Millennium Development Goals: How Can Creative Capitalism Provide Solutions?

Millennium Development Goals: How Can Creative Capitalism Provide Solutions?

P. Raj Devasagayam (Siena College, USA), Nicholas R. Stark (Siena College, USA) and Nitin David (Synergy (NGO), India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4430-4.ch003
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Abstract

This chapter introduces the business audience to Millennium Development Goals (MDG) proposed by the United Nations in 2000 that were accepted as policy markers by nations on all continents. Current status of achievements in the MDG is summarized to draw attention to the current needs in each of the eight MDGs. Further, the theory of creative capitalism is used to draw connections between MDG and business strategies. It is suggested that businesses are in a unique position to help achieve the MDG while strengthening their market base and behaving in a socially responsible and responsive manner. The research concludes by providing a possible roadmap for achieving the MDG by the target year 2015 based on a mutually beneficial alliance between the corporate sector and the state. The study will be of interest to scholars, educators, public policy makers, and business professionals.
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Introduction

Eradicating extreme poverty continues to be one of the main challenges of our time, and is a major concern of the international community. Ending this scourge will require the combined efforts of all governments, civil society organizations and the private sector, in the context of a stronger and more effective global partnership for development. United Nations General Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

More than 30 years ago, Paul Allen and I started Microsoft because we wanted to be part of a movement to put a computer on every desk and in every home. Ten years ago, Melinda and I started our foundation because we want to be a part of a different movement – this time, to help create a world where no one has to live on a dollar a day or die from a disease we know how to prevent. Creative capitalism can help make it happen. I hope more people will join the cause. Bill Gates (Time, Aug. 11, 2008)

But I firmly believe that progress changes consciousness, and when you change people's consciousness, then their awareness of what is possible changes as well--a virtuous circle. Bill Clinton (Time, Oct. 1, 2012)

On September 25, 2008 at the invitation of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, leaders from across the globe convened in New York to reaffirm their commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. The Millennium Development Goals [MDG] are ambitious and far reaching and have garnered the support of sovereign nations, private sectors, and philanthropists alike. The eight major MDG are: eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowerment of women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/Aids Malaria and other such diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, developing global connections and partnerships for development (United Nations, 2012).

In a Time magazine article in October of 2012, Mr. Bill Clinton made a case supporting the causes of the MDG, stating that there are three main challenges in our world today. These include inequality, instability, and unsustainability. Every year, Mr. Clinton brings global leaders together for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to discuss and strive to make progress in decreasing poverty and all around bettering our world. Recently, five areas have been recognized as having significantly improved in recent years. These areas include technology, health, economy, equality, and justice. The culmination of Clinton’s determination and initiative are the types of characteristics that must embody today’s business leaders in order to achieve the UN’s MDG by 2015.

The objective of this paper is to assess the current status of MDG, examine the role and responsibilities of businesses in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and to provide a scholarly agenda for future research in the area. It is our goal to build upon extant knowledge and conceptually provide a roadmap for empirical investigation in years to come. It is of grave importance that businesses begin to follow the lead of the companies highlighted in this paper in order to achieve the MDG by 2015. The findings of this study will be of interest to scholars, educators, public policy makers and business professionals.

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Background And Current Status

Building on the universal declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the MDG provide a forward momentum to the global agenda of human development across the globe. In the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the eighth plenary meeting on September 8, 2000, proposed and accepted was the United Nation’s Millennium Declaration, setting the Millennium Development Goals in motion. The MDG were to be achieved over a 15 year period and periodically reviewed for progress (United Nations, 2012).

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