How To Bring 1.5 Billion People Out of Poverty
How To Bring 1.5 Billion People Out of Poverty
1 minute 44 sec
Why Charity Doesn't Work
Why Charity Doesn't Work
3 minutes 09 sec
How to Reach a Tipping Point
How to Reach a Tipping Point
2 minutes 42 sec
How To Walk In Your Customer's Shoes
How To Walk In Your Customer's Shoes
2 minutes 54 sec
Doing the Obvious
Doing the Obvious
1 minute 57 sec

Interviewing Paul Polak (How To Bring 22+ Million People out of Poverty)

You can’t donate people out of poverty. Tweet This Quote

Bio: Dr. Paul Polak isn’t your everyday global poverty fighter. A 77-year old former psychiatrist, Dr. Polak has spoken to over 3,000 people earning less than $2/day. These conversations taught him that these impoverished people are actually viable entrepreneurs and consumers. Based on this principle, he founded International Development Enterprises (IDE), which has provided over 19 million people affordable agricultural technologies and enabled them to move out of poverty. After 25 years at the helm of IDE, Dr. Polak turned over leadership of the organization and is now focusing on fomenting two revolutions to end poverty: one in design and one in big business. The first, executed by his non-profit D-Rev: Design for the Other 90%, aims to reverse the fact that the world’s best designers spend 90% of their time serving the interests of the richest 10% of customers. The second, led by his new for-profit venture Windhorse International, aims to demonstrate how big businesses can profitably design and market their products and services to $1-$2/day customers. Practical solutions that work, as well as stories about $1/day farmers, are outlined in his book Out of Poverty. Paul’s latest book is The Business Solution to Poverty.

Releasing market forces is the lever that helps people move out of poverty. Tweet This Quote


For more from Paul Polak, check out his writing on UNREASONABLE.is here

About the author

Unreasonable Media

Unreasonable Media

As a company, Unreasonable Media is dedicated to leveraging the power of stories to shift paradigms and solve problems. That's why we have made almost all the videos you see on this site. Long story short, we are not your average production company. Visit our site to see for yourself.

  • My favorite quote from this interview is, “The one acre farmers who live on a $1 a day in Bangledash are more risk averse than the American Medical Association.” Thank you @paulpolakandteam:disqus for this fantastic interview.

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  • Alex Tomaszewski

    It’s a challenge for me to comprehend how it would even be possible to lift 1.6 billion out of poverty. If he thinks it’s possible I don’t doubt him. I feel like this notion of doubt stems from the society we live in. Everyone is too quick to say it isn’t possible. If someone comes up with a solution we doubt their system. And we end up at a crossroad where change and action isn’t implemented, but instead it’s discussed and debated. I think as it was stated in the interview we have the knowledge and as stated in the article our best designers focus on developing products for the upper 10%; these are the reasons why 2.6 billion people live in poverty. If business models changed, and these designers realized the potential market reach that could be established if they changed their approach; I think the world would be a brighter place. It’s may be hard to comprehend, but never-the-less possible.

  • Alex Tomaszewski

    Doing the obvious section of the interview

    I like the way he goes about creating change. His ideas don’t stem from spending money on market research and it doesn’t stem from handing out surveys. He simply goes to these areas that need help and delves into the source of their problems. By showing these people sincere and genuine empathy he connects with them. This connection sparks his innovative and creative mind. I think about the first products ever created and I’m sure Paul’s approach was similar or exactly the same as the person who developed the first product. The processes starts with curiosity, you go to the source, show sincere and genuine empathy and a connection happens. This connection sparks an innovative and creative mind. And BAM change occurs. Very simplistic, and informative interview.

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