"Venture philanthropist" designs change

What if money were no barrier? I linked this BusinessWeek article because I found the words "venture philanthropy" at the top of the article so interesting, but also because it makes the point that a lack of money may not pose the challenge to solving seemingly intractable problems that it once did. Venture capitalists working with the world's poor need ideas, not just money, to build something sustaining:

Billing itselfas a nonprofit venture capital firm, the Acumen Fund uses the principles of design to solve the problems of the poor. Just as the Procter & Gambles and Motorolas of the corporate world conduct extensive ethnographic research on consumers, Acumen finances companies that create from the bottom up.... 'Start with the individuals,' says founder Jacqueline Novogratz. 'Build systems from their perspective. Really pay attention, and then see if they can scale.'

...Lack of money is no longer the major hindrance to solving many of the world's most vexing social problems. Philanthropists such as Gates, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, and Joan Kroc now make gifts in the billions. Charitable giving in the U.S. has jumped 23% in the past four years.

Rather, there's a paucity of creative ideas....

Read the whole piece, "Designing Change."

Wayne