Scott Anderson

Watch the Replay of our Google Hangout with Paul Polak: Join us for a discussion of the new book “The Business Solution to Poverty”

Editor’s note: Check out a replay of our live discussion below. You can still ask questions in our comments section, as Paul Polak said he’d be glad to answer them over the next few days.

How do you conceptualize products for the poor that are affordable, appropriate to their local context and above all, helpful to their lives? How do you do it without the scourge of paternalism or the blinders of ignorance? When will you know you’re making an impact and achieve a profit, without exploitation? And just what the heck is “zero based design”?

Those are some of the questions we have for Paul Polak, who along with Mal Warwick, authored the new book: “The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers.” But we want/NEED your questions too. (More on that below).

Polak is a well-known force in social enterprise, decades before it was formerly given that name. He’s the founder and CEO of Windhorse International, a for-profit venture providing clean driving water, which marks his third social enterprise. Polak also is the author of Out of Poverty.

Warwick is the founder and chairman of Mal Warwick and Associates, a direct marketing fund-raising company focused on nonprofits and progressive political candidates. He’s also one of four partners in the One World Futbol Project and is the former chairman of the Social Venture Network.

Polak will join NextBillion for our next Google Hangout at 2 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, November 6. That’s one week from today.

Here’s how this whole Google Hangout thing works: After you read the book (or at least start it) send us a few questions for Polak. You can do so by leaving questions in the comments section of this post, Tweeting questions to us on @NextBillion, leaving them on our Facebook page or even dropping them in an email to me at (You could Tweet them to me as well @scotteranderson). We will get to as many questions as we can during the live Hangout, and if there’s overflow, we’ll ask Polak a few more in the comments afterward.

We hope you can join us for the live event, which will appear in this post and will be archived here as a YouTube video upon completion.

Need a little more background? Check out this review of the book in The Economist.

product design