UNC

Side Effects - A Day in the Community

"I'd love to hear your impressions," Theresa said to me as we boarded the bus outside of Rocinha, "about what you think of the communities here vs. where you lived in Kenya." Here was Rio de Janiero, Brazil and in Kenya was Kibera, a million-person shantytown in Nairobi, where I had just spent the previous three months living and working. Theresa and I were catching a bus to the outskirts of Rio for a visit with local community leaders and to spend a "Day in the Community", a regular event that brings together children and neighbors from six of Rio's favelas, Brazil's illegal communities. Theresa and I found a seat as the bus lurched forward and I sat there wondering about her request. What preconceptions had living in an African slum given me about a South American one?

Tribal Lingo - Defining Sustainability

“Ever had one of those conversations,” Stu Hart asked the crowd, “where you think you and another person are talking about the same thing, only to discover you’ve been discussing something completely different?  In my work, I run into that all the time.”

Stuart Hart is a professor at Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, recent author of the acclaimed “Capitalism at the Crossroads”, and one of the world’s foremost experts on the strategies and business opportunities for sustainable enterprises and serving the world’s poor.  Hart was co-presenting with colleague Mark Milstein (of the World Resources Institute) at Cornell’s 3rd annual Sustainable Enterprise Symposium.  

Hart and Milstein explained that there are so many different “sustainability tribes”, each using their own vocabulary of buzzwords, that even basic communication proves difficult and unwieldy; strategic planning and collaboration are even harder.  How can we collaborate in creating a better future if we can’t even communicate? 

BRINQ on the road . . .

The past couple of weeks have been intense travel weeks, with meetings at the Base of the Pyramid Learning Lab, hosted by Cornell University, and the 2005 Advisory Board meeting for the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of North Carolina. Included below are some meeting highlights.

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