Saturday, June 17, 2017

Response to @JeffBezos request for ideas

Here was a recent tweet from Jeff Bezos, founder of

My response follows

Mr Bezos,

I commend you for the attempt to crowdsource ideas for philanthropy.  I will focus my response on a one word suggestion:


As an Indian-American who spent much of his formative years in India, I had the opportunity to experience and observe the impact of burgeoning human population on our environment. During the past decade, I had the good fortune of living and working in a dozen countries across three continents and continue to reflect on the issues surrounding the population growth

Address a growing Population: Why this issue?

With over 7.2 billion people inhabiting this planet, and over 2.5 billion concentrated in Asia, there is a tremendous pressure on mother earth.

Let us set aside academic research and empirical studies for a minute. Just land at any airport in South-east Asia and take a ride into the city and you will see teeming masses of people.

There are several solutions to address the problem, but each requires tremendous resources (which your Philanthropy can help with) and a strong collaboration between Business, Governments, and Societies.

Why right-now?

You state that for philanthropy, you are drawn to “the other end of the spectrum: the right now.” The problem of over-population and population growth can be solved ‘right now.’ Just a couple of examples to illustrate the point:
  • The mother of four or five girls being forced to ‘try’ again for a boy will be highly thankful if her in-laws and husband are educated on the potential of a girl-child.
  • Any attempt to slowing the growth of population will be visible in the short-term and benefit societies in the long term. For example, the Chinese government was able to demonstrate it with the ‘one child’ policy in a generation.

Bottomline: Philanthropy, should follow the old adage “Give a man a fish….”

Image result for give a man a fish chinese proverb

Addressing the issues surrounding a growing population will help us ‘teach humans to fish…. and feed generations to come’ 

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