Category Archives: video

Rare Insight into Solutions for Afghanistan

In 2007, Clare Lockhart gave an amazing talk at the Aspen Ideas festival. You can view the talk from the festival website. (Clare starts her talk at 4:45 of the video.)

I first saw this video several years ago, when I knew a lot less about international development, and I was duly impressed. I have to tell you that even now I still reflect on and return to this talk regularly.

Lockhart speaks with extraordinary clarity about her experiences in Afghanistan, and skillfully relates several surprising stories of success—and failure—of international development efforts.

They include:

  • How they efficiently switched Afghanistan to a new currency, in a very creative way, much more quickly and cost-effectively than if it had been done using a traditional UN frame.
  • How they got mobile phone service, for somewhat less than the originally quoted corporate price of $1M, PER PHONE.
  • How $100M of aid money literally went up in smoke.

The talk is related to the book Fixing Failed States. Although the book has a lot of good ideas, I found it to be a dense read. The video is fantastic, though–check it out.

A Hidden Gem: the Ashoka Social Enterprise video series

an Ashoka gathering

About four years ago, Ashoka filmed an extraordinary set of 16 interviews with pioneers of the social enterprise world, including Grameen Bank’s Muhammad Yunus, the World Social Forum’s Oded Grajew, and of course Ashoka’s Bill Drayton. I’ve watched several of these interviews and have thoroughly enjoyed them.

The sessions are very thoughtfully produced, and at 40 minutes and up, get to a meaningful level of insight that just isn’t possible in the five-minute video clips that you commonly find  these days on social enterprise.

Although the interviews were originally available on DVD, they can now be found online at low to no cost:

My favorites thus far include:

This is a very engaging series that I highly recommend for anyone looking to better understand the social enterprise world.