Rob Katz

Announcing the William Davidson Institute as a New Partner to NextBillion

We are pleased to announce that the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI) has agreed to join the NextBillion community as a Managing Partner of the website. WDI joins the World Resources Institute and Acumen Fund as co-Managing Partners. The three groups will set strategy, fund enhancements to the site, manage the site, and help grow the NextBillion community.

WDI has a long history in the BoP space and with the NextBillion community. WDI was involved in C.K. Prahalad’s original work on the BoP starting in 1999. Ted London currently leads the BoP research initiative at WDI (working with Heather Esper). Their recent work has focused on impact assessment for BoP ventures. Ted is also editing a book on the BoP sector, which will be published by Wharton Press and is due out later in 2010. In addition, WDI has a well-received collection of BoP teaching cases, and is the leading source of teaching materials in this space.

In the past few years, WDI has been involved in NextBillion in many ways. Moses Lee has been a NextBillion staff writer since 2008. He is also the primary organizer behind the NextBillion casewriting competition. Executive Director Bob Kennedy engages with Acumen Fund on a variety of issues (Fellows training, student projects, summer internships, etc), and recently joined the NextBillion Advisory Board.

We look forward to developing this partnership in the coming months. NextBillion has come a long way, and we believe this thriving community has a bright future. We welcome WDI as a partner and look forward to growing this community in the years ahead.