do about climate change can be daunting. Questions abound, from “How material will climate impacts be on my value chain over the next five years?” to “How might severe weather events affect key customers — and related sales?”
There’s no doubt that assessing the risk of climate change is a wise business move. But a broader approach will be needed if we want to fully address climate impacts while protecting economic prosperity and the world’s most vulnerable in the decades to come. For firms striving toward “next-generation” sustainability leadership, another question should be asked: “Considering our corporate values, what are the ethical and moral considerations of climate change, and what do they compel us to do?”
It’s critical that this question be answered in the context of product development and business-model innovation. How many times have we seen a “new” product hit the shelves, only to realize that while it may be “different” or “better,” it’s essentially just a tweak at the edge?
The value of innovation
A warming world with escalating climate impacts demands that we redefine “different” and “better” within the context of extended sustainability leadership. Using this framework, “different” points toward new products, services and business models that add value while minimizing externalities. “Better” means cleaner, more efficient, more socially conscious products and services. For better or worse, in many circumstances disruptive innovations are needed not just to capture market share, but to protect and save human life.
True corporate leadership will be needed to champion pilot projects and spearhead collaborative opportunities both within and across industries. Certainly a number of products and services are designed to help the poor and vulnerable cope with climate impacts — from interesting mobile apps that assist rural farmers to IT-networked water ‘ATMs’ in urban slums. These initiatives should serve as inspiring launchpads for additional endeavors, proving that values-driven innovation can harness private-sector resources to tackle incredibly vexing societal issues.
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09.12.2013 Coaching Demystified: Webinar Debrief
09.12.2013 Health Care for New Year in Africa
The Nyanya Project will purchase health insurance for its 170 African grandmothers and their 1,000 AIDS orphaned grandchildren in Kenya and Rwanda. Once provided with health insurance for a full year, these families will have access to the vital care they require and will place health insurance as a high priority in the future. Annual health insurance costs $25 per family of four in Kenya and $5 per person in Rwanda.
Project Needs and Beneficiaries
In Kenya and Rwanda, residents are required to have health insurance. Our TNP grandmothers receive no financial assistance and go without health insurance, putting their families at an even higher risk for disease, especially those who are HIV-positive. Grandmothers are often forced to take money, intended for food and school expenses, to pay medical bills. A sudden illness devastates an entire family and leaves them with a difficult choice: the survival of the ill or the survival of the family.
By providing one year of health insurance to our East African Nyanya Project families, our grandmothers will finally have the health coverage they require. This financial assistance provides security and support for these families, already devastated by AIDS. Our Health Insurance Initiative will assure health insurance for nearly 1,200 people in Kenya and Rwanda.
Potential Long Term Impact
Providing health insurance to 1,200 women and children, will motivate grandmothers to want to continue the health coverage. TNP trains these African grandmothers in marketable skills,so we are requiring that a portion of the money they earn from TNP's agricultural, livestock and sewing programs will be set aside to pay for health insurance in the future. Buying health insurance for the grandmothers for one year will give them a leg up and inspire them to purchase health insurance in the future.
Project Sponsor: The Nyanya Project
Theme: Health | Location: Rwanda
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$7,080
Project #15837 on GlobalGiving.org
09.12.2013 Reduce Pollution on Arbor Day!
|$25 — care for 1 tree for 1 year|
$40 — care for a young tree for 3 months
$65 — buy tools for volunteers
El Segundo is located in a highly polluted area exposed to heavy industrial emissions. This has important consequences on the human and wildlife population. Through its tree planting and care, Tree Musketeers works to offset some of the pollution: a single tree can absorb 10 pounds of air pollutants a year, and produce nearly 260 pounds of oxygen- enough to support two people.
For Arbor Day we need your support to plant and care for more trees in the community, while empowering local youth!
Project Needs and Beneficiaries
El Segundo is surrounded by highly polluting neighbors: LAX, the world's 5th busiest airport and Los Angeles County's biggest polluter; a sewage plant; two electrical generating facilities; the west coast's largest oil refinery; and a freeway. This not only impacts public health in El Segundo and neighboring communities, but ocean breezes carry it inland to the Los Angeles basin. In 2003, EPA data reflected that El Segundo was 3rd among California cities for exposure to industrial emissions.
The 1,800 trees in the care of Tree Musketeers absorb up to 90 tons of carbon dioxide every year. By planting new trees and caring for the existing ones, we are securing a healthier environment for the local area with benefits for the entire region and the planet.
As Arbor Day is a most important event of the year - attracting 500 to 600 people on average - we also raise awareness about environmentally-friendly practices and the benefits of trees.
Potential Long Term Impact
Environmental benefits include mitigating significant amounts of greenhouse gases created by airport and vehicular traffic which are at the root of global warming. Tree leaves absorb rainwater and reduce
peak storm runoff by 10 to 20%. Water quality is improved by tree leaves filtering pollutants from falling rain.
Arbor Day creates a sense of community and ownership for the trees among the participants and local residents, and raises their awareness about their role fighting global warming.
Project Sponsor: Tree Musketeers
Theme: Climate Change | Location: United States
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$25,000
Project #15856 on GlobalGiving.org
09.12.2013 Better Schools in Rural Nepal!
|$16 — will provide a set of small playground toys (jump rope, rubber ball, rings, etc.) for one school|
$40 — will cover the cost of plastering and painting one classroom
$100 — will provide furniture for one classroom
Educate the Children will improve 16 schools in rural Nepal, ensuring a safer and more pleasant learning environment for more than 2,000 children. We will repair or replace roofs, plaster and paint interior and exterior walls, provide classroom furniture, build sanitary toilet facilities, and improve school playgrounds.
Project Needs and Beneficiaries
Many schools in rural Nepal are in poor physical condition: they are often run-down, open to the elements, without sufficient furniture or suitable recreational equipment, and sometimes even unsafe.
Children must spend hours every day in these unattractive and uncomfortable settings. They cannot do their academic best if they are crowded onto inadequate seating in drab surroundings, or having to cope with rain coming through leaking roofs. Poor attendance is common at such schools.
Educate the Children has been committed to improving the quality of education in Nepal for nearly 25 years. Before the end of June 2014, we will ensure that schools in the rural Dolakha District of east central Nepal can receive necessary improvements, including:
1. Plastering and painting exterior and interior walls
2. Roofing repair, minor or major
3. Grounds maintenance and playground improvements
4. Sanitary toilet facility construction
5. Furniture for classrooms
Potential Long Term Impact
When children have a comfortable, safe, and appealing environment in which to learn, they perform better academically. Their attendance rates improve, and they are able to remain more engaged during the school day. Teachers too report better job satisfaction when their classrooms are more attractive and better equipped.
Project Sponsor: Educate the Children
Theme: Children | Location: Nepal
Funding to Date: $0 | Need:$20,000
Project #15934 on GlobalGiving.org
09.12.2013 The Evolution of Chinese Philanthropy
Bay Area sustainability pioneer Gil Friend, founder of venerable consulting firm Natural Logic, has taken a new position as the City of Palo Alto’s first chief sustainability officer.
Friend begins the new position today at a salary of $153,000. Upscale Palo Alto is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, with Stanford University and Hewlett-Packard among its most prominent residents. The selection of Friend was made following a national search and recruitment process that included extensive input from community, business and environmental stakeholders, as well as interviews with panels representing a broad section of the community.
Said Friend: “Palo Alto is a remarkable city with unmatched assets. I’ve been eager to bring my experience to bear in one place, and I’m delighted this is it.”
Friend has over the years been a frequent contributor to Sustainable Industries. He is the author of "The Truth About Green Business" and its audiobook version, "The Green Business Field Guide"; co-developer of theSustainability in Practice eLearning suite; and author of numerous book chapters and hundreds of articles, including an early sustainable business column for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate from 1992 to 1997. He has also served as a visiting faculty member and guest lecturer on sustainability, business and design at institutions including the California College of the Arts, Presidio Graduate School and the University of California, and is currently a member of the MBA faculty at Meridian University’s MBA program.
“Gil is a pioneer in the field of sustainability...,” said James Keene, Palo Alto city manager. “His thought leadership has inspired many, and he has instituted some of the most innovative programs in the field, including the first sustainability business dashboards nearly 20 years ago.”
09.12.2013 The State of Social Innovation in China
Coffee shops, farmers and a banker team up to save Latin American coffee
PRI’s “The World”
Some 2 million people work in the coffee industry from Guatemala to Peru. Now, an estimated 400,000 of them are out of work. And, things could get worse. Thousands of miles north in New England, some coffee shops and small bankers are working to make sure that doesn’t happen. They include people like Willy Foote with the non-profit investment firm Root Capital.
Here's Why Developing Countries Will Consume 65% of the World's Energy by 2040
China and India hold the world's fate in their hands as energy use skyrockets in poorer countries.
Poor Countries Need Relief From Climate Change. They Need Electricity More
Bloomberg Business Week
The trends for the cost of renewable power are moving in the right direction. For low-voltage, off-grid solutions in sunny climates, they are already the cheapest option. The industrialized world is responsible for precipitating the crisis of climate change. It’s still our responsibility to fix it.
The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels
There’s a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal.
How a money-tracking tool is helping businesses grow in India
While growing up in northern India, Shivani Siroya of InVenture says she encountered entrepreneurs on a regular basis. Now, she's helping them track their finances in order to boost their businesses.
Electronic payments are paying off for Mexico
Going digital is saving the government more than a $1 billion. More importantly, it is creating a new market for banks and financial services firms.
In Tanzania, Farmers Reap the Benefits of Radio
How do you share ideas – including potentially transformative ones – with people who do not have Internet access, are largely illiterate, and live far from paved roads?
Millicom International Cellular: Helping Oxfam Reach Poorest People In Guatemala
Millicom today announced that international aid organisation Oxfam and Tigo in Guatemala have signed an agreement to continue to distribute aid using mobile money to people in the areas of the country that are the most affected by malnutrition.
India's rice revolution
Guardian Global Dev
In a village in India's poorest state, Bihar, farmers are growing world record amounts of rice – with no GM, and no herbicide. Is this one solution to world food shortages?
Two reactions from The Economist to the Pope’s perspective on capitalism:
Thanksgiving Dinner in Rwanda
Through a gourmet restaurant in Kigali, one couple thinks they’ve identified a better model for eliminating poverty.
33 Resilient Cities Announced by The Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation blog
Today, we are excited to name the first group of cities selected through the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge – cities who have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.
What Syria's Currency Tells Us About the Future of the Civil War
Want to understand where the conflict is headed? Keep an eye on the Syrian pound.
Syrian refugees put strain on Jordan schools amid fears for 'lost generation'
Guardian Global Dev
Tensions rise despite double shifts and extra teachers to cope with tens of thousands of displaced school-age Syrians
Kenya Can Heal Itself
South Africa was afforded — and afforded itself — an opportunity to pursue its own solution to its challenge. If it worked in South Africa, it can work in Kenya, too. Our recent record of reforms demonstrates that we have an appetite to take up this responsibility.
Brief Glimpses of Everyday Life in North Korea
The country's emerging middle class—as captured through one photographer's iPhone.
09.12.2013 Go well, Madiba – your spirit lives on
09.12.2013 Celebrating 5 Years of SocialFinance.ca!
"Twenty years ago we spoke about the poor with a sense of futility, and I think now when you talk about the base of the pyramid, more often than not you're talking about markets and opportunities."
09.12.2013 World Aids Day: Good News and Challenges
All over the world, December 1st was the day to raise awareness of the HIV and those suffering with the consequences of having developed AIDS. In recent years, this date has been carrying a ring of optimism, and this year's observance offered some good news. Recent UNAID statistics have shown that since 2001 the rate of new infections has decreased by 33 percent, thanks to a combined effort of prevention and treatment. New research has raised hopes that a vaccine could become a reality sometime in the future.
However, in some parts of the world, worrying trends have also been registered by UNAID. The organization reports that new HIV infections have been on the rise in Eastern Europe and Central Asia by 13% since 2006. The Middle East and North Africa has seen a doubling of new HIV infections since 2001. In many cases lack of progress is due to inadequate access to essential HIV services. Key populations, including men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, transgender people and sex workers, are often blocked from accessing life-saving services.
As a virus that weakens the immune system, infected people are threatened by opportunist infections, which are the main reason those who have developed the disease die. “TB remains the leading cause of death among people living with AIDS. In 2012, 1.1 million people were co-infected with TB and HIV, and 320,000 people living with HIV died from TB according to the World Health Organization’s latest data,” said Lilly's Vice President of Global Health Programs and Access, Dr. Evan Lee.
He added that addressing the interaction between HIV and TB is a critical part of winning the global fight against AIDS. Although there has been an increase in access to antiretroviral treatment for patients co-infected with HIV and TB, in 2012 fewer than three in five people with both diseases were being treated. On a more positive note, UNAIDS reports that TB-related deaths among people living with HIV have declined by 36% since 2004.
By the end of 2012, an estimated 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy, an increase of nearly 20% in just one year. In 2011, UN Member States agreed to a 2015 target of reaching 15 million people with HIV treatment. However, as countries scaled up their treatment coverage and as new evidence emerged showing the HIV prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy, the World Health Organization set new HIV treatment guidelines, expanding the total number of people estimated to be in need of treatment by more than 10 million.
Image credit: WAD
09.12.2013 Climate Change: What Is Our Goal? (Blog)
09.12.2013 Website Redirects: When and Why to Use Them
The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services
Having been involved in websites and web technologies for the bulk of my career, I get a lot of questions about website redirects. The reasons for the questions vary widely. Some folks are unsure what the proper purpose of a redirect is. Others simply can’t understand the technical jargon used in most blog posts and on websites that cover the… read more →
A new web platform, Business in Society, has been launched to provide in-depth discussions on major CSR and sustainability issues. It features John Paluszek, a CSR expert and senior counsel at Ketchum consultancy. Besides leading the interviews, he conceived and executive-produces the program.
For the program, Paluszek conducts 28-minute interviews with experts reporting on the progress being made by business and urging business to establish more innovative approaches and reinforce their commitment to their CSR sustainable development action plans.
He plans five new upcoming interviews on a range topics, besides the ones already streaming on the website. These include an interview with Laura Gitman & Chhavi Ghuliani of Business for Social Responsibility, "The Bangladesh Tragedy: The Tipping Point From Hell?" and a chat with Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt, filed under “What Women Want Now – And How They‘ll Get It,” among others.
Previously, Paluszek chaired The Global Alliance For Public Relations and Communication Management and is a former president of The Public Relations Society of America. He is a liaison to the United Nations for those organizations.
“Corporate social responsibility/sustainable development has come a long way from its origins in the 1970s,” says John. “We intend to give it a new dimension of visibility, recognition and impetus with regular national and international video programming. And we will use a variety of traditional and new media to do so.”
Image credit: Business In Society
Big tech firms have been the center of controversy over the last few months for caving to NSA requests to give up user data. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, AOL and LinkedIn have joined forces as a united front against government surveillance, urging the US government to rethink it’s [...]
The post Fight for Internet privacy begins: Google, Facebook, Twitter and more battle the NSA appeared first on The Grand Signal.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Sustainability experts from Yahoo!, Symantec, Genentech, New Leaf Paper and Kesher Consulting are coming together to participate in an interactive discussion hosted by AGRION on December 11 in San Francisco. The participants will discuss the importance of employee engagement in CSR, explore the issue of scaling employee engagement programs for sustainable business practices, and brainstorm solutions during the meeting. Participants will also ask questions as well as share their own experiences.
Live streaming of the discussion will be made available to those who are interested in the subject, but are unable to participate personally. The host, AGRION, is an international business network for energy, cleantech and sustainability. The effectiveness of such programs has moved the focus of sustainability professionals towards addressing the challenge of how they can scale employee engagement to build momentum and gain relevance with everyone in the company.
A number of leading global business organizations have started taking a closer look at establishing sustainable business models, particularly because it helps their brand image. The motivation and engagement of employees to modify and adapt behaviors in consonance with changing lifestyles is becoming a popular tool in promoting sustainable practices across companies. Therefore, it is important to embed these practices within the everyday business operations.
At the previous Employee Engagement meeting of AGRION in August, Grant Ricketts from Tripos Software, Inc. had said that when employee engagement is scaled up, the metrics begin to speak for themselves because they are driving some kind of business result. More than the drive to reduce carbon emissions and other such issues, the goal of these programs is to improve the business, reduce operating costs, and increase participation. More details about the forthcoming meeting are available at Agrion.org.
Source: PR Web
Image Credit: Flickr via Geoff Livingston
09.12.2013 Go Get Your Code On
09.12.2013 Is Impact for You?
John Collery is a Global Fellow working at Avani, a company that creates pine needle gasification power projects for remote communities in northern India. Acumen is currently accepting applications for the next class of Global Fellows, application deadline is December 13th! As part of a recent interview, I was asked what advice I would give […]
Big government-funded irrigation projects in Sub-Saharan Africa are often expensive and inaccessible, so farmers are taking matters into their own hands.
Using small-scale groundwater irrigation technology, farmers with small plots of land are growing bigger yields and expanding crop diversity, according to research by the International Water Management Institute.
“[T]he use of groundwater for irrigation by smallholder farmers is expanding more rapidly than previously thought throughout the sub-continent, and in recent years has mirrored the situation observed in India in the early stages of the Green Revolution,” according to Anna Deinhard, communications fellow at the institute. “Importantly, most of the growth is being driven spontaneously by the farmers themselves.”
Smallholder irrigation may be essential to alleviating rural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. A study supported by the Rockefeller Foundation found that smallholder irrigation systems improved not only water management, but also food security and income. By investing in irrigation, farmers can reduce their reliance on rainwater and expand their yields, growing season and choice of crops.
Along with motorized pumps and wells, a popular low-cost irrigation option is the treadle pump, which draws groundwater to the surface by foot power and costs less than $200. In 2009, Mercy Corps facilitated the use of treadle pumps in Zimbabwe by setting up supply chains, encouraging competition among pump suppliers, and loaning farmers funds to purchase pumps to improve yields.
In the Murehwa district of Zimbabwe where Mercy Corps focused its efforts, treadle pump irrigation boosted the annual incomes of farming households by US$800, a major increase in a country where the average annual income is US$500. This simple technology more than doubled household incomes and paid for itself during its first year of use.
Despite the growing demand for irrigation technology, the International Water Management Institute found that farmers still face significant barriers to groundwater irrigation success, such as a lack of capital and a lack of information about where water is distributed and how quickly it recharges after use. Reducing these barriers will increase farmers’ access to irrigation technology and ensure water use is sustainable.
- Farmers need expanded markets to sell their produce. As irrigation supports greater yields, farmers may overwhelm their usual markets and face decreasing prices, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization cautions. Aid organizations can help farmers access new national and international markets, transforming their rising output into flexible household income.
- Irrigation technology should be affordable, profitable and locally repairable. Instead of simply giving away pumps, aid organizations can help set up dependable sources of equipment so that local entrepreneurs can rent out pumps to farmers or create their own irrigation businesses. “The supply chain must also function as a conduit for spare parts, maintenance services and feedback to manufacturers,” recommends the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
- Microfinance helps farmers access new technology. Even low-cost technologies may be unaffordable to smallholder farmers. Microfinance has been slow to reach some rural areas with tailored products for agricultural communities, but it is crucially necessary, said Jennifer Burney, who studies irrigation in developing countries at the University of California-San Diego. “Capital is the number one constraint for adoption,” Burney told The Guardian. “It will unblock the system."
- More research is needed about Africa’s hydrogeology. Sustainable water use and the appropriate choice of irrigation technology depend on hidden groundwater supplies. The treadle pump, for example, usually cannot reach below 15 meters. A deep water table may require a different use of technology. How groundwater may be accessed and used sustainably are important questions that determine the success of irrigation efforts. This is highlighted by a recent case in eastern Ethiopia in which groundwater overuse emptied a crater lake and led to conflict among users.
- Information should be accessible. A basic way to support small-scale irrigation is providing tailored information to local communities, suggests global development journalist Caspar van Vark in The Guardian. Translating instructions and recommendations into local languages, explains van Vark, helps farmers capitalize fully and knowledgeably on their irrigation investments. In areas of low literacy, information can be shared through presentations and community discussions.
“More than 70 percent of the world's poorest people are small scale farmers,” reports iDE, an organization that improved access to pumps and expanded markets in Zambia. Irrigation technology helps farmers grow their harvests and incomes, creating more choices for their families and communities along the way.
Only five percent of cultivated land is currently equipped for irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The will for small-scale irrigation technology is strong. With improvements in these five areas, farmers are ready to create a water revolution.