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Inspired to Fight Poverty

Aleem Walji's picture

striking poverty

The rate of change in our world is accelerating and every day there’s a new innovation or  promising idea that springs up to provide hope for the "wicked" problems of our time. But development is complex and requires a sustained commitment to bold experimentation underpinned by a commitment to learn constantly. But learning does not happen in isolation. It happens through practice, through reflection, and through meaningful and sometimes unexpected exchanges with peers, practitioners, and colleagues from far flung places.

This is why I am really excited about a new online salon that we have unveiled at the World Bank. Striking Poverty aims to "shine a light and lend a megaphone" to innovations in development to help them percolate, surface, and be widely debated and discussed. The salon is designed to empower innovators by striking up interactive discussions and debate amongst a global community of stakeholders.

Our tagline is "Inspiring Innovation, Accelerating Development." This is a lot more than four words that sound good together. Innovation is happening all around us but we aim to make sense of it, connect it, aggregate relevant content and curate conversations around timely topics in the world of poverty eradication. By sharing ideas, we will showcase what's working, why, where, and how and provide a "portfolio of hunches" that we believe could be transformative in ending extreme poverty in our lifetime.

We have just launched our third conversation on low emissions development. Climate innovations such as clean cookstoves, solar lighting kits and crowdfunding are born out of an unmet need not satisfied by existing institutions. Crowdsourcing of ideas and active collaboration is the fastest, most effective way to spark and nurture innovation.

While this space will not be deterministic about technology, we do believe global connectivity, mobile technology, and social media offer tremendous promise in putting timely information into the hands of people who can then act, share, or create coalitions to problem solve in new ways and at a scale previously unimaginable. For this reason, our President talks about "bending the arc of history" in fighting poverty. Why can't we compress the time it takes to experiment, learn from failure, share lessons, and accelerate the rate at which we develop solutions and help them scale?

Striking Poverty will be a space to connect innovators in any field with each other around the most vexing development challenges of our time. I believe that asking the right question is more than half of what it takes to find effective solutions. I also believe that you can't solve really big problems on your own. By being open to ideas and solutions from unexpected, we will be stronger in the fight to eradicate poverty and boost shared prosperity globally.


Submitted by Anonymous on
Why doesn't anyone know about thorium as an alternative energy source?

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