The business of poverty
- 25 Jan 07, 08:41 AM
A lot of the most interesting things are to be discovered on the edges of the conference. I went to a breakfast this morning hosted by a Silicon Valley technology company, Applied Materials, who sponsor technology awards for "social entrepreneurs" making a difference in the developing world. Among those honoured: Kickstart, a company which produces cheap manual pumps for small farmers in Kenya and Tanzania to irrigate their land and start to produce crops all year round; the Barefoot College, which teaches women from poor communities around the world to become solar energy engineers and go back to bring power to their villages; the Fritz Institute which helps improve the distribution of aid in disasters; Gram Vikas which works in the poorest parts of India providing solar pumps to improve sanitation; the Freeplay Foundation which provides robust wind-up radios to remote parts of Africa. All great projects making a tangible difference in the world. There followed an interesting discussion about how the skills of Silicon valley can be used to support development.
Davos is also a great place to launch things. Yesterday the UNHCR with Nike and Microsoft launched ninemillion.org - a new campaign to provide education and sport to the worlds nine million refugee children.
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