Modesto R. N.

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What could be the most appropriate cause for non-profit organisations to invest in for a better future of humanity?

There are certainly a lot of good causes that deserve support by non-profit/charity organisations.

However, if we try to set emotion aside and focus on rationality, what do you believe would be the best investment of such organisations considering:

1. cause rather than symptom solutions (if it is about fixing a problem),
2. long-term rather than immediate and visible but not lasting results,
3. better future for humanity as a whole rather than a particular group of people?

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    Sep 27 2011: Reliable water supplies. Not being dependent on bottled water being transported to you.

    Usable education. The practical side of education, as opposed to the theoretical side. Understanding the forces behind building a house, or the pressures that a pressurized pipe is exposed to. Far more useful then understanding the english grammar, or the theory of relativity. Education that leads to production, as opposed to education that leads to further education.
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      Sep 28 2011: Yes, Mike. Water is very important. Major American companies have been for the last 5 years strategizing about water and water resources because they expect it to be a world wide crisis in a decade.
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    Sep 28 2011: I agree with education and the timing is great as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is putting billions into the effort. Any additional effort might be the tipping point that is needed.

    Disclosure: I have 2 kids so I am biased.
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      Sep 28 2011: Michael, I love your disclosure. I think it would drive a lot of our conversations forward if we all had the integrity to declare our biases or leanings. By doing so we would all be forced to acknowledge (even if just to ourselves) that our opinions are influenced by the circumstances of our lives.

      Thanks for making me think!
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        Sep 28 2011: Your welcome. Two things we need right now... brutal honesty and humility.
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      Sep 28 2011: Indeed Bill Gates is very much involved into philanthropy.

      Another example is Warren Buffett. Apart from his philanthropic views and actions, Buffett is also to be praised for his encouragement for imposing higher taxes for millionaires (being one of the wealthiest himself), the so called 'Buffett rule', recently proposed by Obama.

      It is great that the two richest Americans care so much about society.
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      Sep 28 2011: I completely agree with your views. I am also happy that all responses to my question so far point to education/knowledge.

      Thank you for the link. I hope the website grows further. Websites like this one and wikileaks-alike certainly bring us closer to the awareness that you talk about and provide the indispensable for that purpose transparency.
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    Sep 27 2011: Education and mentorship.
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    Sep 27 2011: What I can think of is education and microcredits. And more of it and more.
  • Sep 29 2011: I agree with Mike in that water is one of the most useful things a non-profit organization can do for undeveloped countries. If a country does not have reliable access to water that is required to survive, any advancement in government or technology is impossible.I belive that education is critical as well, however, the citizens must be willing to accept this education. If it is forced then it is meaningless.

    As for the Bill Gates plan; it is horrible. In high school, children are instructed the most utterly useless idea's because of a possiblilty of the school receiving a grant from Gates. In English 1, for example, the Bill Gates plan of education teaches students film techniques and culture; not a lick of verb usage or phrases that are critical for college level english.
    This beings me to my final point: the education that is given should be PRACTICAL. Teach the starving people in Africa how to commercially grow oranges that can be used for trade and food (an effort that has actually had much success in the last decade), teach college bound English students English, not culture.
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      Oct 1 2011: I agree with your point that education in underdeveloped countries need to focus on practicality and need to be diverged from developed countries which do not emphasise mainly on the primary sector but on manufacturing and services.
      On the other hand, I do think that education in every part of the world need to emphasise on culture as well because solely when people understand their culture they might be able to change it themselves and make it more equal (for example increasing the education of women and therefore increasing its development).
      The importance of culture even increases in a globalised world because in my view we need to balance (and maintaining this balance) between multiculturalism and participating in our simliliar views of our global village.