Governments at the United Nations are in full swing designing the next blueprint for global development, the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The entire process is important, to be sure, but one particularly notable aspect is that governments are asking corporations to show how they can help make poverty history, while also making money. This represents a big shift since 2000, when the U.N. adopted the original MDGs. That time around, the role of corporations was largely confined to “corporate social responsibility” and “philanthropy.”
What is driving this important change? First and foremost, governments have recognized that their ability to help the world’s poor, hungry, and sick is quickly diminishing. At the same time, businesses are playing an increasing role in lifting people out of poverty.
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