Paul Polak, a pioneer of pro-poor technologies and social impact-focused business, passed away peacefully over the weekend, surrounded by his family. A true "serial entrepreneur" since long before that term became popular, Polak founded numerous organizations and businesses aimed at alleviating poverty – and he served as a source of wisdom, inspiration and humor for the social business sector for decades. He will be greatly missed.
Google CEO Larry Page recently said he’d rather hand over his cash to Elon Musk, of Tesla, than donate it to a philanthropic organization. In an open letter, social entrepreneurship veteran Paul Polak suggests a third way for Google to make money and help the poor.
Paul Polak will join NextBillion for our next Google Hangout at 2 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, November 6. Polak and Mal Warwick, authored the new book: “The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers.” But we want/NEED your questions too. Find out how.
On February 20, 21 and 22, the Third Annual Latin American Impact Investing Forum will be held in Merida, Mexico. The forum will feature expert lectures and interviews, panels of case studies, workshops, and roundtable discussions. Paul Polak will be a featured speaker on February 21.
Paul Polak has dedicated his life to promoting business solutions to global poverty. He believes there’s a fortune to be made in "radically affordable" products marketed to BoP customers. But does his approach work with the complexities of health care? And is for-profit business an ethical way of providing products that people literally can’t live without?
When you talk to Paul Polak it takes about 15 seconds for him to dive into the pragmatic details of his six or so latest business ventures. It’s easy at first to be overwhelmed with detail, but if you stay with it, you realize that he has taken practicality and common sense to a blazing edge. In a very different context, it’s what I imagine it must have been like to talk to Sam Walton in the early days of Wal-Mart.