The Business of Changing the World: How Billionaires, Tech Disrupters, and Social Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Aid Industry (Paperback)
The new world of results-driven aid that could put an end to extreme poverty
Drawing on 2 decades covering global development as editor in chief of Devex, Raj Kumar explores how nontraditional models of philanthropy and aid are empowering the world’s poorest people to make progress. Old aid was driven by good intentions and relied on big-budget projects from a few government aid agencies, like the World Bank and USAID. Today, corporations, Silicon Valley start-ups, and billionaire philanthropists are a disrupting force pushing global aid to be data driven and results oriented. This $200 billion industry includes emerging and established foundations like the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Entrepreneurial startups like Hello Tractor, which offers an Uber-like app for farmers in Nigeria, and Give Directly, whose app allows individuals to send money straight to the phone of someone in need, are also giving rise to this new culture of charity. The result is a more sustainable philosophy of aid that elevates the voices of the world’s poor as neighbors, partners, and customers.
Refreshing and accessibly written, The Business of Changing the World sets forth a bold vision for how we can use our vote, our voice, and our wallet to turn well-intentioned charity into effective advocacy to transform the world for good. Businesspeople, policymakers, entrepreneurs, nonprofit executives, philanthropists, and aid workers around the world will all be influenced by this transformation.
About the Author
Raj Kumar is the founding president and editor in chief of Devex, which the Washington Post compared to a “Bloomberg-style” media platform for the aid industry. A media leader for the World Economic Forum, Kumar is a noted commentator on global development. He lives in Washington, DC.
“At last we have a go-to primer that collects the many trends transforming the aid industry in one authoritative place! Raj Kumar is uniquely positioned to see how governments, nonprofits, businesses, and philanthropy are bringing new people and practices into the work of solving global problems. He also argues compellingly for ‘open-source aid’ and offers an invaluable guide to anyone considering a development career.”
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America, and author of Unfinished Business
“If you believe, as I do, that now is our moment to end extreme poverty and achieve seemingly impossible sustainable development goals, read The Business of Changing the World. Raj Kumar persuasively argues that aid and philanthropy is entering a new era—one which we can and must shape to meet humanity’s greatest challenges in our time.”
—Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland
“Very few people view aid as an industry and fewer still know how it works. In this highly informative and accessible book, The Business of Changing the World, Raj Kumar gives us an intimate look at how the aid industry works, the new forces of disruption, and how we can shape this for a future of unprecedented good.”
—Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chair of the board, Gavi; former finance minister, Nigeria; and former managing director, The World Bank
“On these pages, you’ll find stories that will renew your faith in humanity and others that will make you tear your hair out. But if extreme poverty is to be banished from this earth—and soon—we need to face the realities of charity and aid head-on. Here’s a book that finally does it.”
—Larry Brilliant, founding executive director, Google.org, and author of Sometimes Brilliant
“The development industry is at the center of one of the most inspiring stories rarely told: how, precisely, tens of millions of lives have been saved. But it’s also high time for fundamental changes in the way we do and even think about global development. The Business of Changing the World is essential reading for this new moment.”
—Mark Dybul, former US Global AIDS coordinator and former executive director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
“A vital and new perspective on how the aid industry must change to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of our time.”
—Elhadj As Sy, secretary general, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
“For the first time in human history, we can dare to think of the possibility of eradicating poverty from the face of the earth. To achieve this goal we need the evidence-based, results-oriented approach championed by Raj Kumar’s new book.”
—Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson, BRAC