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From Finalist Winner in 2003 to Juror in 2009

Tom Grubisich's picture

DM2009 team member Alexandra Humme shares this story:

During our live webcast on Wednesday (Nov. 11) I interviewed Dr. Tran Triet from Vietnam. He is a juror at this year's Development Marketplace. But six years ago, he was one of the finalists and eventually a winner of the 2003 Development Marketplace on Biodiversity. Dr. Tran comes from Phu My Village in Kien Giang Province, a small place located in the southwest corner of Vietnam, close to Cambodia.

Phu My Village is home to 5,000-acre wetland which supports a vast grassland ecosystem of the Mekong River Delta. The Phu My wetland is not only important for bioddiversity

conservation but also provides an economic base to the Khmer ethnic minority who harvest Lepironia (photo at right) for production of woven goods.

In 2003, Dr. Tran, who is working for the Crane Foundation in Vietnam and also is with Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, presented the "Ha Tien - Habitats - Handbags" project which protects this important wetland by implementing an innovative model that combines nature conservation with improving daily income of local people whose livelihood depends on harvesting natural resources from the wetland.

The project provided skill training to enable local people to make fine handicraft products like hats and handbags from the Lepironia sedge they harvested. The project also assists local community in marketing and selling their products to higher-value tourist and export markets.

With the Development Marketplace award of about US$ 200,000, the project was able to expand its work and eventually 

Climate Change Bloggers Start to Lift the Market

Edith Wilson's picture

For so long, it's been hard to get conventional media to cover Development Marketplace.  Don't get me wrong, there has been some wonderful coverage over the 10 years we have been doing this.  But let's face it, these projects from developing countries are small. That's the whole point of DevMarketplace -- we want to find really creative, important ideas when they are small so we can help them grow.  So it's been really hard to get the BBC or the New York Times to do big stories. 

Flash forward 10 years, and the social media troops are coming to the rescue -- or should I say swarming?  Thank you all!  The bloggers, tweeters, and social networks are discovering us and lifting us like a wave.  Just today, one of the big bloggers on climate change, Bill Hewitt, at the Climate Change blog of the Foreign Policy Association found us and we were so excited to hear what Bill had posted about the competition (reproduced above).  He loved it -- because as he points out, living with climate change is going to take lots more solutions from the local level and we need this kind of program to find them.   And since you know we love our YouTube channel and our Flips, here's the moment when we found what Bill had posted about us

Ideas welcome on how we can do more to help all these 100 ideas get the audience they deserve -- and how we get them to the people who need them in China, India, Brazil, and many other countries dealing with the same difficult challenges of a changing climate.

DM2009 in the Blogsphere and Social Media -- So Far

Florian Sturm's picture

This is just a short resumé of what has happened today (Thursday, Nov. 11) and yesterday in the blogsphere and on social media in relation to Development Marketplace 2009.

Our aim was to reach a broad audience with the web 2.0 tools we are using, such as Twitter or Facebook. Also, we wanted to encourage our participants to share their projects with the world, using platforms such as Youtube or FlickR.

So far we are quite content -- here are some blog posts about this event:


Furthermore we gathered a lot of video footage from the event, live webcast and even self-made by the participants and organizers on the Development Marketplace 2009 Youtube channel.

Here is a video of Tuesday's opening of the event:

IFAD: 'DM Is Excellent Platform for New Ideas'

Tom Grubisich's picture

The following post was submitted by Tom Pesek, Liaison Officer of the International Fund for Agricultural Development:

Speaking to participants at the 2009 Development Marketplace, it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future.  There are 100 finalists from nearly 50 countries here at the World Bank in Washington.  They are all participating in this year’s global grant competition, which is focused on climate adaptation.

These social entrepreneurs were selected from over 1,700 applicants.  Taken together, their projects represent “100 ideas to save the planet and its people from the effects of a changing climate.”  This may seem like quite a tall order, but among these innovators, no challenge seems too great.  In fact, one wonders how the DM jurors will manage to select which up to 25 project proposals most deserve to be funded.
Agriculture is where climate change, food security, and poverty reduction intersect.  In addressing the challenge of food security and climate change, we face the inter-related challenges of doubling food production by 2050, adapting agricultural productivity to shifting weather patterns, and minimizing agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, while maximizing its potential to mitigate climate change.  We will need substantial new resources, new ideas, and new ways of doing business to address these challenges.  

The International Fund for Agricultural Development believes that the Development Marketplace is an excellent platform for scouting and collecting new ideas from diverse sources, fostering innovative solutions, and developing partnerships in support of climate change adaptation.  (Photo of IFAD exhibit above.)  That’s why we were so pleased to be one of this year’s sponsor.  In addition to contributing to the grants, we will be offering our experience and technical advice to the winners over the next two years.

Check Out These Live Webcasts Today and Thursday

Tom Grubisich's picture

Here's what's happening on the DM live webcasts today (Wednesday, Nov. 11) and Thursday (Nov. 12):


  • 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Daniel Mira, Environment Department, Latin America region, World Bank.
  • 11:15 am -11:30 am:  Edward Cameron, Social Development Department, World Bank.
  • 11:30 am - 11:45: John Garrison, EXT, World Bank, focus on civil society, and Helen Marquard, SEED Inititaive.
  • 11:45 am - 12:00 pm: Interview with finalist on Index-based rainfall insurance in Indonesia.
  • 12:00 pm - 12:15 pm: Jim Koch, Santa Clara - Global Social Benefit Incubator.
  • 12:15 pm - 12:30 pm: Ian Noble, World Bank expert on climate adaptation.
  • 12:30 pm - 12:45 pm: Fred Ondun, U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • 12:45 pm - 01:00 pm: Mara Bun, Green Cross.
  • 1:00 pm - 1:15 pm:  Warren Evans, Director, Environment Department, World Bank .
  • 01:15 pm - 1:30 pm: Marianne Fay, Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Network, World Bank (photo at right).

Amid All the Work, a Timeout for Fun

Tom Grubisich's picture

Jim Morehouse

DM2009 is a lot of hard work, but on Tuesday night, finalists and other participants had a couple of hours to relax at a reception.  The welcome was given by Michele de Nevers, Senior Manager of the World Bank's Environment Department.

The musical highlight was a performance by Jim Morehouse, playing his American Indian flute.  Morehouse was invited to perform by Habiba Gitay, Senior Environmental Specialist at the World Bank Institute.  Gitay met Morehouse at a climate change discussion at the Soka Gakkai International-USA Buddhist Culture Center in Washington.

Morehouse told the Tuesday night audience about the 3,000-year-old history of the six-hole American Indian flute.  A player for 13 years, Morehouse said, "The hardest thing is getting over the fear of making a mistake."   Judging from his audience's reaction, he made no mistakes Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, it's back to work, with the 40 jurors of DM2009 beginning their morning-and-afternoon evaluations of the 100 finalists' projects.


No Empty Chairs, Please...

Tom Grubisich's picture

It's very important for all finalists to be at their booths by 10 o'clock Wednesday morning.  That's when the jurors will begin making their rounds and continue until 3 in the afternoon.

The jurors will go round in pairs.  Each finalist will be interviewed twice.

So, set your alarm, grab that coffee, or tea, or whatever, and get yourself to your booth on time.

And knock out those jurors.  They'll want to know all the technical stuff behind your project, but they'll be looking for your passion, too.  Show it!


Graeme Wheeler on the Crucial Role of Development Marketplace

Tom Grubisich's picture

Graeme Wheeler, who is spearheading the World Bank's mission to develop and share knowledge and innovation, gave a big boost to Development Marketplace at the opening session of DM2009 this morning (Nov. 10).

Addressing the 100 finalists in the global competition (photo at left), Wheeler, who is the Bank's Managing Director, Operations, linked DM with the Bank's recent Global Innovation Days. Graeme Wheeler, Managing Director, World Bank

"These two events -- Global Innovation Days and Development Marketplace -- will be the two cornerstones of our partnering in knowledge and learning....It's extremely valuable that the thematic focus of this year's Development Markeplace is climate change adaptation.....Climate change is the largest externality challenge of our time.  It is the most difficult public policy problem faced by the current generation of policy makers and policy advisers."

Wheeler also said, "In the World Bank Group, we see knowledge as the key element of our corporate DNA....Loans alone cannot solve the the development challenge.  What makes value is our ability to create, find, and deliver innovative solutions to our clients."

Almost needless to say, innovation is key to DM 2009.

Danish Ambassador to U.S.: Engage Now to Reach Agreement in Copenhagen

The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is only a few weeks away and climate change negotiators are working day and night to identify the common ground for an agreement.

I see three key issues in the negotiations:

1.    Setting of tarFriis Arne Petersen, Danish Ambassador to the U.S.gets by developed countries for greenhouse gas emission reduction.
2.    Commitment by developing countries to actions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
3.    Financing of adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.

These are very difficult issues, but let me state the obvious: We cannot compromise on our ambitions to limit man made global warming to a maximum of two degrees centigrade, and thus have a good chance to adapt to the consequent impacts.

Science is very clear on this point: If we continue to increase the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we are bound to pass a number of critical tipping points that may lead to dire consequences. And it is also clear that we can halt or change the trend. It is doable and indeed profitable compared to the cost of inaction, the cost of doing nothing.

My aspiration for Copenhagen is simple: We must conclude a binding agreement that will set the world on the path to limit global warming to a maximum of two degrees.

Extreme Weather Snarls Some DM2009 Finalists' Trips

Tom Grubisich's picture

Hurricanes, typhoons, and flooding -- some of the extreme weather conditions that the finalists tackled in their projects -- upset the plans of several international competitors to come to the DM2009 competition in Washington.

The longest delay was encountered by Nidia Matamoros (photo at left), a member of the Miskito indigenous group in Nicaragua, whose home was flooded by Hurricane Ida.  From start to finish, Matamoros logged 102 hours from the time the first leg of her flight was originally scheduled to leave Managua's airport -- Nov. 5 -- to her arrival at Reagan Washington National Airport at 1 a.m. Monday morning, Nov. 9.

'I'm proud, I'm excited, I'm happy," Matamoros said at the orientation session that opened the four-day DM2009 program Monday afternoon.  "This is the first time the Miskito communities have participated so fully in such an event."

Summing up her marathon journey, Matamoros said, "It's too much.  I need a siesta."

The project she's working would would establish Maya Nut "food forests" in Miskito communities to produce up to 5 million pounds of food worth US$3 million to improve the nutrition of as many as 2,500 Miskito children.  It would also restore wild game, including deer and fish, and protect 30 miles of rivers from flooding and erosion.

* * *

Philippines finalist Eugenio Manalo decided not to accompany his project's team to Washington so he could stay behind and work on relief for those hit by four typhoons in the late summer and early fall that caused extensive flooding and loss of life.

Belize finalist Lisel Alamilla, facing poor road conditions in the southern part of her country, had to arrange for a flight via a chartered single-engine Cessna from Punta Gorda to Belize City's airport to get her connecting flight to Miami.  She produced a handwritten receipt for reimbursement.