There has been a lot of recent press about the 40 billionaires that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have convinced to give away half of their wealth—identified as the new by philanthro-capitalists by Matthew Bishop and Mark Green largely believe that they can harness the power of business thinking and market systems to create social change.
It is exciting that there is more attention and potentially more funding for social issues.
However, the question is well, if at all, market systems address underlying complex, multi-faceted social issues and how best practices developed by many NGOs/civil society groups are valued by the philanthro-capitalists. At the same time that this event was being covered, there was a Business Week article that questioned the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has mixed results in domestic education efforts.
Michael Edwards blog has some interesting examples and has been posing some interesting questions. I am in the process of reading his book Small Change : Why Business Won’t Save the World.
So what do you think?