Monday, November 27, 2006

India's Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Big social entrepreneurship event here in New Delhi! At the India Economic Summit, Vikram Akula of SKS, the microfinance institution, won the award today. Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was on hand for the presentation, and I understand that's unusual honor. There's great buzz around here about it.

Of course, I'm meeting new folks as well as old friends. Bunker Roy and Joe Madiath are my Indian social entrepreneur friends, and I also was able to visit with Kristine Pearson of the Freeplay Foundation. Jesse Fahnestock, who worked on and ran it for a while before going to Europe for grad school (Skoll Scholar MBA at Oxford), is working for the WEF on their risk program.

One of the more interesting sessions was the discussion of the main risks India is facing. The top six they identified were Water, global warming, globalization backlash, TB/HIV, oil peak prices and India's demographic challenge (one of the youngest populations in the world). It was interesting seeing people grappling with problems that are both the same as in the U.S. and very different.

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