Why business can be good at solving social problems


Michael Porter, professor from Harvard Business School, advocates that the structure of non-profits, NGOs and government assistant can never scale sufficiently to solve the major issues of the world, whereas the structure of for-profit business CAN scale.

Scale is the key that I missed in my version of this talk…

The key insight is that any philanthropic or government solution that works for 1,000 people, will then require 1,000 times more donation/funding to reach 1,000,000 people, and a million times more to reach a billion people.  We have 2.5 billion people in the world living on $2/day or less, 2 billion off the electric grid, 2 billion without access to clean water, 2 billion households full of smoke from cookstoves, etc., etc., etc.

What organizations have scale across billions, with a distribution network to nearly everyone on earth?  Coca Cola.  P&G.  Vodafone.  If only they cared more…


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