Iqbal Quadir, “Technology Empowers the Poorest”

Posted on Friday, May 23rd, 02008 by Kevin Kelly
link Categories: Seminars   chat 0 Comments

Iqbal Quadir

Making money WITH the poor

When Iqbal Quadir applied to US colleges from his home town in Bangladesh he was surprised to discover that not all American universities were found in Washington, DC. That’s how it was in Bangladesh, where everything of importance was centralized in the capital city, Dacca. He later realized that Bangladesh was not unique; in most developing countries, the infrastructure is concentrated in one or two cities, leaving the rural areas almost blank. As he acquired degrees and experience in finance, he realized that this centralization is not only a mark of poorer countries, it is probably a cause of their poverty…

Read the rest of Kevin Kelly’s Summary

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  • Poverty is an absence of attention. The value of profit was attached to products of an industrial revolution. Pay attention to an emerging value of service when The Information Age allows conceptual trading in ideas that inspire connection. There is a recognition awakening an agreement potential for a trusting feeling of conflict resolution. Appreciation is a maintained interest.

  • mudrock

    KK that is a very inspired bit of writing.

    I will be listening to the presentation soon. I’ll be thinking about how these ideas might apply to Iraq and Afghanistan, and how Quadir sees the rule of law in relation to empowerment via connectivity. Somalia comes to mind.

  • Sheridan

    Recently I spent some time in a very poor town in the interior of Bahia Brazil. I spent some time talking to a very nice group of women teachers in portuguese. Most of the Brazilians I met had mobile phones and some were able to access the internet with ease at cheap internet cafes, however the poverty of small dwelling with poor roads persists with land-fill rubbish piled at the side of dirt track rutted roads which had no tar surface etc. My thought was that the rubbish would be better placed in the ruts as the result of social co-operation. In conclusion this is a society which is developing fast with access to technology but wages are low and many are unemployed within the interior which is agricultural in its economic base. If I had a solution I would go back and spread the word and they would be desperate to know it. One local polititician has three paintings on her wall Che Guevara, Lenin, and Ghandi – only one of these leaders seemed any good to me but they seemed champions of the poor even if their ideas led to greater suffering for many under totalitarianism. If any one can advise I would very much like to know

  • Kevin,

    What a marvelous write up in your usual ultra-clear style. Thanks. I’ll be passing this on to several others. Just finished reading Out of Poverty by Paul Polak, which reinforces Quadir’s messages.

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  • Dear Dr. Quadir,

    I was extremely pleased, even thrilled, to read your editorial in the Wall Street Journal this morning. It contains such wisdom, and I am glad it will be widely read.

    I have written a book that concentrates on the Islamic economies in the Middle East and North Africa in relation to their forms of government. I would be glad to send you a copy, if I knew just where to send it.

    Sincerely, Carol Fuller

  • Your editorial in the Wall Street Journal of Jan 30 “Foreign Aid and Bad Government” shown marvelous insight. This has been lacking in American foreign policy for years.

    I am glad you included the connection between wealth creation and government, seomthing seldom given attention. In my book The Muslim Economic Trap I emphasize this connection.

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