Moderator: —
Alex Counts, President & Chief Executive Officer, Grameen Foundation


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Background Papers

Innovation and new technologies can drive economic growth, but the capabilities and effects derived are not always available to those who would benefit most from them. Though developing countries are increasingly significant in international trade, the benefits have largely excluded the poorest people. For these economies to thrive, greater numbers of poor people must be included in both the formal economy and production value chain.

Representatives from non-governmental organizations and social enterprises will examine models for connecting the poor to innovation via the “digital highway”, leveraging 3G, mobile broadband and other technologies. They will discuss initiatives in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa that are increasing access to financial services and information that help the poor improve their livelihoods, in ways that better enable trade organizations to incorporate social enterprises and the poor directly as productive players. They will also explore how policy can make digitization affordable and locally relevant.


  • John Madison Ayer, Chief Executive Officer, Honey Care Africa
  • Lee Babcock, Managing Director, Mobile Strategy, ACDI/VOCA
  • Enrique Hennings, Global Producer Finance Manager, Fairtrade International