At the end of October 2011 it is estimated that the world population will have reached 7 billion people – an achievement and challenge at the same time.
This article focusses on just three challenges and corresponding opportunities that might stretch the traditional mindset for social investments by corporates, trusts and foundation and governments. All three are interdependent and addressing one can have postive impacts on the other.
1: Addressing poverty and inequality through collaborations between sectors and industries: the time for collaboration between sectors to pursue a single vision of sustainable development is ripe and evidenced by a multitude of large scale corporate, government and civil society partnerships domestically as well as internationally.
Following the endorsement of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, AusAid has opened the doors to future private sector involvement in pro-poor, sustainable economic growth on the basis of international evidence that this type of economic investment in the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ can be profitable as well as deliver much improved development impacts – in other words, assists more people out of poverty than traditional development projects and is good for the environment at the same time.
2: Addressing women and girls empowerment including their reproductive health and rights – this is one, if not THE key ingredient for successful social investment programmes impacting the economic and social wellbeing of a community as well as the environmental sustainability – also referred to as the ‘girl effect‘.
3. Addressing the threat to our ecosystem – through investing into research and programmes aimed at managing population growth and it’s impact on the environment, the creation of new ecologically friendly technologies and radical economic reform which entails rewarding positive behaviour rather than propping up traditional models that exaserbate problems.
There are people and organisations that work at developing solutions to these challenges already, of course, and if you would like to find out more, here are some links to start off with:
B4MD – provides Australian businesses with the opportunity to do much more to reduce poverty while developing business with the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific region.
Creating Shared Value – Global corporations including BHP Billiton, PepsiCo, Digicel, Oil Search, IBM and BASF share their thinking about projects where profitability and social impact go hand in hand at the B4MD Summit 25-26 October 2011 in Sydney and Melbourne.
Volans – driving corporations and organisations towards a zero impact growth economy – an oxymoron? Check it out for yourself.