Farewell to Pyramids – How Can Business and Technology Help to Eradicate Poverty?
Introduction manuscript for the book Kandachar, P. & Halme, M. (2008) Sustainability Challenges and Solutions at the Base of the Pyramid: Business, Technology and the Poor. Greenleaf.
29 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2008
Poverty seems to be affecting the majority of the world’s people and nations. It seriously undermines their capacity to meet their own needs including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water and altogether influences their quality of life. Poverty deprives also other aspects such as the opportunity to learn and to take care of their own health. Despite the decade-long efforts of development agencies to alleviate poverty, around the turn of the millennium, it had become strikingly evident that development aid, charity or ‘global business-as-usual’ would not deliver solutions to poverty as had been expected (Hammond et. 2007). Despite the expectations, the gap between wealthy and poor kept widening (Calder 2008, Cheema 2005). Today, there is little dispute that poverty is one of the most pressing global problems calling for innovative solutions. Even many organizations and thought leaders that originally did not have much to do with poverty started addressing the issue (Prahalad and Hart 2002, Prahalad 2005). One of the results is the so-called Base of the Pyramid (BoP) concept, a novel approach recommended to involve the private sector which would help to eradicate poverty by serving these markets in ways responsive to their needs.
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