“This week the world hits 7 billion in population, just 12 years after we reached 6 billion.
Virtually all of these new billion live at the so-called Base of the Pyramid — that segment of humanity that, by virtue of economic and political circumstance, struggles to meet basic food, water and energy needs on incomes of around $2 a day.
Here at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, we are confronting this problem every day and have come to the conclusion that the old ways of meeting the needs of this new billion — and the next and the next — will not be met with methods that have attempted to serve the underserved in our old world of 6 billion. Instead, we believe that the needs will be met with something many consider counterintuitive: social entrepreneurs selling — not giving away — vital products and thriving on unusual business and financing models.
We believe that the old ways of serving the Base of the Pyramid, international aid programs and charities, have not had the impact that was hoped for and will fall even further behind with rapid population growth and the increasing speed of innovation. Those mechanisms will continue to play an important role in addressing many issues in education, human rights and other areas that cannot be readily solved with market-based solutions. However, with $5 trillion of purchasing power, according to research done by the World Resources Institute, the Base of the Pyramid can indeed finance much of their own development.”
Source: Mercury News