Book Review: The Business of Changing the World, by Raj Kumar

June 18, 2019
I found reading The Business of Changing the World rather disturbing – a bit like being taken hostage by a cult and submitted to polite but persistent brainwashing for several days (I’m a slow reader). The cult in question is what Anand Giridharadas calls ‘MarketWorld’ – an effusive, evangelical belief in the power of markets, data and new tech to

Mark Goldring on how to maximise the impact of business on poverty and injustice

May 1, 2018
Guest post from Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s Chief Executive  Last week I introduced an Oxfam event at which Paul Polman of Unilever and a number of proponents of social enterprises came together to explore what kind of new business models we need to help beat poverty for good. My starting point was that business has played a massive part in

Loneliness, Love, Anger and Activism

June 22, 2017
Spent a morning at the Ashridge Business School Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility last week. The School is extraordinary – a Hogwarts-esque stately home full of statues and vaulted ceilings, formerly Henry VIII’s crib, set in a country park dotted with croquet lawns and mighty oaks. The conversation was also pretty good – 15 Masters students from every continent/walk of

Is this the right moment to reboot the Aid, Trade and Private Sector agenda?

August 12, 2016
Oxfam’s private sector adviser Erinch Sahan thinks the times are ripe for a paradigm shift  In a former life (i.e. six years ago), I worked as a development adviser to Australia’s trade negotiators. Back then, we development types were suspicious and hostile – we feared that rich countries would divert aid to pursue a narrow interpretation of their national interests. Now,

Tackling Inequality is a game changer for business and private sector development (which is why most of them are ignoring it)

March 31, 2016
Oxfam’s private sector adviser Erinch Sahan is thinking through the implications of inequality for the businesses he interacts with Mention inequality to a business audience and one of two things happens. They recoil in discomfort, or reinterpret the term – as social sustainability or doing more business with people living in poverty. Same goes for the private sector development professionals

How businesses can save the world (when their shareholders aren’t breathing down their neck)

April 9, 2015
Erinch Sahan, an Oxfam ag and supply chain wonk who is currently leading its Food & Climate Policy and Campaigns, argues that the best way to understand a company’s approach to doing good is by asking who owns it. When it comes to the private sector, the biggest mistake the aid world makes is to see business as a homogeneous

Aid and the private sector: a love story

February 11, 2013
Oxfam private sector adviser Erinch Sahan (right) summarizes a critical new review of the growing interlinkages between aid and the private sector Donors have a new love: business. And it will end poverty. Aid chiefs across the world have concluded that if we need growth to end poverty and the private sector drives growth, isn’t aid most effective where it

Education wonkwar: the final salvo. Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on public v private (and the reader poll is still open)

August 10, 2012

Corporate responsibility: how can you tell substance from spin?

June 6, 2012

How can theories of change help in working with the private sector?

July 13, 2011

How do NGOs work with the private sector?

July 7, 2011