Category Archives: economics

Lughenjo: crowdsourcing by The Economist Group

Interesting way to one-up competing info and consultancy groups:

So how does it work?

In a nutshell, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), charities and other organisations – as well as entrepreneurs active in developing countries – will be able to post tasks on Lughenjo asking for help in solving problems. Qualified individuals can then provide such help by donating their knowledge and skills. By connecting these two groups Lughenjo will create a marketplace for good and a new channel for skills and knowledge transfer.So what difference can it make? We can’t help but think that if we allow The Economist Group’s community to give their time and expertise online – quickly and easily – then something great will happen. Initially we’ll start small. Lughenjo users will be able to answer questions that are posed by accredited international development organisations. Think Yahoo! Answers for good.

The key will be what happens later, when tasks become more complex. Imagine a CEO examining a business plan for a developing world social enterprise. Or when one of the 450 000 finance and accounting professionals of CFO and can look over the books of an NGO in Nairobi. The possibilities are endless. What’s more, by allowing skilled, smart, professionals to help development organisations, they will help solve development problems with market-based solutions.

But what’s the business model? Lughenjo will be a social business enterprise. A business that does good, and returns a profit. To do this we’ll do what media companies do best and put ads in front of eyeballs.

Read more about Lughenjo by Project Red Stripe.


TED – videos of ideas and lectures online

TED (Technology.Entertainment.Design), a well-known ideas conference, has made videos of its 2007 talks available online and downloadable into your media device of choice. Sponsored by BMW, high profile and polished, which somehow makes me wonder how much of the content is hollow posturing and how much is actually worth listening to. Wish I had time to find out.


Kotkin: The Myth of Superstar Cities

In an opinion piece for the WSJ, Joel Kotkin argues that famous, well-known urban centers like New York and San Francisco will probably not continue to see high growth and dynamism.

This is because middle-class families have been pushed out of these cities by soaring real-estate costs driven up by rich people there. And as the middle-class goes, jobs follow.

Over the past 15 years, it has been opportunistic newcomers — Houston, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Riverside — that have created the most new jobs and gained the most net domestic migration. In contrast there has been virtually negligible long-term net growth in jobs or positive domestic migration to places like New York, Los Angeles, Boston or the San Francisco Bay Area.

So these are the urban centres to watch out for, but Kotkin doesn’t rule out the possibility that some “elite cities” might still have enough social and economic diversity to maintain their dynamism.

The WSJ doesn’t keep its pages up for long but the full commentary is on Kotkin’s website: – The Myth of Superstar Cities

Richard “Creative Class” Florida has a response, but it’s hardly dignified.

They’ve crossed swords before. Kotkin’s earlier article for Prospect basically suggests that Florida’s conclusions are based on obsolete phenomena. – Uncool Cities