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Philanthropic outsourcing

No, this is not a post about Warren Buffet paying Bill Gates to spend his money – but one about B. Ramalinga Raju. Raju is the owner of one of those Indian outsourcing companies which have received considerable ire here in the US.

Improving the business climate in LDCs

The UN General Assembly held a day of hearings last month to solicit civil society and private sector input on the Brussels Programme, a development action plan for the least developed countries (LDCs). At the hearing, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development argued that LDC governments should prioritize:

Global fairtrade sales jump

Michael Jarvis's picture

Global sales of Fairtrade certified products have reached € 1.1 billion mark in 2005, according to new figures released by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International. This represents an increase of more than a third over 2004 and a sign of growing adherence to the Fairtrade mark. Says Luuk Zonneveld, Managing Director of FLO International:

Mohammed on property rights

The prophet Mohammed was an early proponent of property rights. When a famine in Medina brought sharp price increases, people implored him to less the hardship by fixing prices. He refused because, having once been a merchant himself, he believed the buyers’ and sellers’ free choices should not be overridden. “Allah is the only one who sets the prices and gives prosperity and poverty,” he said. “I would not want to be complained about before Allah by someone whose property or livelihood has been violated.”

What’s the unhappiest country?

Friends of the Earth have released The Happy Planet Index, what they call an:

Innovative new measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives.

A big opportunity for small hoteliers

October 2004, a steamy room in Ho Chi Minh City... I was being given a demonstration of a fledgling concept called World Hotel Link (WHL). The idea was that independent travellers in rich countries can connect to people owning bed and breakfasts and small hotels in emerging markets and make bookings directly. The kinds of places you'd never find on Expedia or Travelocity. Many of the accommodation providers had no access to the Internet.