How to eradicate poverty and save the world: the secret is in an article from Fast Company.com, called “Don’t Solve Problems, Copy Success.” Talks about how in a seemingly no-win poverty-stricken area in Vietnam, a community solved the malnutrition problem not by bringing in new equipment or sacks of grain, but simply by observing what was working, however slight, and duplicating those efforts and behaviors.
“When Jerry Sternin arrived in Vietnam, the welcome was rather chilly,” begins the story. Sternin had traveled there with his wife and 10-year-old son. None of them spoke the language. They had minimal staff and meager resources and ten thousand starving children.
“If addressing malnutrition required ending poverty and purifying water and building sanitation systems, then it would never happen,” said Sternin.
Yet they succeeded. How?
“Find a bright spot and clone it,” say the authors, Dan and Chip Heath.
“That’s the first step to fixing everything from addiction to corporate malaise to malnutrition. A problem may look hopelessly complex. But there’s a game plan that can yield movement on even the toughest issues. And it starts with locating a bright spot — a ray of hope,” says the article.
Ignoring the experts, Sternin traveled to a local village and called together all the village’s mothers. He asked for their assistance in finding ways to nourish their kids better, and they agreed to help.
Together, they found the fattest, healthiest kids and analyzed what their parents were doing to get them that way. Then, they simply taught those habits to parents who were not doing them. The results were astounding.
Read the full, wonderful, fast-sticky read here. It applies to solving any problem at all. If it inspires hope in you, clone it and pass it around!