Saturday, November 2, 2013

The damage of AID in Africa: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

Once in a while I find somene who expresses some ideas I have so much better that I can't resist sharing it with you in my blog.

Ernesto Sirolli did a great presentation at TED about a better approach to AID: Shut up and listen!

Also included are great ideas about entrepreneurship.


Seeya later alligator....

1 comment:

MarcB said...

Dear Michel,
About Sirolli on TED...
A fantastic talk, in format and substance.
I can buy in for most of the content but there are 2-3 points which i would like to underline and which make me tumble when it comes to say: this is the voice of truth and intelligence.
I hope this will not sound arrogant.

- Sirolli makes a short statement - clearly negative - about the role of universities and governments in the development of (innovative) businesses. This is naive. Whatever the business, behind there is knowledge (- creation) and in our societies at least, this is largely but not exclusively the business of the upper education and research institutes, being they private or public. No Silicon Valley without Standford. Similarly, there is no business without adequate background conditions, from infrastructures to regulation. The job of our governmnts'. No sustainable business without a fair business-friendly regime.
Hence the rather undisputed concepts and methods of Knowledge triangle, Triple helix and others..
- Second, in another (what I see as) short-cut of this speech, the speaker introduces some techno-optimism, dismissing the doubts we can legitimately have about the current technocratic trajectory of the advanced economies (and others) on issues such as Energy, Transport, Food, etc. with a (good) story about horses in New York. Epistemology is still on the agenda, sorry.

- Third, - St Thomas reaction: i would like to see/hear about some of the realisations of Sirolli as he claims there are dozens of thousands. I think that is a legitimate proposal. Why ? Because... he is too much of a very good speaker. And as he says, to make a real business, you need several competencies that usually do not hold in one man. There is something in his attitude that triggers my doubts

So, conclusion.
While the speech is rooted in a vital argument about who defines and owns a process (project development, business creation, progress aims, etc.) it is weakened by several - would i say naive - statements about the interrelated roles of Governments, Education systems, Science and Technology.
I would rather propose to articulate cautiously that part, while simultaneously demonstrating the core statement with factual examples.

All this said, in absence of counter evidence, with all my curiosity and respect for the speaker and his stated work.

I hope these few notes will be of some interest to those who got triggered by the speech.