Acumen--Designing Better Solutions For Bottom of The Pyramid Problems of Poverty.

Bruce Nussbaum

Next week, Acumen Fund one of the most innovative philanthropies I know, will celebrate its fifth anniversay and the Innovation & Design channel has a rather remarkable story on it. It illustrates how design thinking is being used beyond the business space to solve important problems in education, transportation, the legal system--and most importantly in ending poverty.

Let me quote just a bit from the story written so beautifully by Jessi Hempel-- "Acumen is a leader in the fast-emerging hybrid sector that straddles private industry and nonprofits. Technically a nonprofit, it invests in enterprises in developing countries with the strategy and discipline of a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm."

Another quote-- "Acumen's founder is Jacqueline Novogratz, a former banker with an infectious magnetism and a melodic voice that delivers a constant call to action. Under her leadership, the fund manages $20 million in investments that fall within three portfolios: health, water, and housing. But Acumen's goal is far larger than successful companies. Says Novogratz: "We're creating an overall design for how you provide goods and services to poor people."

Acumen is part of a larger conversation that includes TED,, IDEO, IN and other organizations designing a better way, a better future. Pay attention to it. Better yet, get involved.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.