What is a government's role in alleviating poverty?

Muhammad Yunus: Government can play a very important role. Government is what gives you the structure of the economy. Government gives the policies. Government gives the institutional framework. So in that way government plays an important role. In foreign aid, if you are a foreign aid giver, if you are a donor country, then you decide how you use your foreign aid money. You previously did something in infrastructure, in helping people in different ways. Now that another option came in a social business, you may prefer to give your foreign aid as a social business. Because here you know exactly what’s happening. You can avoid the corruption. Because it’s a business it has to have all the . . . You track your money all around, and you can bring your business skills and solving the problem . . . and helping solve the problem in the recipient country. And you encourage local talents to go into social businesses and creating institutions. It’s not just one shot money we gave. We spend the money, we build the roads, and we don’t have any other news about it. Bridge building is not an institution. It doesn’t have its own life. But now we build something as an institution when we go as a social business. So this will be one option to them to come forward – a very strong option. And if you’re a recipient country, you would also like to see more things growing out of economy. And social business will be one institution building that you would like to build up with assistance from foreign aid. Because you would like to see that these are the things which will have lasting impact in your economy; and you would like to address the most difficult problem in your country – how to design that social business. You will seek help from donor countries and countries around to . . . in designing, because designing will be the most critical part of the whole thing. So if they can help you in designing those things and you can implement it, you’ll be much, much benefitted from that. Once you are successful in a particular design, other countries will imitate you. Other countries will borrow from you. “Yes this is a great idea. I would like to do that.”


Recorded on: 1/23/08




Government can create economic structure, policies, and an institutional framework.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

If you want to spot a narcissist, look at the eyebrows

Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.

Big Think illustration / Actor Peter Gallagher attends the 24th and final 'A Night at Sardi's' to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
  • Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
  • Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
  • The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less