Trends

The challenge of international development requires a medley of ideas. At the Multilateral Investment Fund, we work in an array of topics that are at the forefront of efforts to spur the economic development of the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each week, this blog "Trends" brings you our latest research and thinking. 

Our complete list of blogs can be found here.

Is social capital the secret ingredient for entrepreneurial success?

By Dora Moscoso

Much has been said and written about the spectacular leap in innovation by Chile, Israel, Rwanda, and South Korea. These four very different countries have managed to harness innovation to transform their economies and achieve job creation, increased long-term productivity, and economic growth.

Add this ingredient to your social business: a low profit margin

By Fermín Vivanco

When you are tasting a dish for the first time, it’s a plus to discover new and varied ingredients that go well together. This diversity is found in the rich food of Oaxaca, in the south of Mexico, including “hoja santa” (a local green leaf), “pasilla chili,” chocolate, and chapulines (small grasshoppers). However, it is not easy to find one single ingredient that defines this cuisine.

Is global climate change good for business?

By Steve Wilson

In addition to increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, global climate change represents a complex exercise for the great majority of businesses, which must frame the meaning, the costs, and the business and investment opportunities associated with this ongoing phenomenon.

Multi-stakeholder alliances: learning to see the world through the eyes of the others

By Francisco Larra Bujalance

Six blind Hindustani men set out to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the animal’s body. The first man approached the elephant, and happening to fall against his broad side, at once called out, "The elephant is very much like a wall!" The second, feeling the tusk, cried, "What we have here is so very round and smooth and sharp that it is mighty clear the elephant is very like a spear!" The third happened to take the squirming trunk within his hands and said, "My God, the elephant is very much like a snake!" The fourth reached out an eager hand and felt the animal’s knee. He said, “It’s clear enough the elephant is very like a tree!" The fifth, who happened to touch the ear, said, "Even the blindest man can tell the fact that an elephant is very much like a fan!" The sixth seized on the swinging tail. "I see," he said, "the elephant is very much like a rope!" And so, these Hindustani men disputed loud and long, though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong. (This parable is attributed to Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and teacher of Sufism.)

Getting Smart at the Sandpit

By Brigit Helms

By Brigit Helms and Maggie Dugan

The large Mexican city of Guadalajara is a thriving commercial center and home to 1.5 million people. But nearly 24,000 homes in Guadalajara have only a dirt floor and lack access to indoor plumbing and sanitation services. To tackle the challenge of people living without access to basic services in a large metropolitan area, 25 experts from different professions assembled a few months ago for a 5-day immersive workshop called a “Sandpit,” held in the community center in Guadalajara’s neighborhood of Zapopan.

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