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Foreign Policy Examines ‘Philanthrocapitalism’ Trend

Foreign Policy examines “a revolutionary idea for how to remake charity in the 21st century [that] is taking off: philanthrocapitalism.” The magazine writes: “Unlike their colleagues in government bureaucracies and tried-and-true NGOs, the philanthrocapitalists are a nimble, business-minded stock.”

According to Foreign Policy, “These new, entrepreneurial players … represent a chance to give a much-needed boost to the effectiveness of aid. They can take risks that governments cannot, breaking free from old orthodoxies and conventional wisdoms.”

The article reports on Bill Gates, “the leader of the pack,” and his work through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund “research into diseases that have been neglected by the drug market for their zero-profit potential; conditions such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis are prevalent in impoverished regions where few can afford drugs or vaccines. Now, Gates is moving into agricultural research, poised to take on the global food crisis.”

Foreign Policy highlights the work of former President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, “the world’s premier marketplace for philanthropy”; how microfinance is benefiting from “capitalism rethink”; and that “[p]hilanthrocapitalism is even making inroads in slow-moving Washington” (Bishop/Green, 12/09).  

The magazine also published a list of “Top 100 Global Thinkers” featuring the “100 minds that mattered most in the year.” The list features several people involved in global health-related work, including: former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gates, CARE’s Helene Gayle, the State Department’s Anne-Marie Slaughter, the World Bank’s Robert Zoellick and Dominique Strauss-Kahn and others (12/09).