Category Archives: Uncategorized

Water worries: equipping ourselves for the future

When I’m thirsty, there’s a glass in my kitchen I love drinking from. It’s a simple flared tumbler with a thick base containing a bubble of air. In it, water looks clean and pristine and seems to taste far better than when drunk from a plastic bottle. But as I filled the glass the other day, I found myself wondering … Read more…

Career shift: What will be your second act?

The other day, I stumbled across a 1987 copy of a glossy interiors magazine called Dimensions in Living. It was a scary moment. This was the issue I worked on when I got my first job in journalism. Suddenly, I realised I’d been working for more than a quarter of a century. In fact, without noticing, I’d passed the 25-year mark. … Read more…

Social innovation … from the inside

While in Kenya, GSK research scientist Graham Simpson noticed that, without effective diagnostic tools, people were dying from curable diseases. It sparked an idea. GSK is now working Johns Hopkins University to develop cheap, user-friendly diagnostics kits that may also provide a new product line for the pharmaceuticals group. Simpson’s idea united social objectives and corporate goals. Yet many companies … Read more…

Revolution or evolution? Gene Tempel reflects on philanthropy’s future

He founded the world’s first school of philanthropy. He’s been watching trends in giving for the past quarter of a century. And this month, The NonProfit Times named him among the sector’s 50 most influential leaders. So what are the biggest shifts Gene Tempel sees in the world of philanthropy? For one, he notes a growing overlap between the activities … Read more…

New forces shaping micro-services for the poor

This month, Women’s World Banking closed a $50.6 million private equity fund, which will be largely invested in microfinance institutions supporting women. But if private equity plays a growing role in microfinance, it is one of many new forces shaping the services available for the poor.  For a start, technology could increase dramatically the impact of the small loans offered … Read more…

Stirring up healthcare’s melting pot

They’re calling it Moon Shots – a plan to accelerate development of cancer-fighting drugs. And for Ronald DePinho, the challenge is as much organisational as it is scientific. But he’s not alone. Many argue that in order to meet the avalanche of demand for healthcare that lies ahead, the sector must get much better at team working. “It’s about the … 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…