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Impact Economics in Your Community

"Poverty is an economic model, and until we treat it as such we will never solve it. It is time to stop doing the same things, and hoping for different outcomes"

 "To date, most initiatives have been driven by philanthropy or government programs, hence we have been fighting economics with charity"

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We believed this applied to our modern-day efforts to eradicate poverty. Below is an experiment you can do in your own community. 


In an effort to investigate this hypothesis, we undertook the following project while working within marginalized communities in numerous global ecosystems. 


We created focus groups from different age demographics within disenfranchised communities. 


  • In room A, we had 20 elderly community members (at least 75 years of age)

  • In room B, we had 20 youth community members (in their 20s)

  • We asked both participant groups the same questions, related to the "choke points" preventing empowerment and progress

  • The elderly community members were also asked to think back 60 years and provide appropriate answers for that time


Once complete, all participants were invited into the same room where they joined their community's religious, philanthropic, and government leaders to see and discuss the results.

Note: For transparency, be prepared for some heated discourse when the results are shared.

Results & Observations

 We have designed initiatives for every stakeholder and community segment that are:

  • Myopically focused on the cause, not the effects

  • Win/win - i.e. when a single segment "wins" all win

  • 100% inclusive i.e. bottom-up, middle-out, and top-down

  • Focused on the core of the circle which promotes economic, social, racial, and environmental balance

  • Dedicated to the attainment of the SDGs. 

  • Are "In Place"

  • Focused on empowerment and not an entitlement 

In virtually every instance, the answers to each set of questions were almost identical, confirming that over the past 60 years, nearly nothing has changed. Some argued (and with good reason) that things had become worse. 

Through deeper research we discovered that:


  • Poverty is driven by economics.

  • The vast majority of poverty eradication initiatives focus on the effects of low economic vibrancy e.g. hunger and a lack of access to fresh, healthy food; homelessness and inadequate housing; sub-par education and healthcare; violence and inter-community crime; high rates of unemployment; and inadequate transportation, to name a few. However, this has been like trying to cure the symptoms, while paying no attention to the disease.

  • Most initiatives are designed to be win/lose i.e. if one community segment "wins" one or more others "lose". This creates polarization and ultimate failure.  

  • There are clear CHOKE POINTS that prevent top-down capital from supporting bottom-up innovations. Many of them hide in plain sight.

  • Many initiatives are designed to continue Entitlement as opposed to transforming to Empowerment

  • Numerous initiatives are not "In Place" i.e. they try to help from afar

  • We cannot achieve the SDG benchmarks unless we eradicate poverty

  • Poverty is a business model, and hence it is driven by economics. To date, most initiatives have been driven by philanthropy or government programs, hence we have been fighting economics with charity. That is not going to work, hence the current results. 

Poverty is an Economic Model
our Solution is
Impact Economics
Normally we're all for the "You can't solve a problem with the same thinking that created it" logic, but in this case, we disagree. Business makes the world go around, so what happens when we think of poverty as an economic model?