Over the past number of years SPI has reached out to become one in a network of other individuals and groups working towards economic development, sustainability and the preservation of cultural heritage. People Not Stones is featuring those who work towards goals similar to ours and who are proponents of the ideas behind our paradigm the world over in the area of Sustainable Development. Whether it’s through their promotion of ideas, the facilitation of partnerships or their direct action, the following five work to promote enduring development and to end global poverty. In the words of One Day’s Wages Founder Eugene Cho (read on to find out more about ODW):
“There are some incredible organizations and individuals doing amazing work…we are certainly not the first and thankfully, we are not the last to care about these issues.”
Having just celebrated its eighth anniversary, Kiva is a non-profit organisation. By seeking lenders of small funds, this capital is used to catalyse local development and micro businesses, to alleviate poverty and most importantly to empower those in poorer socio-economic situations to improve their quality of life for themselves. Based in California, it operates in over 70 countries around the world. Click here for an explanation of the life of a Kiva loan.
In their own words:
“We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.”
The Milken Institute
The Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think thank, aims to improve lives by advancing innovative solutions to promote prosperity and combat social issues the world over. Milken runs a research program with the main focus on the three areas of Human Capital, Health Economics and Regional Economics front and center. Milken operates with an extremely impressive array of experts which analyze issues facing policy makers in all fields today, in addition to decision makers who transform these ideas into action to have an impact globally. These experts and decision makers are convened in a number of events, perhaps most impressively at the Milken Annual Global Conference.
In their own words:
“Whether the issue is building a more sustainable energy future or ensuring that entrepreneurs can access the credit they need to grow their companies and create jobs, our objective is to advance solutions that create prosperity in all corners of the globe.”
Click here for a video of SPI Executive Director Larry Coben speaking at The Milken Global Conference in April. (Begins 42.40)
Katerva is a not-for-profit ‘social venture’ which aims to ‘identify, evaluate and accelerate’ innovation and sustainability on a global scale. Named after the Latin term for crowd, it acts upon knowledge of a global network of experts to find and promote the greatest social innovations on the planet. Acting in many broad areas from ecosystem conservation, to human development, and gender equality to food security and urban design, Katerva has the entire span of global sustainable development covered. Katerva engages most with its community by offering an annual award for the newest ventures in sustainability the world has to offer.
In their own words:
“The world is full of remarkable world-changing innovations. Individuals and organizations are eager to find, invest and help the best of these innovations thrive and scale. Katerva connects the dots.”
Intelligent Travel Blog and the Center for Sustainable Destinations – National Geographic
Many of us are aware that increased footfall to high-profile archaeological sites can cause significant damage. National Geographic is known the world over for its investigation into everything related to the world and now its offering online provides not one but two ventures into the world of sustainability and economic development with a focus on travel. Intelligent Travel is a blog that not only aims to highlight some of the most spectacular places to visit on the planet (many of which are sites of archaeological importance) but also promotes a sustainable attitude to travel which enables us to preserve these gems for generations to come.
The Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD) via National Geographic is another online initiative which promotes sustainable tourism and the oft forgotten destination stewardship around the world. Aside from their articles on responsible tourism and a web of expertise for both travellers and professionals, CSD runs a number of projects such as an initiative for creating ‘GeoTourism’ Maps and devising GeoTourism strategies for hotels and others alike. Both initiatives float the important message of responsible tourism and highlight that heritage sites are a non-renewable source that need to be interacted with in an appropriate way for their continued existence.
In their own words:
“We believe that to know the world is to change it. We’re on the front lines of travel that illuminates, celebrates, and preserves irreplaceable places.”
One Day’s Wages
Last, but without a doubt not least, is the non-profit group One Day’s Wages. ODW’s main goal is to facilitate partnerships in developing regions affected by extreme poverty. The organisation looks for donations of small amounts, typically each giver’s wages for a day of work which is then in turn used to stem sustainable relief in some of the world’s poorest areas. ODW strives to collaborate and partner with other non-profits such as SPI with similar goals and to make use of the collective opportunities therein to end global poverty. ODW only invests in sustainable projects which continue to be affective for future generations reaping the benefits of these donations.
In their words:
“It was seeing organizations and women, men, and children do amazing and arduous work to uplift themselves out of poverty – if only given respect, dignity, and opportunities. It’s by far more complex but it’s also very simple: We have the capacity to end extreme global poverty.”