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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Philanthropic Colonialism : The Charitable-Industrial Complex

By PETER BUFFETT | Published: July 26, 2013

I HAD spent much of my life writing music for commercials, film and television and knew little about the world of philanthropy as practiced by the very wealthy until what I call the big bang happened in 2006. That year, my father, Warren Buffett, made good on his commitment to give nearly all of his accumulated wealth back to society. In addition to making several large donations, he added generously to the three foundations that my parents had created years earlier, one for each of their children to run.

Early on in our philanthropic journey, my wife and I became aware of something I started to call Philanthropic Colonialism. I noticed that a donor had the urge to “save the day” in some fashion. People (including me) who had very little knowledge of a particular place would think that they could solve a local problem. Whether it involved farming methods, education practices, job training or business development, over and over I would hear people discuss transplanting what worked in one setting directly into another with little regard for culture, geography or societal norms.

Often the results of our decisions had unintended consequences; distributing condoms to stop the spread of AIDS in a brothel area ended up creating a higher price for unprotected sex.

But now I think something even more damaging is going on.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pants - Jessica Oreck

Published on 2 Apr 2013 - TEDEducation | From 4th Century Roman Saint Pantaleon to the trousers we wear on our legs, Jessica Oreck details the story of the word 'pants.'

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mongolia - going renewable & sustainable!

Published on 18 Jul 2013 | Mongolia's first wind farm has switched on its turbines. The eco-friendly plant is expected to reduce pollution by cutting coal consumption by 150,000 tonnes each year. Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan reports from Ulaanbaatar, one of the world's most polluted cities.