• Service: Enterprise, Family business
  • Type: Business and industry issue
  • Date: 12/11/2012

Davos 2012: A contrast of many worlds that the World Economic Forum was trying to bridge 

World Eeconomic Forum
Filipino social entrepreneur Antonio Meloto, Chairman and Founder of Gawad Kalinga*, was in Davos in January 2012 to attend the World Economic Forum, which gathered social entrepreneurs from the North and from the South, in partnership with the Schwab Foundation.

Here is his point of view on this world event, published in the 2012 Barometer of Social Entrepreneurship…

Aspirations are the driver of innovation, invention and creation

Tony Meloto  

“I was there hoping to be an active contributor on behalf of the poor … but I ended up mostly as a spectator of superpowers, who were searching for ways on how to keep poverty away from their door. Understandably, it was a Eurocentric event. Many were trying to sort out the European debt mess. Not many were ready yet to listen to the poor.

Conversations were mostly topdown,when what was needed in the gloomy mood of debt woes and recession blues were more hopeful voices from the ground! We often forget that those at the bottom are driven by such strength and passion that they can change their fate. While law and entitlement often are the comfort zone of those who have lost the power of imagination, aspirations are the driver of innovation, invention and creation.”

The role of the social entrepreneur in society

“The vital role of the social entrepreneur in society is to be a “hope-builder”. Big businesses must
expand the pie and build wealth to be shared. They must invest more in social entrepreneurs, in scaling and sustaining their social ventures, therefore creating a baseline for sound business practices.

Davos is still the world’s best platform for convergence and conversation among a multitude of interests to support cooperation between different worlds. What I felt it needed was more transcendence and audacity on the part of those with the biggest global stakes. Of course the desire to do good is growing: many corporate leaders believe that helping people out of poverty is good for the heart, the pocket and the planet.”

Bridging the gap between poverty and wealth creation

“Shared value creation was core in most sessions.

The Filipino government now strongly supports social entrepreneurs because they are a credible and effective bridge to the poor, to lead the poor out of poverty. In our upside-down view of development, wealth creation at the bottom of the pyramid is the best economic platform to support an enlightened capitalism where no one is left behind.”

* Gawad Kalinga, which means to “give care” in Filipino, is officially known as the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement.

Christophe Bernard

Christophe Bernard
I am a KPMG partner based in the French firm’s Paris office, responsible for encouraging the growth of our firms’ middle markets practice across Europe, Middle East and Africa, a majority of that market comprises of family businesses.

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