Episode 14: Philanthrocapitalism

Matthew Bishop and Mike Green talk about their book, Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World and Why We Should Let Them

Running time 1 hour 5 minutes; size 33.8 Mb.

Download transcript (pdf)

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Comments

what a lovely voice you have Owen :] (oh, and v.interesting show!)

Question from me would be how Africa can leverage its great technological initiatives – especially around mobiles – to win business/exports from the ‘west’ and build up this sector.

(couldn’t find an email address to send this too)

We are three students who just completed the Master’s Programme in Leadership Towards Sustainability at Blekinge Technical Institute in Karlskrona, Sweden.

As a diverse group; a Greek, a Brazilian and a Canadian of different ages, with varying degrees of experience in the field, for the past several months we’ve been working closely together on a thesis project aimed understanding how strategic approaches to sustainability might be better incorporated in the field of international development assistance. Specifically we’ve focussed on current and possible sustainability strategies of bilateral ODA donor agencies like DFID, CIDA, SIDA, USAID, etc.

Your podcast was discovered during our initial literature review and was a valuable asset in enhancing our understanding of some of the currently held expert opinions on the challenges facing the improvement of ODA effectiveness. We were also alerted to some new and relevant areas of research. It was a relief to hear being debated on your show the same essential concerns that we’d been discussing around issues like donor and recipient accountability, conditionality, and ownership.

After a recent opposition and defence of our work in which much of the discussion focussed on the likelihood, or ability of bilateral donors to accept experimental planning strategies, it was extremely interesting to listen to your recent episode on philanthropy.

The notion of flexible smaller organizations lacking the accountability of a governmental agency is something we hadn’t thought much about, but which is both compelling (re: flexibility) and worrisome (re: lack of accountability) for the reasons discussed on the show. Listened to the discussion, it occurred to us that the sustainability planning model we’ve developed might actually be better suited to such organizations because it is at the same time quite experimental but based on restraint-based precautionary principles. Our Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development Assistance is firmly rooted in a constraints-based approach to planning toward sustainability. In such a case where donors are not subject to political mechanisms of accountability it seems that a definition of sustainability based on a concrete set of constraints might be exactly what is needed to mitigate risk of unforeseen negative consequences.

Obviously you are a busy man, but if you’ve got time we’d love to send you a copy of our work, the brief summary we’ve been sending to various professors and experts. If you are at all interested, please provide us with an email address to send to.

Thank you,

Antonios Balaskas

Eduardo Nunes de Lima

Tyler Seed

[...] comments on their blog. A great and very relevant discussion on philanthrocapitalism can be read here (Development Drums). Createquity’s discussion of Givewell is also required reading. [...]

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