07 April 2008

Paul Polak of IDE ~ Is Charity Ethical?

International Development Enterprises (IDE) founder Paul Polak spoke this Monday night about his development experiences in a talk entitled Is Charity Ethical? (unlike the publicized title What Are Ethical Development Practices?)

Interesting, even provocative, and often contrarian quotes (not in original order, hence "quotes"):
"If everything's free, it encourages immorality." "Charitable development and subsidies usually do more harm than good." "I prefer to go with market-forces." "Many people don't agree with me. Jeff Sachs for instance." "Better to help people to earn income so they can afford health care." "Affordability isn't everything, it's the only thing." "If you haven't talked to 25 poor people before starting, if it can't pay for itself in the first year, and if you can't sell at least a million of them -- Don't Bother!" "With business as usual, the Millennium Goals on hunger and poverty will never be reached!" "Four revolutions are needed to end poverty: Water, Agriculture, Design, Markets." "Small farmer prosperity is single most important thing to ending poverty." "This is key to bringing earth into balance. If get people out of poverty, then global population will stabilize at lower number." "We need a revolution in how we think and act about poverty before we can end it." "I wrote the book to help create the revolution to end poverty." "I started a new company Design Revolution trying to make obscene profits serving global customers."

He's written a book about his experiences called Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail.

FYI, here's a video of Paul about Practical Problem Solving...

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