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Collective Intelligence

The Big Idea for Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In 1999 John Wood had reached the height of his career at Microsoft when he abruptly quit to start the charity Room to Read. Wood did well for himself at Microsoft, but he did not exactly have the resources that Andrew Carnegie was able leverage a century ago.

However, in today's lesson, Wood describes how he was able to build a scalable model that pairs "mini-Carnegies" with the efforts of local communities. Parents in remote villages don't just accept handouts. They realize that education is a ticket out of poverty for their children, so they have real motivation to build sweat equity, and definitely have skin in the game. 

The result has been that Room to Read is able to grow like a Starbucks or a McDonald's, as it builds schools and libraries to tackle the problem of global literacy. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 John Wood's Battle for Global Literacy
    Daniel Honan Collective Intelligence
  2. 2 Why Women’s Education Has “Enormous Multiplier Effects”
    Saadia Zahidi
  3. 3 Can Children Teach Themselves to Read?
    Cynthia Breazeal
  4. 4 David Rubenstein: Is philanthropy efficient?
    David Rubenstein
 

Collective Intelligence

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