What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

she28: Sustainable Sanitary Products Empower Women in the Developing World

November 12, 2010, 3:43 PM
She28

Every year, millions of girls and women in the developing world miss up to 50 school and work because they are menstruating and lack access to the proper sanitary products, which puts them at a severe learning and earning disadvantage. Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) tackles the issue with an innovative market-based solution, countering the long-term inefficiency of the traditional aid model based on donations. They are developing a line of feminine hygiene products using sustainable raw materials like locally-sourced banana fiber and partnering with existing local women's networks for distribution.

Their she28 campaign aims to address the scarcity of affordable, eco-friendly, sanitary products and services for menstruation in the developing world by investing in woman-led and operated businesses in. Each microfinance loan to a female-run business creates roughly 100 jobs and gives 100,000 girls and women access to affordable sanitary pads. Just 12 such franchises could reach a million girls and women.

SHE is the brainchild of Elizabeth Scharpf, a Harvard Business School MBA and World Bank alum whose work on the initiative earned her the prestigious 2010 Curry Stone Design Prize recognizing uses of design that "[improve] people's lives and the state of the world."

You can support the initiative my making a one-time $28 donation or setting up a monthly giving amount – it's an investment of the most rewarding kind.

via Helen Walters

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

More from the Big Idea for Sunday, November 14 2010

 

she28: Sustainable Sanitary...

Newsletter: Share: