Thursday, March 29, 2007

What i didn't expect to find at Stanford?

Someone asked me yesterday what's was an unexpected thing i experienced so far at Stanford. After some thought, i figured out that the most unexpected thing was the growing interest in social entrepreneurship and int' development.

First, the portion of those interested is unexpectedly high considering the primary focus of a business school. I would argue that at least 50 people in class have serious interest, many of which already have relevant experience.

Second, there many organizations out there that are combing creativity, entrepreneurship to eliminating poverty. A company like has tapped into a previously non-accessible market of micro donors that now relate directly to the recipients of their donations across the globe. Acumen fund is trying to use relatively low philanthropic capital to invest in startups that bring innovative solutions to problems facing people at the bottom of the pyramid in poor countries in South East Asia and East Africa.

Third, the business school itself has programs, clubs, and courses tailored to meet this growing interest. There is the Public Management Program under which there are so many socially orietened clubs. There are also courses like "Social Entrepreneurship", "Strategy for non-profits", and "Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability". The latter focuses on innovative designs of affordable solutions for under developed countries.

This has had a big effect on the way i think. Before coming i thought public work is something i mate do late in my career. But now as appears from many of my previous posts, it's consuming a bigger portion of my thought.

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