Development? Helping the poor? We don’t do enough – it’s time to think really big


Here is needed more than education or health or a job. We need an 'and' and 'and' and 'and'  ...
Here is needed more than education or health or a job. We need an ‘and’ and ‘and’ and ‘and’ …

   Technical solutions? Wow. The next app is done … Don’t get me wrong. It might be a fantastic app, but it will not change the world as long as it is not part of a ‘big picture solution’. 
I’m appassionated about social entrepreneurial solutions. Great people. Appassionated people with good ideas. 

Our development engagement  is too isolated!
Our development engagement is too isolated!

I appreciate the work of many NGOs which – at least partly – have real good holistic projects ongoing that comprise housing, Microfinance, job creation, health and more. 

I think some huge companies engage in areas where they come from – and achieve a lot. 

BUT we have not achieved enough and will not achieve enough as long as we do not put our forces together and build real ecosystems where the people in need can build on. It’s not about water, it’s not about hunger, it’s not about health.

 It’s about a setting up a basic system where people can care about themselves and grow. 

I’m tired of the success stories of single players. I’m tired to accept single success stories that happen – even they might be really great , as long as seen through the eyes of each actor. 

These acrivities are success stories, yes, but they cannot ‘grow’ – because something is missing. And I include my own activities and enthusiasm. It makes me feel good to engage.  I can help a little bit. But one thing is clear and we all have to admit:  It is not enough!!!

The situation of the base of pyramid is very bad. The differences between rich and poor is rather growing than getting closer together. The SDGs launched by the UN this year give you an overview, hundreds of sources in the Internet makes you aware on how bad the world looks today. So, what I, what you do is simply not enough!!!

Technical revolution, government initiatives… All this is great, no doubt. 

But hey, dear All, it is NOT ENOUGH !!!

Solving environmental problems is useless if people have not enough to eat, if health awareness is low, if infrastructures fail,  if education and hope is not enough. Every plant, every human being need some basic ‘ingredients’ and if one is missing, it will fail. When we are born, we need food, water, love, a home, people who care about us, and a job. If one is missing we will die. 

But in the development work we still think in too many isolated boxes. The most advanced holistic thinkers are probably NGOs. Some NGOs are doing a great job, but lack of power and money. Companies engage, but mostly in areas where they are active in only. It cannot be the aim to make more education happen only or to provide a health insurance or to train some experts. 

It’s like growing flowers. It is not enough to put some water here and there. Caring about bees, caring about climate issues, caring about crop and the right land quality is important at the same level. Only if all come together the result is sustainable.

Development is like a ecosystem. We have to think differently if we want to change the world. We need hubs who coordinate, bring all players in we need to grow. We think too small, in a too egocentric way!

Why we are such silo thinkers when it comes to development work? Why we support where we are great in doing and don’t see what is really needed?

Probably the NGOs understand much more, businesses want to develop where they are in, governments claim and support somehow general development. 

I think it is time to think big. Tell me what is needed to make a real marketplace happen, where people get the basics they need and develop in their own. What are the essentials?  Let’s get together. Let’s build  it together. And then let the people build on it , the people who live there. 

They do not want gifts, they want trade. If they succeed we all succeed! 

As in the Internet we need hubs where development ‘strings’ come together, where data packages are put together and only make sense if the ‘puzzle is complete’. 

Let’s start to do that!

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