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Business - The Green Leaf.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2074F/G
Michael Herbert

TAKING THE GREEN LEAP TO THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID  BOP offers both enormous opportunities and challenges for enterprises operating only at the top of the economic pyramid  As commercial momentum in the BOP has grown, new problems have no become apparent  Many companies have chosen to simply adapt environmentally unsustainable products and services to sell to the poor and aspiring middle classes  The planet simply can’t sustain 8 to 9 billion people consuming like Americans  Yet because given technologies are frequently disruptive in character (taht is, they threaten incumbents that serve existing markets) the BOP may be the most appropriate socioeconomic segment upon which to focus initial commercialization attention  If such a strategy were widely embraced, the developing economies of the world could become the breeding grounds for tomorrow’s sustainable industries and companies  The Green Leap is a strategy that can tap into the entrepreneurial spirit in all of us  Green Giant technologies are more readily developed by large, incumbent firms with much to ain through government subsidy or procurement  The go big approach can be politically advantageous because it gives the appearance of tackling big problems with bold the sweeping solutions  In the end, the law of unintended consequences about always prevails  The power of incumbency produced formidable barriers to innovation  Rural villages and shantytowns typically do not have pre-existing physical infrastructures, and there are few large incumbents with significant positions to lose  Dozens of global corporations and hundreds of smaller and social enterprises around the world have initiated or deepened commercial commitments to serve the 4 billion poor who to date have been largely bypassed by economic globalization  Green Technology and BOP ventures have developed largely independent from one another  The existence of these two cultures he suggested, resulted in policy solutions that failed to combine the wisdom inherent in each  BOP advocates in contrast tend to focus on new more inclusive business models for reaching and serving the poor  If we are to realize the full potential of the Green Leap however we need to shed the mental models and strategies that have brought us to this point  Large investments in yesterday’s technology make for tremendous inertia in environmental footpri
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