Scott Anderson

Friday Roundup ? 7/29/11: Happy BDay Open IDEO, Weekend/Summer Reads, Hat Tips for Lawyers

The dog days of summer are upon us, but you wouldn’t know it based on this week’s roundup. It’s a variable potpourri of activity this week.

One Candle, One Question

OpenIDEO, is celebrating its first birthday. (Happy Birthday!) But instead of kicking back with a well-designed cake and ergonomically pleasing pointy party hats, the offshoot of social design firm IDEO is challenging itself. OpenIDEO, which enables the public to interact with IDEO designers and staff around the world on to address social challenges, is asking: “How might we increase social impact with OpenIDEO over the next year?” Check out the challenge and let them know what you think.

Worthwhile Weekend, Summer Reads

The Financial Times examines entrepreneurship in India and how its culture limits the rise of new and creative ventures to some extent. The money quote comes from Bakul Dholakia, director of the Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management and former director of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

“In Indian culture, in your early 20s, your parents still play a very important role in your life and have a huge influence on key decisions. When I was director at IIMA I really did try to encourage entrepreneurship, but it wasn’t the students that didn’t want to take the risk. It was their parents who objected and questioned why their sons and daughters would want to give up a good job and the security of a certain type of lifestyle and salary that goes with it. They do not want their children to have to struggle.”

Meanwhile, in preparation for launching a quarterly review of business books, The Economist is highlighting six of the best and most influential. They range from William Whyte’s The Organization Man (1956) to C.K. Prahalad’s Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. These books matter, not only because they tell us were we’ve been, but where were’ going. (Hat tip: Meghan Herwehe, via Ted London).


A friendly reminder that it’s not too late to register for the Global Social Business Incubator 2011 business plan summary presentations, set for Aug. 18 at Santa Clara University. The event and incubator bring together a cohort of 19 social entrepreneurs from around the world who are tackling some of the planet’s most vexing problems. The full day of activities will take place at the Mayer Theater at the Performing Arts Complex of SCU. More information and registration details are here.

Pro Bono, Pro Growth

Lawyers don’t always get their due, especially when it comes to doing good. So here’s a hat tip to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which worked free of charge with the Grassroots Business Fund and one its portfolio companies, Mobile Transactions International (MT), based in Zambia.

As a result of the pro bono counsel, MT has been able to extend mobile banking opportunities to sub-Saharan Africa. MT targets corporations, development sector organizations, government agencies and microfinance institutions across Africa to enable its customers to transact with unbanked and low income customers more easily.

In Case You Missed It … This Week On NextBillion

NexThought Monday: Are We Measuring… Too Much? By Martin Herrndorf

For Piramal Fellows, Innovation Comes Naturally By Bhavna Toor and Abhishek Hegde

A Closer Look At Ashoka’s Urban Housing Challenge (With Video) By Sarah Dimson
The Next Phase of Storytelling By Blair Miller

Helping Rural Farmers Avoid Financial ’Shocks,’ Build Profits By Consortium on Financial Systems & Poverty University of Chicago

On Opposite Continents, 2 Individuals Turning Waste Into Wealth By ViewChange LinkTV

Guest Post: Why My Classroom is a Startup By Devanik Saha

Social Entrepreneurship Takes Off in Brazil By Randall Kempner

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