Guest Articles

February 13

NextBillion Editor

Three Key Trends in Social Impact: Announcing NextBillion’s Special Series for 2019

One of the strengths of a site like NextBillion is the diversity of our content: As an open platform for discussion of business solutions in emerging markets, we publish a steady stream of insights and analysis, contributed by entrepreneurs, researchers and others working around the world. This content covers a wide range of sectors, geographies and viewpoints – which can vary dramatically from day to day.

However, our publishing model does present some challenges: With guest-written articles making up the vast majority of our content, it can be hard for our editors to steer the conversation toward the topics we feel deserve fuller coverage. We’ve addressed this challenge by organizing a number of special series each year, which include:

  1. Topics that reflect growing trends, opportunities and challenges in social business, selected by our editors around the start of the year. Our staff sources content for these series on an ongoing basis until the end of the calendar year. Click here for one example from 2018.
  2. Conversations that develop organically on the site over the course of the year, and that seem to merit a special focus. These series tend to happen when a guest writer contributes a post that touches a nerve, inspiring others to write their own articles in response. Click here for one prime example from 2017.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the topics for our 2019 special series. These three series are described below, and each will be managed by a different member of NextBillion’s three-person editorial team. Check out the descriptions below, and email the appropriate editor if you’d like to explore a potential guest post. These new series will be included on our series page once the first post in each is published. We’re looking forward to seeing how the discussion around these topics – and others that may emerge – will develop in the coming months.


By Women, For Women: Leaders and Innovations in Gender Equity

From philanthropy to investing to entrepreneurship, women face unique challenges in their quests to make an impact. The #MeToo movement in particular has brought into focus the exclusion of women from power – an ill from which even the social sector is not immune. And yet in spite of cultural and systemic hurdles, women continue to rise through the ranks of impact-focused firms, smashing old paradigms and creating better, more inclusive business models. Do you know of an individual or organization innovating in the name of gender equity – or is this person you? If so, we’d love to share your story in this series. Email to discuss options, and check out the posts in the series here.


Scaling Up Without Selling Out

Wall Street players are becoming impact investors. Inclusive fintech innovations are reaching – and raising – billions. Social enterprises both large and small are scaling up and branching out. The impact sector’s momentum is clear. But as investments and innovations grow, so do expectations – and the risks of mission drift, burnout and conflict. How can social businesses move forward without compromising their values – or exhausting themselves or their teams? This series will highlight innovative thinkers and doers who are questioning old assumptions and discovering new solutions as the sector moves into the mainstream. Do you have a viewpoint to share or an innovative model or enterprise to highlight? Email to explore possible coverage, and check out the posts in the series here.


New Frontiers in Renewable Energy

Just five years ago, many viewed the renewable energy sector in emerging markets as the domain of CSR projects and small-scale investments – interesting endeavors perhaps, but nowhere near impactful. That dynamic is changing – fast. Incumbent energy companies are pouring billions into expanding the grid, impact investors are helping startups reach long-underserved customers, and industry players ranging from telecoms to banks are developing new technologies and business models that seek to leverage the sector’s momentum. This series will highlight the innovators, disruptors and intrepid analysts who are pioneering the new world of energy in emerging markets. Would you like to share your insights or highlight an intriguing new model (or an ongoing challenge)? Email to pitch your idea, and check out the posts in the series here.




Energy, Finance, Investing, Social Enterprise
gender equality, global development, impact investing, renewable energy, social enterprise