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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Roundup: Pop!Casts, SSIR Focus on the Base of the Pyramid

By Rob Katz

Newspaper"What's new in the base of the pyramid world?"? My colleague Omer had just returned from a week-long vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico (he went for a film festival).? I was quiet, thinking about how to answer him.? Frankly, I didn't know where to start - there were a number of articles, reports, news updates and announcements that came to mind.

So, in honor of Omer's return to the office, and in recognition of the sheer quantity of activity in the base of the pyramid space, here's a quick roundup:The Stanford Social Innovation Review is discussing much more than Romanticizing the Poor, Aneel Karnani's latest article criticizing BoP theory and practice.? In fact, the Winter 2009 edition of SSIR is full of other articles relevant to the NextBillion community:
  • "Clean Sweep" - a profile of NextBillion ally E+Co, the green energy investment fund for the BoP;
  • "Eyeing Talent" - its pun-tastic title gives away this article's subject: VisionSpring, the social enterprise working with Vision Entrepreneurs to get eyecare services to the BoP in 13 low-income countries around the world;
  • "Calculated Impact" - how the Robin Hood Foundation, Acumen Fund (full disclosure: I am an Acumen Fund employee) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation use cost-benefit analyses to evaluate programs and plan for the future;
  • "In the Black With BRAC" - profile of the world's largest non-profit - which generates 80 percent of its budget from revenue-generating businesses;
  • "Beyond Microfinance" - includes a profile of IGNIA, the BoP venture fund focusing on Latin America;
  • "Let's Share" - explores new software tools allowing donors, investors and companies to create and compare common performance metrics.
Eyes tired from all that reading?? (Tip: subscribe to the actual, hard-copy version of the SSIR - makes reading easier.)? However, if you'd like to unwind with some other kinds of multimedia, allow me to suggest some Pop!Casts.

Pop!Casts are the tongue-in-cheek brandname for Pop!Tech presentation videos.? The conference does a great job of sharing its content - be careful with Pop!Casts; if you're like me, you'll find yourself watching over and over and suddenly an hour has evaporated.

This year's Pop!Tech marked the beginning of the conference's Fellows program, which I wrote about in September.? Lucky for us, they've made some of the Fellows' Pop!Tech presentations available on the web:
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