Wow

Homemade-merry-go-round

I had intended to begin a series of posts today about “green” entrepreneurial pursuits, risks and risk management.  Then I read yesterday’s American Express OPEN Forum article, How Resource Constraints Can Set You Free.  Wow.  I just had to share it.

I encourage you to read the entire article yourself, as it is inspiring, uplifting, and restores one’s hope for humanity. 

Here are the nuggets of wisdom I found in the article. 

1.  The article begins by describing how Mohammed Bah Abba, a Nigerian United Nations worker, found a solution to the food storage problem in his local area by resurrecting an ancient “technology” (clay pots), modifying their design to increase their utility, and providing work to local potters to “mass” produce the resulting effective clay “coolers”.  Nothing fancy, but extraordinarily effective.  Mohammed Bah Abba came up with this solution by starting where he was, using what he had, and improving both.  

2.  The article also relates the story of advertising executive Trevor Field who, having observed a serious water delivery problem while on a fishing expedition to the east coast of South Africa, did something to solve it.  He had observed a group of women who had waited for two days at a windmill driven water pump for the wind to start blowing.  Later, at an agricultural fair in Johannesburg, he met Ronnie Stuiver, a South African borehole driller who had noticed children’s fascination with his rig and, realizing that they had no playgrounds, had created a small-scale model with a merry-go-round fitting operated by the “power” of children at play.  Mr. Field and Mr. Stuiver collaborated together to found PlayPumps International and donate such water deliver systems to communities and schools in rural Africa.  Such a simple thing, with such powerfully transformational potential, which may never have come to be had not both men (a) cared and (b) had the vision to do something about the real problems they had observed.

In a nutshell, not only do these stories illustrate the best aspects of successful entrepreneurship, they also show the power of a social conscience as well.  Which, come to think of it, is what so much of the new “green” economy is about.  So, I suppose I’ve started my intended series of posts after all.  

Again, I encourage you to read this article.  Once you have, please leave a comment and let us know the nuggets of wisdom you found there.

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Published in: on September 1, 2009 at 11:07 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Loved your article! Reminded me of Three Cups of Tea.


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