Celebs and business luminaries discuss social change at the WEF, which has a key theme of reaching p

Monday, January 23, 2006

While it’s all too easy to poke fun at the “celeb-ness” of Davos, Gere, Jolie, and Stone will be joining the likes of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and C.K. Prahalad, University of Michigan professor of business administration, in serious discussions of how best to promote economic growth and development in Africa, South Asia, and other poor parts of the globe.

I’ll be moderating two panels: “How to Tap the Bottom of the Pyramid” and “Small Customers, Big Business.” They’ll include not only Gates and Prahalad but Hector Ruiz, the CEO of AMD, Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab, Nestl? CEO Peter Brabeck-Latmathe, K.V. Kamath, CEO of ICICI Bank in India, Vodafone chief Arun Sarin, and several social entrepreneurs, such as Nick Moon, founder of ApproTEC, which makes and distributes inexpensive pumps for agriculture in Kenya.

A major theme of the WEF conference this year is using the markets to get to the 4 billion in the world who earn less than $2,000 a year. A small but growing number of companies are beginning to use innovative strategies to reach these low-income, capital-poor consumers.

Read full story here.

Source: Business Week (link opens in a new window)