Back in 2005 there was a conference at the Harvard Business School called “A Conference on Global Poverty: Business Solutions and Approaches.” Although I wasn’t there, I’ve benefited greatly from reading the proceedings and papers related to the conference.
There are a couple of things about this conference that I find noteworthy. First of all the corporate involvement was much more about actual business development and opportunities and much less about CSR, especially from the purely reputational point of view. It wasn’t about photo-ops and feel-good moments, but rather about real business. I find this refreshing.
Secondly, I don’t see many conferences like this, where there is a real focus on beneficial, responsible economic development with corporations as a driver. I think there is a lot of untapped opportunity here.
The key resources from the conference are as follows:
* a book of many of the papers presented–amazingly on-target and readable–here’s my Amazon review including the tablet of contents:
* an HBS website with many slides and abstracts from the conference:
It’s funny how even though the material may seem “old,” I haven’t heard anybody else reference it; have a look.