Poor markets make good cents ? phones, finance and innovation at the base of the pyramid
Monday, June 23, 2008
David Lehr is Senior Advisor, Social Innovations for Mercy Corps and has over fifteen years of experience in international business development focused on software, telecommunications and other technologies. He was a Fellow at Stanford University, holds a Masters from the University of California, San Diego, and a BA from the State University of New York at Albany. Lehr has lived and worked in several countries in Asia and currently consults for a number of non-profits, including Acumen Fund, Gates Foundation, and Mercy Corps, on issues around technology and poverty alleviation.
For this receiver contribution he teamed up with Daniel Greenstadt, an international trade, sustainability and economic development partner at Thomas Associates International, to take a look at the leveraging effects mobile technology can have on the base of the global economic pyramid.
Four billion of us live at the base of the global economic pyramid. We face staggering challenges related to health, housing, energy, the environment and access to appropriate and emerging technologies. Much of the economic development assistance in emerging economies comes from charity, grants or loans from organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Asian Development Bank (ADB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a variety of other multilateral, bilateral and NGO agencies. Despite their good work, the myriad problems of poverty continue to plague communities in the developing world.