Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Eradicating Poverty Through Profit - Dec. 12 - 14

If you read C. K. Prahalad's 'Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid', then this conference should be of interest. The World Resources Institute, in the city of San Francisco, will host a major international conference on private sector approaches to development called Eradicating Poverty Through Profit.

Who will attend?

Business leaders from multinational companies in finance, technology, consumer products, agriculture, energy, natural resources and other sectors.

Entrepreneurs and executives from start-ups and large companies in emerging markets with hands-on experience of proven, profitable, innovative approaches.

Senior policy makers who can foster the conditions for a more active and beneficial business presence at the bottom of the pyramid.

What will be covered?

The conference will explore private sector solutions to poverty with keynote addresses and other presentations, panel discussions, live "laboratories", sector or interest-specific workshops, and exhibits. Four broad themes will guide the discussions:

Pro-Poor Business Activities: Why Bother? Why should business care about low-income markets? How large are those markets? How does business benefit the poor? Can engaging the poor generate significant growth and other benefits for business? Can pro-poor business activities catalyze broad-based economic development and transform how globalization impacts the poor?

Experience to Date: What Works? What are the real experiences from the field that indicate that "doing well and doing good" are compatible—in financial services, consumer goods, agriculture, information and communications technologies, natural resources and other sectors? What strategies and business models are succeeding? What myths need to be dispelled, what misconceptions erased? The conference will explore lessons that cross-cut sectors and industries, and drill down into the specifics for multiple sectors with reports from businesses based in emerging markets, multinational corporations, social entrepreneurs, civil society, and bilateral and multilateral agencies.

Barriers and Challenges: How to Succeed. Poor communities have little reason to trust the business sector; corporations face enormous internal barriers; operating environments can be difficult. Attempts to serve low-income market with existing products, business models, and metrics are likely to fail. But, despite the challenges, many are finding ways to succeed. The conference will confront these realities head-on and feature several live, interactive laboratories facilitated by C.K. Prahalad and Stu Hart. These sessions – one with stakeholders from the North, and one with stakeholders from the South – will analyze real business problems from real companies, as well as preview new market research and executive education tools designed for low-income market activities.

Finding New Solutions: Tomorrow's Best Practices. This is an emerging and rapidly evolving field. As more companies and organizations engage, new issues will arise, new questions will be asked, new partnerships will be formed, new policies will be implemented, and new solutions will emerge. What do visionary leaders in the private and public sectors foresee? What are the developments "just over the horizon?"

If you're planning on attending ... please let the me know.

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