I won the lottery!
I did, however, have a good dinner conversation which was the basis of a job interview question my friend was preparing for.
The premise is that Bill Gates (or other philanthropists) gives you $30 million with the remit to make the world a better place. What would you spend it on?
Some thoughts arose:
- Do you define by lives affected? Or the value of that impact?
- How do you quantify the “value” of schooling vs vaccinations vs contraceptives?
- Yes, it’s a lot, but on international aid levels, it’s not that much. Could you do some research that bigger funds could then use to deploy bigger amounts of capital?
Around the table was someone with experience working with aid programmes, and so was quite informed on the latest regarding policies looking to achieve “impact”.
Apparently an immensely successful one has been “Universal Basic Income for Entrepreneurs”.
It was piloted in Nigeria (now to be tried in Kenya) where people were effectively given free money in exchange for a business plan.
A big percentage of the people never did much with the money, but a few did go on to make big businesses that employed lots of people.
When the numbers were crunched, it ended up being a hugely successful mechanism for job creation (perhaps the most cost effective development program in history?): give 1,000 people $50,000, 900 might not do much but 100 will generate employment for thousands.
This naturally led to discussions of Universal Basic Income (UBI) in general (which Kenya is playing a big part in the global discussion). Most were in favour in principle, without knowing tons of the arguments.
It also happened that the following day Finland issued a report on a 2 year study they’ve just completed on Universal Basic Income.
It is generally a very interesting concept: essentially that big pockets of wealth accumulate in certain parts of the world and that there are then whole industries concerned with how to disburse it.
Any thoughts on the above (or good books/ articles you’ve read) please do share – it’s something I’m looking to develop more of a reasoned opinion on(!).
In other news…
A lot of my week has been spent going through a mega-handover for when I finish up with my current job at the end of the month.
Details on what’s next are still very much in draft mode, however, I will begin to think more about it come 1st May and will keep you posted accordingly.
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