Social Enterprise: Summit Says that the Geography of the World’s Poverty Has Changed
Monday, September 26, 2011
It is clear that our changing world needs new approaches, flexible thinking and more social enterprise. Recent global factors such as the financial collapse, the food and fuel price crisis, and the increasingly rapid burn of climate change has been a challenge for the current model of international development. To find innovative solutions, the largest gathering of its kind with over 800 specialists organised by the Development Studies Association (DSA) and the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) met at York University, in the UK between 19 and 22 September 2011.
The academics, thought leaders and charity experts who attended this four-day summit, entitled “Rethinking Development in an Age of Uncertainty and Scarcity” were asked to think of new ways to tackle issues like conflict, aid policy and migration. To come up with pioneering approaches to social enterprise and development that shakes things up completely.
One of the main conclusions from this conference is that the international community are failing the world’s poorest because they are looking in the wrong places and using the wrong measurements to assess poverty. Research by Dr Andy Sumner, at the Institute of Development Studies, has found that three-quarters of the world’s poorest people live in middle-income rather than “developing” countries. The geography of the world’s poverty has changed; two years ago almost all of the world’s poor lived in low income countries. Now, 72% of the world’s poor live in middle income countries. The poor haven’t moved; the countries they live in have changed!