Friday, September 09, 2005

Pessimism and Poverty - (The Fast Company Weblog)

Pessimism and Poverty (from the Fast Company Weblog)

The fact that the Live 8 concerts overshadowed the G8 conference underscores the real problem with extreme poverty in the world; It's hard to get people to care. Twenty years ago when Live Aid and USA for Africa's "We are the World" album raised millions of dollars for African relief dozens of imitators were born. The celebrity concert for charity model was extremely effective until the general public realized the problem didn�t go away. Africa's problem is the rest of the worlds' indifference to its struggle. An indifference that turns to mild awareness when there�s a concert to go to. The struggle is as much about pessimism as it is about poverty. There is no shortage of causes out there and no shortage of colored plastic bangles for supporters to buy, incidentally the Live 8 organizers have chosen to sell white bangles at �2 a pop.

Don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against Bob Geldof. He is doing what he knows how to do. Yet it must be noted that his ability to produce star studded concert has little effect on what the leaders of the world will eventually do. What would be a supreme achievement is to get the millions of people who saw the Live 8 concerts to care enough to hold their leaders accountable. Based on results we'll probably be right back here in 2025. And millions of 20 year olds who don't remember Live Aid or Live 8 will be on their way to another concert.

Media Man Australia writes

Initiatives such as Live 8 and Make Poverty History have certainly raised the awareness of global issues such as poverty.

It was certainly time for a new approach.

Entrepreneurship combined with huge exposure appears to be the way out for those in need.

It’s like running a business venture. Have a plan, action, development and exposure, via mass media and the like.

A few entrepreneurs who I know who are making a difference include David Baumgarten (Eastern Suburbs Business Enterprise Centre), Max Markson (Markson Sparks!), Rozita Leoni (Maroubra Chamber of Commerce), Steve Cooke (World Disaster Help) and Bob Winstead (Unity ’05, including Entrepreneurs – The Reality Show). It’s always refreshing to see new names pop up in the media, and this isn’t to water down the accomplishments of Bono or Bob Geldof. Bono and Geldof enjoy the star power to ensure that anything they back will enjoy a level of success.

Down under In Australia, former Midnight Oil frontman, Peter Garrett, used his power and positive influence to help many under privileged communities, including his famous “Sorry” campaign, which propelled Australia’s indigenous issues into the public eye.

It’s easy to become pessimistic about relief efforts and charity drivers, but the fact remains, it’s easy to sit back and do nothing and just talk about it. Taking action and making a positive difference for all people is where it’s at.

Best Regards
Greg Tingle
Media Man Australia &
Australasian Media Director for
World Disaster Help &
Unity '05
Entrepreneurs – The Reality Show