The current blizzard conditions in Washington D.C. are testing World Bank staff capabilities to work remotely. Advances in technology no longer mean we have to shut up shop completely - though some no doubt lament the loss of the care free snow day of the past. This new option through technology reminded me of a recent briefing on Harnessing Development 2.0: Creating Opportunities with the Poor, the latest in the World Bank Institute's Business and Development Discussion Papers. The authors make a strong case that technology is helping transform access to markets, money, and skills and driving more inclusive business models through overlapping processes of business development, market development, and network development.
Zahid Torres-Rahman, one of the authors, has been instrumental in creating Business Fights Poverty - one of the more successful examples of a supporting network that links professionals from a variety of perspectives actively working in private sector development among the poorest communities. Of course, the snow and resulting power loss for many in the eastern US has also provided a timely reminder of the constraints on development 2.0 that are still the frustrating reality for many potential consumers/producers worldwide.