Category Archives: Human Development >

Good idea: from food waste to job skills

Food waste is a growing problem. By some estimates, about one-third of the food the world produces is lost or thrown away. But what if we could tackle food waste while also delivering skills and professional development? An enterprising British firm is doing this by selling supermarket surpluses at a discount and using its stores as mini-community centres, where customers … Read more…

Cities: Celebrating the Beautiful Chaos

Anyone who flew into Hong Kong before 1998 will remember it well – that terrifying but thrilling sensation as your plane careered towards Kai Tak airport through Kowloon’s forest of skyscrapers. As it descended, the aircraft flew so close you could look through apartment windows to see what people were watching on TV. It seemed as through at any moment, … Read more…

CEO perspective: Ajay Goel, Tata Power Solar

After returning to his native India in 2012 to take on a job at Tata Power Solar, one of the first things Ajay Goel did was to head out of the office. As chief executive of a company with a more than 20-year history in solar power, he wanted to meet his customers – and many of them were the … Read more…

Leadership perspective: Cargill’s Greg Page

For anyone familiar with Cargill, the name brings to mind things that are big – very big. As one of the world’s largest privately owned companies, the agribusiness giant buys, trades and distributes agricultural products in vast amounts. Yet for its executive chairman, Greg Page, the global food system also relies on things that are small. He’s talking about smallholder … Read more…

Challenging the resource curse

Gazing down from a helicopter at the dense foliage of an Indonesian jungle, Christine Bader’s heart sank. It was 2000, and she was looking at a site on which BP, her employer, was to build a natural gas plant. Rainforests are not the only casualties of extractive and energy industry operations – so are the communities around them. But while … Read more…

The unexpected benefits of bureaucracy

As chief executive and founder of a Liberian enterprise, Chid Liberty knew he would encounter hurdles. Liberty & Justice makes clothing for export to the US while providing jobs for Liberian women. But in a country emerging from the violence and destruction of a civil war, Liberty expected to face everything from corruption to power outages and failing infrastructure. Overcoming … Read more…

Let’s mix it up!

In 1996, I stood on a poplar-covered slope in Pakistan above a valley where the Karakoram, Pamir, Hindu Kush and Himalayas fight it out in a grand confusion of jagged peaks and deep ravines. Crops of alfalfa swayed gently in the breeze. “All this was barren land, until we had the irrigation channel,” Farhat Khan told me. Khan and his … Read more…