Tackling Poverty with "Patient Capital"

Jacqueline Novogratz: June 2007

Daniel B, Crystal T, Maddy L, Arezoo T, Lauren M, Edeth E, Olga O, Lucy Z, and Alex S



Clip: 5:35 to 7:10

Handout

Main themes:
1. Dignity is more important to the human spirit than wealth
2. Traditional charity and aid alone will not solve the problems of poverty
3. The markets alone will not solve the problems of poverty


Presentation:

Who is the presenter?

Why should we trust him/her?

What philosophy or worldview informs and supports the presenter?

Identify the issue and describe its context. Why is it important? Why should we care?

How does the issue connect to your education and experience?

What statistic, anecdote, and/or image do you find most compelling? Why?

What does this video make you wonder about?

How does this video inspire you? How does it make you think about your plans for the future?

How could the information from this video lead to making the world a better place? What one thing could you do, this week, to make a positive difference in this area?

How does the Academy of International Studies help prepare you for the future? How could the Academy serve you better?



Who is the presenter?

external image 0705feature_novogratz.jpg
Jacqueline Novogratz

  • Founded Acumen Fund-2001
  • Leader of new philanthropy---bottom-up instead of top-down aid
  • Past experience in banking, microfinance, traditional philanthropy
  • Helps poor become more independent through entrepreneurial ventures
  • Acumen invests in companies that bring services to poor, allowing them to succeed
  • "People don't want handouts, they want to make their own decisions, to solve their own problems."


Why should we trust him/her?

  • Humble, doesn't boast about many accomplishments
  • Starts with accepting her failures
  • More trustworthy, easier to relate to
  • Not alligned with political interests, therefore more independent
  • Great knowledge on the subject because started Acumen Fund
Acumen-Fund-Logo.jpg


What philosophy or worldview informs and supports the presenter?

  • Relates to saying "if you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime."
  • Relates to Judaism's 8 levels of charity
  • Interconnnectedness of the world
Mamoniades.jpg



Identify the issue and describe its context. Why is it important? Why should we care?

  • "Save the world from poverty" and traditional charity
  • Creates jobs, incomes, opportunities for poor
  • Allows poor to leave their situation instead of feeling inferior

Charity
Charity

Microfinancing
Microfinancing

(Ironically,I found both pictures, the one above and the one below, on an image search of "charity." What does this show of our perspective of charity?)


How does the issue connect to your education and experience?

  • We in a privileged society throw money at causes, in many cases just to eliminate our own feelings of guilt
  • Charity very ingrained in our culture (ex: tax deductions for charity)
  • Should look towards world-view of human equality
  • Even a very charitable society that proclaims superiority will generally be hated
  • Forming good questions, way to listen well


What statistic, anecdote, and/or image do you find most compelling? Why?

  • "Literally within days of arriving, I was told in no uncertain terms by a number of West African women that Africans didn't want saving, thank you very much, least of all by me..."
  • Dignity takes precedence over survival for these African people, or at least the ones she encountered.
  • I began to really understand not only the economic, practical aspect of Jacqueline Novogratz's plan for the future, but also the psychological aspect, when she told of the women painting the bakery.
  • "It's very pretty, but our color, it is green."
  • The New York Times recently did a study that found that about 50% of impoverished children remain in poverty. Can charity begin to explain this?
  • Novogratz first got to Africa, no one would accept her charity because of her credibility


What does this video make you wonder about?

  • Are we hurting the poor by just giving them money?
  • Are we lowering a poor person's ambition and motivation when handing out money?
  • Would it be better to supply ideas and business plans to those in Africa, rather than just some extra change?
  • Wrong and right kind of charity?
  • How much should we take into consideration this in the view of considering the type of aid given to Africa?
  • Should we be trying to empower Africa to help itself?
  • Does Novogratz's idea of tackling poverty apply to America's urban poor?
  • How can her model be adapted to areas with stronger economies?Slums.jpg


How does the video inspire you? How does it make you think about your plans for the future?

  • She treats Africa's poor not as a seperate species, but as human beings equal to herself
  • Shows interest in these people, giving them tools instead of handouts.
  • Respect the potential for greatness in everyone, and help nurture it
  • Eliminates the feeling of dependency charity recipients have and turns it into friendship
  • The poor are no longer slaves to charity, they are members of the human race.


How could the information from this video lead to making the world a better place? What one thing could you do, this week, to make a positive difference in this area?



How does the Glenbrook Academy of International Studies help prepare you for the future? How could the Academy serve you better?

  • Its the perspective of things in our education that matters.logo.gif
  • With social studies in particular, more of a multi-perspective education
  • Overlapping between the language and social studies classes
  • How to interact with a different culture and how to see from their perspective



Additional research:

Do you guys have any ideas for more questions too?

Identify and research a particular claim made by the presenter that intrigues you.

Novogratz goes to say that malaria can slowly be cured with the help of the Artemisia plant, that is being intensely cultivated in East Africa. With the help of patient capital, not only with this plant boost the economy through agricultural differences, it will also provide jobs for the poor in the cultivation of malaria medicine.

Identify and research a problem raised in the presentation
I'm not going to guarantee any information tonight, but by the end of the week I will reseach malaria and statistics on who/ how many are affected, what the economic effects are, how we can help treat malaria, how we can help prevent malaria, and what Africans can do for themselves to stop and treat malaria. Oh, I can also research what is already being done. - This can pertain to the second to last question!! (lauren stop deleting my writing and make sure you pay attention so that you cut and paste onto new drafts!! grr)

State a question raised by the presenter or implied by the presentation and research some answers.

Research opposing views to the presenter's philosophy or work.

State and research a question you'd like to ask the presenter.
Should we help those who need help but do not want help?
Is it justifiable to ignore the human spirit?
Does the will of the human spirit urge the economy to better itself?
Will what worked in Africa, solve the world's problem pertaining to poverty?
The issues of giving assistance to Africa requires so much political capital and will, how do you propose we go about raising that kind of will from current policymakers?
One of the saddest issues about aid to Africa is compassion fatigue. Do you have a proposition to deal with this?

Quotes on the effects of charity on human dignity
"When you've lived on charity and dependent your whole life long, It's really hard to say what you mean. Mostly because people never really ask you and when they do you don't think they really want to know the truth."
"Dignity is more important to the human spirit than wealth ... As people gain income they gain choice and that is fundamental to dignity. As human beings we want to see each other, to be heard by each other and we should never forget that."