Articles 1 to 10 of 11
Warren Buffett and William Gates want the world’s wealthy to contribute at least 50% of their fortunes to charity by joining a global initiative called the Giving Pledge. After visiting the two fastest-growing economies in the world – India and China – the two billionaire philanthropists seem to have realized that in charitable giving, one size does not fit all.
Nearly half of China's sewage and industrial waste is discharged into the Yangtze River, the lifeline of millions of Chinese. As a result, the Yangtze now tops the list of the 10 most-threatened rivers in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). To help reverse the tide, the WWF has joined forces with Coca-Cola to improve the water quality of the upper reaches of the Yangtze. The partnership is the result of a growing corporate awareness that water is a threatened resource -- not just in China, but throughout the world.
How much is a cure for an illness that afflicts the poor really worth? Under a new plan to address the disconnect in pharmaceutical innovation that leaves millions in the developing world suffering from neglected diseases, the true value of a cure would be used to encourage drug makers to come up with medicines for poverty-stricken populations around the world.
For three decades, microfinance institutions have given out small loans to the world's poor -- mostly women -- and amassed thousands of case studies showing that the loans help alleviate poverty, improve health, increase education and promote women's empowerment. Skeptics, however, have argued there is not enough hard data to prove that microfinance transforms lives on a large scale, and they have called for more rigorous analysis. Two recent studies providing some of that analysis have sparked an intense debate over how and under what conditions the effects of microfinance can be calculated.
Microfinance tries to improve the lives of people in the developing world by giving them very small loans instead of donations. Kiva.org, a website where people make microloans to individual borrowers, has become one of the hottest and hippest sites in cyberspace. Oprah has featured it. Bill Clinton has praised it. And eBay has imitated it. One commentator compared kiva.org to an online dating service.
When she worked on Wall Street launching IPOs, Alicia Polak helped generate new wealth. Now she is working to build wealth in the dirt-poor black township of Khayelitsha, 30 minutes down a dusty road from Cape Town, South Africa. Her entrepreneurial trade of choice? Cookies and brownies.
HIV/AIDS is a frightening epidemic in South Africa, ravaging many small villages. A group of researchers set out to study the economic toll of poor health in Durban, South Africa, where very small businesses are vital to people making money. The demise of these businesses due to illness proves harmful to entire neighborhoods.
William Schulz, former executive director of Amnesty International, has seen how businesses can entangle themselves with torturers. Seldom are businesses in the developed world implicated directly in torture, he says, but too often they avert their eyes as their products, purchases or independent contractors support abuses.
Now that India is playing an ever-larger role in the world economy, the issue of corruption, in both the private and public sectors, is coming into sharper focus. Two scenarios are possible: As India's multinational corporations develop both economic and political muscle, they may act as a broom, sweeping corruption from the economic sphere. On the other hand, entrenched practices may prove the stronger force, and corruption could end up being a significant brake on India's economic rise.
While reality shows may suggest otherwise, back-stabbing and conniving are not shrewd business strategies. Recent Wharton research shows that people care about fairness to the point where it may actually improve negotiations and profitability.
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