What We Can Do

"Hard times give you the courage to think the unthinkable." —Andy Grove, Intel Chairman

"Emergence through emergency."—Buckminster Fuller

"Power is the ability to see a vision for the future and make that vision come to life through people and other resources."—Peter W. Nauert, CEO Central Reserve Life Corporation

Actors on the Global Stage: Context

The time for action always arrives just in time.

As we saw in Context, Chapter 1, there are numerous actors on the global stage, besides you.  National, regional, city and local governments, multinational corporations and smaller, local enterprises, non-governmental organizations, including local, regional and global scale groups, and individuals from all walks of life and every part of the planet are all working in the world to meet their needs. Most of the time they are focused on their individual or organizational goals and are only aware of the others as a means to achieve those ends.  Each of the global actors is at work in their own economic, technological and environmental niche that provides them with access to resources for meeting their needs. Each of the actors works at various levels of organization, wealth and power.  Each has short term and longer-term goals, but it is usually the short term and local that is the focus for much of our activities.  Each is working on a whole larger than they perceive, and are helping the world get what it wants.

This short-range focus is not without its long term and big picture results. Just as the honeybee is focused on obtaining the sustenance it needs from the flowers in its immediate environment— and as it does so it inadvertently cross-pollinates all the plants it visits on this straight ahead quest— so too does humanity have unexpected results on our straight ahead, short term local quests for sustenance or money.  As Buckminster Fuller puts it, these "money bees," although programmed with linear drives to achieve their personal success, cross-pollinate the social, economic and technological systems they are a part of and the whole world benefits. These side effects of our linear drives are of such a magnitude that Fuller proclaims, "The side effects are the main effects."  The so-called "invisible hand" of macroeconomics is a related metaphor, but not as poetic.

Besides sharing the generic goal of seeking to realize their personal, political, economic, or organizational goals, all actors on the global stage share, whether they realize it or not, a common genetic heritage that traces back 100,000 years to Africa, a set of ecological processes and support systems that support and nourish their physical existence, a technological support system that provides over six billion human beings the food, energy, goods and services needed for their continuing sustenance, a global economy that has interlinked all support systems and actors in a complex web of relationships, and a desire for a better future.

Global Cooperation Through Competition

It is these shared support systems and their complex interrelationships that provide a basis for shared goals, cooperative action and multiple "winners."  If my Goal X does no harm to your Goal Y, and in the process of achieving my goal the system on which your goal depends is strengthened, thereby indirectly increasing your wealth and the chances of reaching your goal, then you have a logical reason to support my goal, or at minimum to be neutral towards it.  The more my goal benefits you, the more compelling is the reason for you to support, even actively support, the achievement of my goal.

Abundance for All describes a set of non-competing, mutually supporting goals and strategies for getting the world what it wants.  Each of the various strategies has a goal that is in tune with long term developmental trends, moral precepts of nearly every religion and moral system in the world, and technological and economic feasibilities.  They are also in tune with, and seek to harness, the strength of modern "free market" enterprise and individual initiative.

For each of the strategies in Abundance for All to become real, and to be implemented on an aggressive schedule, they need the active cooperation of many of the various organizations, governments, corporations and individuals in the world.  To be effective in our modern consumer society, this cooperation needs to be based on self-interest that is larger than moral persuasion.  Economic self-interests need to be clear. 

The following provide examples of what various actors on the global stage can do to make the Abundance for All a reality that is in their self-interests.

What National Governments Can Do

"The U.S. government was designed by geniuses so it could be run by idiots." —Anonymous

As the largest actor on the global stage, national governments have it in their power to drastically improve the well being of their citizens.  It has become clear over the last 50 years that different economic policies lead to different results.  There is a fairly well documented record of what works, where it works, and why— and what does not work and leads to stagnation or worse.

For example, in the 1960s, Africa's income per person was higher than Asia. Today, Asia's per capita GNP is twice that of Africa.  Investments in education, market reforms, and other central government policies have had dramatic impacts.  In the 1960s, 65% of Asia's population was at the poverty level.  By the year 2000, it had tumbled to 17% (despite the addition of over a billion more people).  These economic improvements have been accompanied by increases in human well being, as measured by infant mortality (down from 141 per 1000 births in 1960 to 48 in 2000) and life expectancy (41 in 1960, 67 in 2000). [1]   In tragic contrast, Africa's overall level of poverty has been increasing over the last decade.

Adopting policies that lead to increased health and education for a country's citizens, increased human rights and freedoms, and increased environmental strength are 'better" than policies that lead to the self-aggrandizement of an elite or the oppression of the majority or minority of the a country. Governing a country is not rocket science (as a close examination of the U.S.  Government would conclude).  There are known policies that will lead to the improvement of a country's citizens.  What is not easy is the will to do what is "right" or keeping the self-serving interests of the status quo from corrupting or stultifying the process of change.  Compounding this difficulty is a sense of entitlement that often comes with positions of power in governments around the world and that often leads to corruption.

One way around the corruption, political difficulties, and lack of will that governments are often trapped in is to go around government.  This can be done (and is being done) by aid agencies working directly with non-governmental organizations.  Developmental assistance goes through grass roots organizations instead of flowing through central government coffers, thereby upping the odds (but not guaranteeing) that more goods and services actually reach the people for whom they were intended.

Another way for "foreign" aid to become decentralized, possibly even partly "privatized" is to give corporations tax breaks and incentives for making investments in developing countries and setting up divisions within their company for developing products and services that meet basic needs in developing countries (see What Corporations Can Do, below).

In one sense, aid is already partly privatized— at least for the U.S.  In the last ten years, private donations from foundations, corporations, NGOs, religious organizations, universities, and individuals in the U.S., have far exceeded the government's "foreign" aid.  The best available data says that private giving is around $35 billion per year— three times the amount of U.S. official development assistance. [2] Foundations provide $3 billion, corporations $2.8 billion, religious congregations $3.4 billion, and individuals $18 billion for everything from disaster relief, economic development, environmental conservation, and human rights. [3]

The highest priority of any government should be the human resources located in their geographical territory. Governmental actions and initiatives should deal with education and increasing the value of the human resources of their region. The reasons for this are as obvious as the near constant ranking of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries at or near the top of every human development, rights, economic, environmental, and well being index conducted over the last 30 years by international groups. 

"Literacy means economic success.  Sweden was the first country in the world and in history to achieve 100% literacy for both sexes; it ranks near the top in income and in gender equality today.  Literacy, wealth and democracy all correlate with each other.  The least literate parts of Europe and Russia were among the poorest in 1900, and also the least democratic." [4]

Countries need to provide their citizens with as much education as they can as quickly as they can.  Special emphasis needs to be paid to the literacy and education of women if the nation is to really compete on equal footing in the global market.  But education, by itself, is not enough. The women of Japan are among the best (if not the best) educated people in the world.  Their socially limited and marginal contributions to Japanese corporate and governmental affairs and management is one of the more wasteful uses of a valuable resource in the world. To over come this generic limitation, other actions need to be taken by governments to leverage their existing resources and to create new wealth.

One set of actions that could have a profound impact on national and global wealth is the removal of cultural, legal and institutional roadblocks that inhibit the development of small and medium size businesses, especially in poor countries, and (everywhere) by women and minorities. [5]   As Kofi Annan has pointed out in reference to achieving the UN's Millennium Goals, [6] "We cannot reach these goals without the support of the private sector.  Most of all, we cannot reach them without a strong private sector in the developing countries themselves, to create jobs and bring prosperity ." 

Developing Countries

"Economic growth in the Third World is an opportunity, not a threat; it is our fear of Third World success, not that success itself, that is the real danger to the world economy."—Paul Krugman, economist

There is a set of actions that developing countries can take that would greatly accelerate their wealth generating capabilities. Unleashing the capacity of their local entrepreneurs by reducing the amount of red tape a budding entrepreneur needs to go through before their business is registered and licensed is one important action. For example, in New Zealand it costs $28 to start a business. In Angola, it costs $5,531— more than eight times the average income. [7] Studies have shown that longer and cumbersome business registration processes are linked with lower productivity and corruption. [8]

Other needed actions, in addition to those mentioned above, include:

  • A strong commitment to the rule of law, where every citizen and company is treated equally under a system of written laws and rules, where laws are professionally enforced and adjudicated by a fair, transparent, effective, and adequately compensated judiciary
  • Access to financing for all levels of business endeavors
  • The use of transparent and public procedures in all government procurements and employment opportunities
  • An unrelenting focus on education and training
  • A system that discloses conflicts of interest and improper influence on government officials, and which provides incentives and safety for the reporting of such activities
  • Establishing auditing standards and procedures for government and private enterprise
  • Disclosure of all subsidies to firms
  • Develop and implement policies that encourage skilled emigrants to return home

Developed Countries

Linked to the above is a set of actions that developed countries need to take to insure their and developing countries wealth generating capacities. In addition to the removal of subsidies so that their private sector is open to competition, wealthy countries

The UN Global Compact is an example of private sector/public good cooperation. Launched in 1999, the Global Compact had over 1200 corporate members from 53 countries in 2004.  The corporations in the compact work with the UNDP, UNEP and other UN agencies on developing sustainable solutions to local and international problems in ways that foster corporate responsibility and inclusiveness. [9]   The corporations who join the compact pledge to support and respect the protection of international human rights within their sphere of influence, make sure their own corporations are not complicit in human rights abuses, eliminate of all forms of forced and compulsory labor, abolish child labor, eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, promote greater environmental responsibility, and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

Fix the United Nations

One of the higher priority actions that nation states need to take to accelerate the Seven Billion Billionaires scenario is to "fix" the UN.  "Fix" does not mean turn the UN into a world government or some other equally antiquated concept from the 1940s.  The UN is too important to be a world government. Its work is too crucial to be encumbered with that type of baggage.

A world government will not only not work in today's world, it is irrelevant. The world doesn't need more government, it needs more coordination; it doesn't need more bureaucracy, it needs more global perspectives and informed local actions; it doesn't need more political leaders, it needs more empowered citizens.

The UN and its various branches is a powerful tool for coordinating the disparate and decentralized actions needed to get the world what it wants.  Many of its organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and The United Nations Children's Relief Fund (UNICEF) and a host of other lesser know but equally important UN organizations and sub-divisions are already doing just this.

There are a number of things that need to be fixed to make the UN a more effective and efficient tool for assisting the world in getting what it wants.  Some of these have been described in various parts of this book. Others are below:

  • Some of the organizations were set up in the 20th century with 19th century ideas of property and turf. The coordination between many of the UN agencies needs to be radically altered and improved.
  • Most of the major agencies collect valuable statistics about the condition of the world. These are often in incompatible formats in different parts of the world and not always free or even accessible. The world needs one integrated database where all the vital statistics of the world are located and access to them is free.  These statistics need to in an easy to use (meaning high school student accessible) tool that allows easy and fast comparison, correlation, charting, graphing, and mapping.  More advanced statistical functions should also be available for the more sophisticated user. The goal of this new statistical unit would be to make transparent the vital statistics of the world.
  • The UN should be more transparent. Votes by delegates should be part of the public (Internet) record. All UN sessions should be available over C-Span and the Internet.
  • The public should be allowed to vote on all UN resolutions. These non-binding votes would be for educational purposes of UN delegates and the voter.  The results of both votes, official and public—should be made public.
  • Membership in the UN should be expanded. Both civil society and the private sector should be a part of the UN— and not in a token or figurehead status but as empowered members.
  • Membership in UN PeaceKeeper forces should be open to private citizens of all countries.
  • The UN needs to have a service analogous to the U.S. Peace Corps that is open to people from all over the world.
  • The UN needs an outside task force that will study its immense and dated bureaucracy and design ways for the phase out and combination of outdated aspects of its structure and organizations.
  • The UN global education effort needs to be expanded by orders of magnitude.  It's Internet presence needs to play a more proactive role in educating the world about itself.

Fix the WTO

Another high priority strategy for nation states is to expand the powers of the World Trade Organization to include environmental, labor and human rights concerns. The logic for this move is that the world needs more, not less, supra-national coordination and empowered concern for the global common wealth. The World Trade Organization is a dramatic innovation in international law. [10] As such, it has the potential to do a lot of good.  

At the moment, the WTO can find a country in violation of unfair trade practices, such as dumping subsidized steel or orange juice in another country's market.  The penalty for such actions can be severe, amounting to billions of dollars in trade sanctions imposed by victims of such illegal activities. If the WTO was empowered to deal with subsidies to fossil energy sources, fisheries, non-sustainable water uses, and other perverse subsidies that undermine the global commons and economy, then the world will have come a long way towards developing a mechanism for arbitrating and deciding global environmental issues that have some bite in them.

Other reforms include: [11]

  • Transparency: All World Trade Organization operations and decisions should be transparent so that the public and watchdog civil society groups can monitor what is happening, and public trust in this organization is restored.
  • Corporate Codes of Conduct: Regulations for multinational corporations should be developed that deal with taxes, health care and environmental codes of conduct.
  • Environmental Standards: Regulations for multinational corporations should be developed that require multinational corporations to assist developing countries in which they work to improve their environmental standards.
  • Governmental Relations: Regulations for multinational corporations should be developed that prohibit the making of direct or indirect contributions to political campaigns, adherence to the host government's laws, the promotion of local employment, and the transfer of technology and expertise.
  • Criminal Justice: Multinational corporations and their activities should be covered by international criminal law and the International Criminal Court should have its jurisdiction expanded to cover corporate conduct.

Fix the IMF

 "Most of the information from the IMF staff that goes to the board is about budget deficits, domestic credit expansion, exchange rates, and inflation— not about AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, deforestation, and drought. A basic disconnect exists between the work of the fund, which obsesses over financial indicators, and reality in much of the world, especially where people live in extreme poverty." [12] —Jeffrey Sachs

Another major international body in need of reform and reconnection to the realities of global poverty and getting the world what it wants is the International Monetary Fund. As Jeffrey Sachs eloquently summarizes above, the IMF has become fixated on fiscal indicators, resulting in a major disconnect from the everyday realities of the people being victimized or benefiting from these same indicators.

Making the IMF more than just a powerful tool wealthy nations use to shape international economic policy so that it benefits them, the IMF needs to represent the entire world (as its original Articles of Agreement calls for it to do) [13] . The IMF needs to shift its policy away form imposing backbreaking austerity measures on the poorest of the poor and towards establishing the financial frameworks needed for making the huge investments that will make the Abundance for All vision a reality.

Other reforms include [14] :

      Debt relief and debt cancellation for the poorest, most deeply in-debt countries. Treating a bankrupt country with the same respect for due process as a bankrupt corporation or individual, along with the same type of protections from creditors, would be an important first step in giving poor countries the resources they need to address their basic human need problems.

      Speak truth top power. The IMF needs to wean itself from U.S. and European domination. The global economy is not the U.S. or European economy, as much as Europeans and Americans might like to think of it that way. The IMF needs to encourage fiscal responsibility in the U.S.—balancing budgets among other things— as they do in developing countries. The impact of U.S. budget deficits on available global capital is much more severe than any developing countries debt load.

"America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing ones." —U.S. National Security Strategy, September 20, 2002

"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America you're given a front row seat." —George Carlin

What the United States Can Do/Should Do/Will Do

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

"America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood." —Martin Luther King, Jr.

As the dominant power on the planet the U.S. is both respected for its ideals and past accomplishments in the areas of democracy, technology, and the relative openness of its borders to those aspiring to leave their home country— and feared for its vast military powers and its self-serving use of this power.

As the dominant power in the world, the U.S. has the potential to affect change in almost any sphere it decides is important.   Because of its overwhelming economic, cultural and military power it is resented, mistrusted, feared, and even hated by some all the time, looked at wearily by nearly all most of the time, and the object of envy, admiration and the fervent hopes that it live up to its noble ideals by all, if not all the time, then nearly all.

The ideals, from Jeffersonian democracy and the peaceful revolutions of leadership change, to our freedoms of speech, worship, press, and movement, to the rewards of individual initiative, the rule of law, the generosity of its people to others in need, and the steady progress of our expanding and more inclusive diversity—have had a profound impact in the world over the last 250 years. 

Winston Churchill, at a time when his country occupied an analogous position in world affairs, said his country's purpose in the world was to "give peace to warring tribes, to administer justice where all was violence, to strike the chains off the slave, to plant the seeds of commerce and learning." Great Britain's failure to live up to these ideals, instead succumbing to the "petty arrogance of race and national might [15] " was one reason for its rapid demise as the greatest power in the world.

The U.S. has the potential to not only lead the charge against global poverty, it could, in a self-serving stroke of foreign policy brilliance that would align the entire world on its side, take on the task itself. Riding the moral high ground (and the economic main road), it could declare its intention to rid the world of poverty, to raise the standard of living of all the world's inhabitants, to remove the dark specter of hunger, illiteracy and lack of health care from the world— to get the world what it wants by making everyone in the world richer than their dreams.  It could declare that the explicit purpose of its foreign policy (and enlightened self-interested domestic policy) would be to increase the economic strength of all countries, not just the U.S. [16] It could even borrow from Mr. Churchill, and declare that the U.S. would "bring peace to warring tribes, stopping ethnic and economic violence throughout the world, help administer justice by joining of the World Court, strike the chains of the slave, and plant the seeds of commerce and learning—by eliminating its anti-open market subsidies to its businesses, opening its markets to the poor, and eliminating illiteracy from the world."  (Although this last item could be perceived as a subsidy to its information technology and communications industries, as all the other actions needed to eradicate poverty from the world could be seen as subsidies to the U.S. economy, it could insist that the reason for engaging in this noble undertaking was its concern for the well being of the entire world.  If such was the actual case, so much the better.)

At the moment, U.S. foreign policy is defined by what we are against. We are the "Anti-terrorist/anti-Al-Qaeda" gang.  One of the tragedies of 9/11, and triumphs of Al-Qaeda, is that it has reduced the vision of what we were and the enormous capacity of what we could be to what we are against. Al-Qaeda has reduced the most powerful country in the history of the world to defining itself as being against a small band of sociopaths.  How much more powerful a force in the world would the U.S. be if it were for something positive, even bigger than itself, that empowered us to reach beyond our current grasp (as the space program did in the 1960s), instead of being merely against something? Being against evil is never an adequate substitute for being for something good. As Einstein pointed out, you are either a "fearer" or a "longer". The foreign policy of the Bush administration is based on fear, not the longing for what we could be.

If such a grand vision, as described above, was too much to start off with, the U.S. could take a more timid step and declare its intention to rid the world of hunger.  Living up to its ideals and charting such new ground would need visionary leaders brave enough to see the big picture in an age of specialization and fear-based self interest.

Eliminating all military assistance "foreign aid" and using this for poverty or hunger eradication, and channeling a portion of its vast military budget for the same, the U.S. could bring about a revolutionary transformation of global society.  If necessary, criteria could be set up that would make sure the funds only went to democratic countries that had open, multi-party elections (or were on their way to this goal), where military expenditures were below 0.1% of GDP, and where ethnic minorities and/or women were not second-class citizens (of course the U.S. would have a problem living up to this one). In return for meeting these criteria, the U.S. would guarantee the elimination of hunger (or illiteracy, etc.) from the complying country within a specific time period.

If such criteria made the task impossible to achieve the goals then the U.S. could consider going around governments by supporting non-governmental organizations working directly with the poor in developing countries.

"Our interconnectedness on the planet is the dominant truth of the 21st century.  One stark result is that the world's poor live, and especially die, with the awareness that the United States is doing little to mobilize the weapons of mass salvation that could offer them survival, dignity and eventually the escape from poverty." —Jeffrey Sachs

What China Can Do/Should Do/Will Do

China, along with its "sister" province of Taiwan, is the world's second largest economy. With over 200 million people raised up out of poverty in the last 25 years by an astonishing economic growth rate that makes all but a rocket launch look tame, it is poised to be the world's largest market and economic powerhouse in the not too distant future. Given its vast human resources and economic clout, China is probably the only other country in the world that could, unilaterally, decide to make the seven billion billionaires strategy a reality. 

Such a bold move would necessitate the same type of entrepreneurial and big picture vision that the U.S. would need to undertake such a global enterprise. China's leaders have demonstrated a brilliant understanding of globalization and how to use it to benefit large (and growing) portions of their population— what if they decide to "benefit" the entire world? [17]

Not having the huge military budgets (and therefore as large an entrenched status quo) that the U.S. is encumbered with, and with huge (near $400 billion in 2003 [18] ) foreign reserves, such a move by China might be "easier" to pull off than a similar move by the U.S.  China's global leadership is new, and growing— and their assumption of their emerging global responsibilities as a global power could easily, based on their past brilliance, include the recognition of the self-serving aspects of making the world work for everyone.  It could even be argued that China, as the world's largest country, would have the most to gain in a world where everyone had all their needs met, and was in fact, a "billionaire."

What the U.S. and China Can Do Together

One bold move would be to combine U.S. and Chinese capabilities to get the world what it wants. Instead of being economic and political adversaries, the two largest economies in the world could combine their unique capacities and get the job done quicker and in ways that benefit both.  Using U.S. capital, technology and innovation and China's huge supply of labor and ability to force pilot programs, China could be both a factory and laboratory for developing appropriate programs for supplying the world what it needs.

Too start this collaboration off, the two countries could start a crash program to develop low-cost, clean and renewable energy sources. Such a program would help avert a coming resource war as China's growing economy sucks in more and more of the world's available oil (Beijing alone adds nearly 30,000 new cars each month to its streets; China's motor vehicle fleet was at 24 million in 2003. Its domestic and foreign policy is increasingly preoccupied with energy shortages and finding additional supplies of this precious commodity). [19]

Another tactic that could be pursued by the U.S. and other countries, one that would help harness the near incredible power of the large multinational corporation, would be to pass legislation that would make a corporation's ability to operate in the U.S. (or China, etc.) market contingent on its proof of social responsibility in the U.S. and the rest of the world. As will be seen next, the modern corporation could play an important role in getting the world what it wants.

Business Cannot Succeed in Societies That Fail

"Whether it's Nike committing to drive out chlorine compounds from its products, or Unilever promulgating sustainable agriculture standards up its supply chain, big companies can use market position to aggregate and leverage consumer demand to shift producer practices. Conrad MacKerron, director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Program at As You Sow Foundation, observes that "Manufacturer insistence on strong code compliance is an efficient and effective way to drive social performance improvements." — Gil Friend

What Corporations Can Do

"A great society is one in which the people of business think greatly of their function."
—Alfred North Whitehead

The global corporation is the largest and most successful engine for economic development the world has yet witnessed. [20]   The power of the corporation to obtain and organize resources to develop products that meet needs is unmatched in history. 

The last decade's privatization of former governmental "businesses" (everything from airlines and telephone systems to garbage collection, water supply, and banking) partially affirms that the private corporation as a more efficient, effective and lower-cost option than the nation state for providing most of what the world wants.  The primary reasons for this have to do with the decentralized and distributed nature of market economies vs. the centralized nature of the strong central government model. 

The economy is a complex living system.  Centralization does not work too well in biology.  If everything your body does—from food digestion, cell repair to muscle contraction, nerve cell growth and walking—had to be decided or run from one central facility you would die fairly quickly.  You would certainly not be able to read this sentence or carry on a conversation if your entire central processing capability was preoccupied with maintaining your system.  The biology does not hold up. [21]

What does all this mean to today's corporation?  What relevance does this have to the global corporation and the meeting of the basic human needs of the world?

"In the future there will be two kinds of corporations. Those that go global or those that go bankrupt."  —C. Michael Armstrong, CEO, AT&T

For starters, it can be argued that the "principles of regenerative development" described in Chapter 4 are also directions.  The world is moving closer and closer to an economic system where "needsare markets" —even if they are basic human needs in the developing world, and even if it appears that the poor who have these needs are not in an economic position to purchase products and services from 21st century corporate enterprise.

economic pyramid
"If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up."
—C. K. Pralahad

At first glance, it seems obvious that people at the base of the global economic pyramid cannot purchase products developed for those at the top and middle of the pyramid. Such an obvious truth does not mean that well thought out products, as well as accompanying marketing and financing plans, coupled with

local partners, cannot have huge positive impacts while also generating sustainable, and healthy, profits for the enterprising corporation.

Rapid globalization has taught corporate executives that to survive in a highly competitive and rapidly changing world, strategic planning, for maximum positive impact and profitability, needs to be global strategic planning.   Policies and action plans not only need to be global in scope, they need to be long term, include all stakeholders, based on free-market enterprise and transparency, build capacity instead of just solving problems, regenerate the systems on which they depend and view what the world wants (and the so-called problems of the world) as needs waiting for their corporation to satisfy with innovative products and marketing. 

This is the direction the world is heading.  If a corporation wants or needs to fight these trends for short term gain then they need to be advised that they are standing in the way of six+ billion people and not only their needs and wants but their intuitive, core desires.  Being aligned with these desires, with what the world wants, will position a company on not only the moral high ground, but on the most cost-effective and long term profitability side.  If a company is building to last, they need to be in tune with the market, its needs and what their company can do to meet those needs.

The old corporate paradigm, what I call the Global Inc. approach, is to see the intractable problems of the world as totally irrelevant to the core competencies and values, profitability, growth, shareholder value and long- and short-term success of the corporation.  Investing in most of Africa, rural Bangladesh, China or India for example, is too high of a risk in this context.  In this world view, it is an economically irrational act.  The game is zero-sum, at best.

Global Links

To grow and profit in the coming decades corporations will need to move from the Global Inc. paradigm to the Global Link approach.

Global Inc. is characterized by short-term profitability, increasing shareholder value, maximizing margins, and gaining market share in a global market of about 2 to 3 billion people— those wealthy enough to afford the products of the modern multinational corporation.  The Global Link paradigm for corporate regeneration is characterized by a similar devotion to profitability and increased shareholder value, but it achieves its goals through thin margins on millions or tens of millions of sales rather then large margins on thousands of sales.  It goes after market share in a much larger global market pie— the entire world's 6 billion+ people.

This corporate strategy sees the problems of the world as opportunities, needs waiting to be met, markets waiting to be expanded into, sources of growth and profitability and a source of valuable experience for learning how to supply the world with other things it wants.  The learning organization views what the world wants as an opportunity to learn, a university for understanding how to add value and develop the innovative marketing needed to reach new markets. [22]

Example: There is a vast need and market for communications.  Although there were some 600 million users of the Internet in 2003, there are over 2 billion people who have never made a phone call. [23]    85% of the world's population has only 33% of the world's telephones.  In Africa, 66% of the population has no access to telephones. [24]  

The obvious reason to the traditional corporate approach for this situation is that the people without telephones or communication devices do not have enough disposable income to purchase the products the corporation is selling.  The middle class, who might have the necessary income, is not large enough or is non-existent.  Any investment would be a waste.  End of story.

Or, the alternative story line: the aspiring corporation goes after the emerging market's emerging middle class.  India already has a middle class of at least 90 [25] to 122 million people and China's is close to 240 million [26] (middle class being defined here as someone able to afford imported goods and services; someone, in other words, able to participate in the global economy). As it is, there is over $2 trillion of purchasing power in the base of the global economic pyramid.

The Global Links corporate strategy sees this need as a market in need of a communications device that can meet its needs at a price it can afford and which will allow ample corporate learning, profitability and market share. There are a variety of solutions that can range from innovative uses of existing products to new brand products, manufacturing processes and distribution channels.  China's first use of the pager, for example, was a brilliantly pragmatic low-cost communication device that went way beyond Motorola's engineer's wildest imaginations of pager functionality.

The Chinese bought pagers, coupled them with a thick code book of thousands of possible messages ("Product ready for pick up", "Meet sales rep at 2pmÓ) that was linked to the numeric display of the pager—thereby rendering the device into a low-cost telephone substitution/communication device. [27]

New product examples include a low-cost basic cell phone system (complete with solar-powered battery recharger) and innovative marketing schemes that allow people with little money to obtain the product.  An example of this is the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, [28] which specializes in making loans to the poorest of the poor, mostly rural women.  It is currently loaning the purchase price of a cell phone to women throughout rural Bangladesh.  The phones are creating the country's first rural phone booths.  "The money is easy,Ó reports Ms. Sajeda Akhtar, one of the cell phone entrepreneurs, "Every month, I make a profit of at least 2,000 taka." [29]   ($65—that is about double Bangladesh's average monthly income.)  It's a business opportunity for the women, a way for the farmers in the surrounding villages to order seeds and farm implements, sell their products, and to call sons and husbands working in Malaysia or the Middle East, and a win for the community and nation as the farmers increase the efficiency of their operations, and modern communication links are established throughout the country.  It is also a win for the cell phone manufacturing company to sell product in a market heretofore unavailable.  This business model is but one way the corporation can sell to the base of the global economic pyramid.

Henry Ford was not only a brilliant engineer and entrepreneur who developed the mass-production line and mass-produced automobile, he also figured out how to market his cars to people who could not up to then afford them.  The revolutionary tactic of paying his workers considerably more than anyone else not only assured him of getting and keeping good workers, but because his wages were so high, the workers could afford his cars—which they purchased in legion and fueled the early growth of the company.  Even today, innovative marketing is important—Ford Finance makes more money in the U.S. market financing car purchases than Ford Motors makes manufacturing the same cars.  The point being that having a good product in today's world is important, but being able to market it in places where there is not the readily available capital should not stop you.  Part of a successful product in today's world includes the means for the market to obtain the product.  The successful corporation needs to view its role as not just creating a product or service, but developing an innovative system of manufacturer, delivery, marketing, financing and service that is in tune with the realities of emerging markets.

Another reason why corporations need to pay close attention to the Global Links approach to corporate planning and profitability is that 95% of the world's population growth is occurring in the developing world—precisely where the most of what the world wants is located. [30]

What the Global Corporation Can Do /How a Corporation Can Make a Difference

"It used to be that the big ate the small.  Now it is the fast who eat the slow." —Klaus Schwab, Davos World Economic Forum

And now, it is the agile who eat the fast.  The modern corporation has vast resources and a specific mandate: stay in business and produce a profit.

Given the competition of the global market place, this is no easy task to fulfill.  Maintaining competitive advantage and market share in a fast moving and evolving market takes vision, agility, resources and the courage to take enormous, but reasonable, risks

Given the needs and size of the global market it could be a lot easier.  Many markets in the developed world are saturated.  Future growth opportunities for these "mature" businesses, such as motor vehicles, will come from the developing world.  This is why GM has spent over a billion dollars putting in a manufacturing plant in China.

Given the resources and the mandates of the modern global corporation, the competition and what it will take to maintain competitive advantage, and given that technology, knowledge and experience is the most important assets of the corporation, one of the critical strategies for insuring and maintaining future growth will be to get involved in providing the goods and services needed by the emerging markets—and not just the rich and middle class in these markets, but the vastly larger market of the whole of the society.

The efficiencies needed to produce and deliver products to that market will be worth the developmental costs as they are applied to other products for other parts of the world.  The innovative marketing that will be needed to sell products in these markets will teach the corporation how to market other products in the same market as well as to more effectively market in developed regions.  The visibility, reputation and market share that the corporation gets as a result of being the first in the market with a world-class product will open doors for subsequent products and joint ventures.  Most importantly, the knowledge and experience gained will benefit the whole corporation in many ways—as long as the corporation is set up in a way that learning is the core of what they are about.

The Global Link Challenge: Now What?

If the world's 100 largest corporations each picked a global human need
and produced a product or product line that meet that need.
the world would take a rapid and giant leap forward in getting what it wanted. 

More precisely, and less altruistic sounding:
1.  If each of the world's 100 largest corporations
2.   picked a basic human need "opportunity" (lack of food, water, energy, shelter, health care, education, communication, transportation, environmental degradation)
3.  that the core competencies of their corporation could be harnessed to "cultivate"—
4.   that is, develop a product or service that would meet the need whose lack causes a problem/creates an opportunity
5.  (or better, would increase the capacities of the larger system the problem/opportunity is contained within) and
6.  they picked a country in Africa (or some other part of the base of the global economic pyramid)
7.  in which to implement and test the prototype of this product, and
8.  they then rolled this product/service out to the rest of the world

—the world would take a rapid and giant leap forward in getting what it wanted (and the corporation would increase its profitability, growth and future growth potential).

Setting up a Global Link Initiatives Division

One way to implement this strategy is to set up a new division within a corporation.  This "Global Link Initiatives" group would be responsible for matching the corporation's core competencies and resources with a "base of the economic pyramid" problem/market opportunity.  This matching of capacities and market would include the country for prototype launch.  The group would be charged with organizing the corporation's knowledge, material resources and product(s) for this end. 

One of the early steps is to assemble an interdisciplinary team that includes product developers, marketers, and at least one senior level executive with a multi-year commitment to the Global Link venture.  The next step is to inventory existing products that the corporation is currently marketing or could soon bring to market that have the potential to match a base of the pyramid problem/ market opportunity.

The corporation may already have a product that could meet the emerging market opportunity or could either solve or come close to solving a base of the pyramid problem, but in its current configuration it is probably too expensive for that market.  The challenge to the Global Links Group is to design the financing for the purchaser of their product in such a way that the base of the pyramid can afford it, or how this product can be modified either in its composition, manufacture, or delivery so that it is affordable.  The Global Links Group needs to examine the needs that the market has and see if there is a new product or modification of an existing one that can be made that would solve the problem.  The country may not need a "full-feature" product that is currently being marketed in the developed world (such as a cell phone with games, Internet access, and an appointments calendar) but maybe a slimmed downed version of a successful product could meet the vital needs of the market (such as the Simputer, a low-cost portable computer with simple interfaces being developed in India).  The infrastructure may not exist yet to support such a product—but there are often innovative ways around perceived structural limits (such as the Chinese use of pager technology to meet their need for a low-cost telecommunications device).

The Global Links Group will need to not only develop the product, but the marketing scheme as well that will allow the people in the region to purchase their product.  A close study of the Grameen Bank and other successful economic assistance engines would be a profitable way of learning how to get emerging markets the products they want.  The Global Links Group needs to see beyond their product and into the local economy.  It needs to see the bigger picture, the systems that their product fits into, the function that is needed to be performed in the particular society to meet the need and nurture the opportunity.  For example, an emerging country may not need the automobile or even the truck that your company builds; maybe it needs roads, or a transportation system that includes paths, bicycles, jitneys and buses that run on fuels that can be produced locally.

Product Systems

The Global Links Group needs to be composed of some of the most creative people the corporation has.  They need to be flexible and willing to look at the big picture.  They will need to go beyond or around the product to figure out how to market it in a place that at first inspection will not have the money to pay for it.  They will need to be as innovative as Henry Ford in marketing, as clever as the Chinese in adapting existing technology to fill a vital need and as knowledgeable as the Grameen Bank people in understanding the local social and cultural economics and dynamics of their new market.  They will also have to be excellent business people who can develop and deliver a profitable product within budget that meets a real need.  They will have to develop not just a product, but a product system—the solution to a problem that includes the successful inexpensive mass production and mass marketing and low-cost financing of the product to the people who need it.

This is no small set of tasks, but the rewards will be worth it.  Once the Global Links Group has successfully developed their product and marketing technique, they will have, in essence, developed a new business.  Once this is in place it is time to roll out the product system to every other market in the world where it could be profitable.  It is also time to repeat the process with another problem, another country, or another market niche applying what was learned from the first effort—and sharing those learnings with the rest of the corporation so that the whole system profits from the effort.  This last item needs to be built into the entire process from the start.

By diversifying and adapting current product lines to emerging market realities, and by expanding core competencies to include those needed to develop world class products that are affordable by emerging markets, the corporation will become more competitive in the developed country markets.

"Companies that are successful either in working with, or actually in, different cultures from their own original normally are more successful at the domestic level.  Why?  Because they develop that most important characteristic in business: sensitivity." [31]

Base of the Pyramid Product Principles

Viable products for the base of the economic pyramid will embody the following:

1. Products will be inexpensive, not cheap.  Products will be quality, "best in class" not shoddy
Product will not be a "dumbed down" version of a rich world product, but a brilliant innovation well matched to the needs of the emerging market.
3. Production of products is massive.  To effectively reach the huge market, production needs to be in quantities larger than "normal"  "Mass" production takes on new meaning with the size of the base of the pyramid market.

4.   Production, although massive, does not need to be centralized; there are distributed models for the mass production of many products. [32]
5.   The more employment that your product, its production and distribution engenders, the better.
6.   Margins on products will be extremely thin.  Success is not measured by margins between product production and delivery costs and sales price.  It is measured on number of units sold.  Profits come through large quantity sales.
7.   Mass production of product needs to be as innovative as the product itself to keep costs down.
8.   Mass marketing of product has to be as innovative as product and mass production of the product.  Without innovative marketing the product is "best on the shelf.
9.   Product development needs to be from the grass up.  The market knows.  Product development and marketing teams need local people as part of the team.

Examples of What Corporations Can Do in the Food for All Area

Agriculture is crucial to poverty reduction— 75% of the people living on less than a dollar per day are in rural areas. [33]

  • Investing in and managing small scale factories in developing regions of the world that manufacture farm implements scaled to the one-two hectare farms found in many parts of the world
  • Setting up fertilizer production plants in Africa (using flare gas from Nigerian oil fields as a feed stock is just one possibility)
  • Purchasing surplus food crops from developing world farmers for processing into canned, frozen, freeze dried, processed food that can be sold in the country of origin or exported
  • Investing in larger scale food processing plants that can produce food for urban dwellers in the developing world
  • Setting up food purchasing criteria so that the only food eligible to be purchased is food that has been produced in regenerative ways
  • Investing in regenerative forestry practices for sustained yields in pulp harvesting
  • Investing in commercial aquaculture and fish processing plants throughout the developing world.
  • Developing anti-obesity campaigns and products with lower sugar, fat and salt (as Kraft Foods started in 2003).
  • Developing and marketing low-cost measuring devices for informing farmers about soil nutrient needs, the presence of pests and other factors that will enable farmers to make more informed and efficient farm management decisions.

Examples of What Corporations Can Do in the Water for All Area:

  • Developing water efficient processes for all their manufacturing and other needs.
  • Developing low-cost water testing devices for monitoring soil moisture, water quality, leaks, and use.
  • Investing in and managing small scale factories in developing regions of the world that manufacture affordable small-scale water-efficient irrigation systems for poor farmers and small plots of land, as well as water pumps, purifiers, and testing apparatus scaled to both the rural and urban water needs of the developing world.
  • Investing in water conserving technology to maximize water use efficiency. [34]

Examples of What Corporations Can Do in the Health for All Area:

  • Investing in and marketing health care products that match the needs and income levels of people in rural areas of the developing world.
  • Manufacture anti-AIDS drugs in Africa and other poor regions where AIDS is prevalent, thereby increasing employment in these regions and lessening the economic devastation of AIDS.
  • Developing low-cost self-diagnostic and treatment kits for anemia, iodine, Vitamin A, and zinc deficiencies
  • Develop medicines that do not need refrigeration.
  • Develop and market low cost clean burning cook stoves to replace the solid fuel and indoor pollution causing stoves currently in use.
  • Investing in malaria control efforts in regions where their workers and customers are at risk; linking these efforts through public/private partnerships for maximum impacts.

Examples of What Corporations Can Do in the Energy for All Area:

    Provide electricity to the 300 to 400 million households in the developing world who are currently able to pay commercial rates for electricity [35] (and who are often paying more than commercial rates for energy when they purchase kerosene, candles and batteries). Develop lower cost and decentralized means of producing energy for the 1-2 billion people in developing regions of the world who need reliable energy supplies. Supplying this energy through Micropower or small scale generators that are clean, reliable, and above all affordable, is estimated to be a $60 billion industry within the next 7 years. [36]

    Develop and sell low-cost sustainable energy resource intensity monitors that will enable people to learn whether their local energy sources are cost effective with present day technology.

The above examples are just scratches on the surface of what almost any good size food corporation could do in the food deficit areas of the developing world with their core competencies, a local partner and a relatively small amount of investment. [37]

What Cities Can Do

Cities are vital actors on the global stage, and they are becoming more important every year as more and more of the world's population decide to live in urban environments.  As vital nodes in the global network, cities are at the same time local engines for economic development. Given their semi-autonomy, capacity to innovate and local scale they can be research labs and testing grounds for new and viable solutions to global problems.

Cities can develop clean, efficient, affordable and sustainable solutions to their transportation, housing, energy, water, food, health, education, immigration, environmental and democratic governance opportunities that can be almost instantly replicated in throughout the rest of the world.

Urban and rooftop gardens can and do supply significant portions of some cities fresh vegetables, fruit and even meat. Water catchments, cisterns and gray water use for toilets and other uses have saved immense amounts of water for city dwellers. Free to low cost renewable energy powered mass transit systems have created the opportunity to get around the urban geography in ways fleets of personal cars could never do.  Free bicycles and pedal-assisted person and materials transport devices have made some cities quieter, less polluted and more human (instead of automobile) centered. City owed energy supply companies can invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.  (By 2002, over 500 cities around the world had joined a campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [38] )  Purchasing agents for cities can insist on products and services that are sustainable and energy efficient.  Urban housing and the status of those living in squatter settlements or ghettos can be dealt with in ways that lead to the entitlement of the poor to the land and resources they need to create the communities they dream of.  Health care for all city dwellers can be organized in such as way that every resident has a preventive health check up by a community health worker every month.  Education for all the city's residents can be handled in such a way that illiteracy is wiped out in less than a year and educational standards and attainment for all the students in the city continue to go up.  Continuing educational opportunities can be offered to all adults through the existing school infrastructure.   The governance of the community and the city can be so transparent that all the city's residents are informed and care about what is happening in their world. Corporate and civic partnerships can be forged that get the city what it wants.

In other words, the city can be where many of the strategies, tactics, programs, products and services that will get the world what it wants can be prototyped or scaled up and delivered to large groups of people.

What Non-Governmental Organizations Can to Do

One of the valuable functions that non-governmental organizations can perform is to make sure that all the stakeholders are at the discussion and design table when it comes time to design, develop, produce and market products and services that will solve the problems and expand the capacity of the systems being focused on.

Speaking up for the voices seldom heard, the disenfranchised, and those removed from the power structure either by geography, power or custom is crucial. "Everyone is needed" in the nomenclature of Regenerative Development means that everyone's voice is heard and their input taken into account to make sure that the expanding capacity of the system to deal with its problems includes those most in need. NGOs are closest to the base of the economic pyramid. This physical and values location, their focus on development and problem issues, and the disenfranchisement of the poor, their reticence to speak (or lack of access to the places in which to speak) and the resistance to hearing what is said by the poor by the power structure means that in many contexts the only way for all voices to become a part of the development process is for the NGO community to speak up— and to change this situation as soon as possible.

Another valuable function of the NGO sector is increasing the accountability of all the other actors on the development playing field. Monitoring governmental and corporate activities, plans and goals is crucial for keeping development moving in regenerative directions. 

NGOs are the great engines for experimenting with new technologies, solving problems, and building local capacity.  There work needs to be respected (and well funded) as they are not only improving conditions, but are often the cutting edge of new business models and economic development techniques and technologies.

NGOs need to be more than receptive, they need to be aggressively cultivating of relationships with multinational corporations and other private sector players.  Partnerships that meet the needs of their constituents and achieve their goals should be pursued. NGOs need to become more efficient, as well as reducing their competition and overlapping activities if they are to be as successful as the world needs them to be.

"Ultimately, within the limits of availability and affordability, it is consumers who choose what to buy and how to use it, and thus it is consumers who can drive change." —Janet L. Sawin, State of the World 2004

What You, an Individual Global Citizen, Can Do

Just about anything you can imagine

We are all consumers— and that's a good thing. We consume oxygen, water, food, energy, materials, and information in our various roles as members of our local and global ecosystems, economies, and cultures. As economic consumers we have immense powers that come with our abilities to discern and choose. We can influence through our choices, especially if we work together, what is produced, how it is produced, and how it is recycled after we consume it.  Our choices matter— we can restrain or redirect our purchases to bring them in line with what we value, and what we want for our selves, our children, and the world. [39]

Purchasing products that are "fair-trade", "organic", "locally" produced," "Pasture-raised", "sustainably caught," "green", "renewable," "sustainable", "energy efficient," "water efficient," "zero-waste," "recycled", "remanufactured", and the like can lower our personal impacts on the world, help build stronger sustainable economies, provide additional jobs, and increase the wealth of our local and global economy. To bring about the changes we want will require millions, even billions, of us working in our own ways on our part of what we think and feel is the problem. The power we have as consumers should not be underestimated: private expenditures, what we spend as household consumers, were over $20 trillion in 2000. [40] This is nearly half of the gross world product— and larger than any government or corporation in the world.

Choosing to consume in ways that make sense to our ethics is an action we can start right now.  These choices don't have to be viewed (I will contend they should not be viewed) as "constraints" or "reductions" in our standards of living or quality of life.  Your individual consumer choices, when viewed from the "big picture" can be seen as leading to an increase in the quality of your life, rather than a decrease in the material well being of you or your family. Decreasing the weight of your possessions, or the energy they consume, or the impact they have on the environment in their production, use and disposal does not need in any way to decrease the functions performed by these objects or the quality of your life.  Who has the higher standard of living— the person with the 1970's three-ton computer mainframe in their basement or the person with the contemporary five-pound laptop? 

Wise consumer choices increase the quality of our life. Heating our house with solar energy does not mean living in a cave, nor does eating lower on the food chain suggest we need to return to a time when the average life expectancy was 25.  Eating less red meat and fatty foods leads to increased life expectancy and a higher quality of life for a longer period of time.

Increasing the quality of our life through sensible, "big picture," environmentally sustainable or regenerative, and economically ethical consumer choices increases the quality of our life as well as that of the world. Moving from a focus on the indefinite or unlimited accumulation of goods to a better quality of life for all [41] allows us to live in a world where who we are is not measured by what we own but by how we live our lives.

"Imagine a world in which all the things we make, use, and consume provide nutrition for nature and industry— a world in which growth is good and human activity generates a delightful, restorative ecological footprint."

—William McDonough, Michael Braungart

In addition to the power and options we have as consumers, we have roles we can play as voters, investors, parents, family members, community and association members, workers, advocates, activists, and educators. Whether it is voting or working for the candidates that we feel will best represent our values, running for office ourselves, or running our business or non-profit organization in ways that will make a difference in the world, we all have avenues for exercising our local, national, and global responsibilities. 

As will be seen in the next chapter, one way of realizing the world of seven billion billionaires, of Nonpaying for it, is with a small fraction of our own choices as consumers and citizens.

[1] "Miracle Incomplete," (The Economist, August 3, 2002).
[2] Carol C. Adelman, Other Privatization of Foreign Aid," (Foreign Affairs, November/December 2003, p. 10).
[3] The $18 billion from individuals is in the form of "Individual remittances." These refer to payments from immigrant workers back to their families in their home country.  The global total is an astounding $50 billion,
  [4] Stubbs, M., The Social Context of Literacy, (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul.  1986).
[5] Felicity Barringer, "UN Will Back Entrepreneurs In Bid to Lift Poor Nations," (New York, The New York Times, July 27, 2003, p. 4).
[6] See Appendix for listing of these goals.
[7] World Bank, Doing Business in 2004: Understanding Regulation, (New York, Oxford University Press, 2003).
[8] Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor, (Report to the Secretary General of the United Nations, 2004).
[9] UN Global Compact,
[10] Susan Esserman, Robert Howse, "The WTO on Trial," (Foreign Affairs, January/February, 2003).
[11] For additional MNC reforms, see: Medard Gabel, Henry Bruner, Global Inc.: An Atlas of the Multinational Corporation, (New York, The New Press, 2003).
[12] Jeffrey Sachs, "How to Run the International Monetary Fund," (Foreign Policy, July/August 2004, p. 60).
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Fareed Zakaria, review of A History of Britain by  Simon Schama, in New York Times Book Review, July 27, 2003).
[16] And before the neoconservative-right wing accuses such a move as treason, the pragmatic leadership of the country would quickly point out that globalization and its interlinking of all economies has made helping the economies of other country's the same as helping the U.S. economy.  Increasing the wealth in the world, among other things, enhances the U.S. economy by expanding our markets.
[17] Or, phrased another, but somewhat alarming way, what if they (or the U.S.) decided to include the world's entire population within the definition of "their" population, and operated as if they were seeking the betterment of all their citizens, no matter where they lived?
[18] "Chinese Reserves of Foreign Exchange Rise 20% This Year", Taipei Times, September 30, 2003
[19] Thomas L. Friedman, "Timeout for Imagination," (New York Times, June 27, 2004, p.13).
[20] Medard Gabel, Henry Bruner, Global Inc.: An Atlas of the Multinational Corporation, (The New Press, New York, 2003).
[21]   Michael Rothschild, Bionomics: Economy as Ecosystem.  (New York, NY, Henry Holt. 1990).
[22] For more details on the approach to corporate profitability through the meeting of basic human needs in developing markets see Global Links Development,
[23] According to the International Telecommunications Union (, there are 1.9 billion telephone subscribers in the world in 2001, the latest year for which statistics are available. The mismatch between these nearly 2 billion phones and the 6.2 billion people in the world is the source of this statement. This ballpark estimate ignores the fact that many people in wealthy countries own more than one telephone (in the U.S. there are 285 million people and 317 million telephone subscribers), and that you do not need to own a phone to make a call.
[24] International Telecommunications Union (
[25]   Rosensweig, J. A., Winning the Global Game. (New York, The Free Press, 1998).
[26] Gary Gardner, et. al. "The State of Consumption Today,' in State of the World 2004 (Worldwatch Institute, W. W. Norton & Co. 2004).
[27] Robert Galvin, Chairman of the Board, Motorola Corporation. Personal communication.
 [28]   The Grameen Bank is 20 years old and issues small, "micro" loans, usually around $60 to $100 in 38,000 Bangladesh villages.  94% of its customers are women.  Loan repayment rate is 98%.
[29]   Stackhouse, J., "Village phones ring up a profit" TAD Consortium Service/Juta Publishers.
[30] Rosensweig, J. A., Winning the Global Game, (New York, The Free Press, 1998).
[30] Stubbs, M.,  The Social Context of Literacy (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul,  1986)
[31] Smith, K. INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, in The Global Leader, by Brake, T. (New York, Irwin, 1997).
[32] For example, Unilever in India mass-produces its new low cost detergent in small neighborhood manufacturing plants.
[33] Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor, Report to the Secretary General of the United Nations, March, 2004, p. 9.
[34] See Global Links Development at http://www for more details on procedures for harnessing corporate competencies and resources for meeting basic human needs in emerging markets for sustainable profits
[35] Smith, K. INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, in The Global Leader, by Brake, T. (New York, Irwin, 1997, p. 23).
[36] "The dawn of micropower," (The Economist, August 5, 2000. p 75).
[37] See Global Links Development at for more details on procedures for harnessing corporate competencies and resources for meeting basic human needs in emerging markets for sustainable profits
[38] James Gustave Speth, "Recycling Environmentalism," (Foreign Policy, July/ August 2002, p. 76).
[39] Given the interconnections of not only the global economy but those of our collective capacities and potentials, everyone being able to reach their maximum potential increase our personal potential and well-being. If we realize that unless we live in a world where all the children have the opportunity to reach their maximum potential, to grow up and live in a world where their basic human needs are met, then our children will be living in a world in which they will not be able to reach their maximum potential.
[40] State of the World 2004 (Worldwatch Institute, W. W. Norton & Co. New York, 2004 p. 5).
[41] State of the World 2004 (Worldwatch Institute, W. W. Norton & Co. New York, 2004 p. 4)


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