Seth’s Blog: Ten years of changing the world

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Ten years of changing the world

Acumen celebrates its tenth anniversary this week.

Lesson 1: In fact, you can make a difference, you can start something from scratch, you can build something without authority or permission. Passionate people on a mission can make change happen.

Lesson 2: In fact, philanthropy works. Building systems and enhancing entrepreneurial outcomes generates results far bigger than the resources invested.

Lesson 3: You better be prepared to stick it out, to exert yourself, to last longer than you ever expected and to care so much it hurts.

Some highlights:

  • More than 3 million people have access to safe, affordable, and efficient energy
  • 7,000 people have jobs and hundreds of millions of insecticide treated bednets have been produced by A to Z
  • More than 330,000 farmers are changing their families’ lives with drip irrigation systems
  • Hundreds of thousands have access to quality sanitation in Kenya – and Eco-Tact has become a model for other countries
  • More than 150,000 farmers have access to quality, affordable hybrid seeds in Western Kenya
  • 1298 is now answering more than 30.000 emergency calls every month in India (and has created more than 1250 jobs)
  • Kashf has reached more than 300,000 borrowers with micro-loans and emerged as one of Pakistan’s important civil society institution
  • The first commercial mortgages for the poor have been provided in Pakistan and Saiban has developed a working, sustainable model for low-income housing development
  • More than 350,000 individuals have access to safe drinking water (and this doesn’t include the copycat companies that have emerged as a result of WHI’s innovation in the Indian marketplace)
  • Aravind provides quality eyecare through telemedicine to millions across India and has served as a global model
  • Sekem is the largest exporter of organic goods from the Middle East to Europe (working with 4,000 farmers on reclaimed desert land)

That a small band of talented, driven people could make this happen isn't surprising to me. What surprises me is that we still wonder whether change like this is possible.

Posted by Seth Godin on April 02, 2011 | Permalink

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