The initiative is designed to integrate education,understanding of economic strategy, and leadership development for the indigenous people into the commercial development of the natural assets of their region, thus combining social and financial capital development in a single, threaded process. The goal is to create a sustainable, inclusive market economy in which the indigenous people are stakeholders and beneficiaries, along with outside investors and business partners.
“All too often, the economic development of regions rich in natural assets, but with an impoverished local population, has left the local people in poverty and their lands degraded after development. We intend to build a robust, regenerative economy that sustains the well-being of both the people and the environment. We believe this project can demonstrate a new model of sustainable, shared value development at scale,” notes Dr. Scott T.Massey, Chairman and CEO, Global Action Platform.
The two Rotary clubs, in their cooperation with Global Action Platform and a coalition of universities, NGOs, and agencies, are developing four integrated educational modules for the project. The four modules include teaching basic business principles and how to create land utilization plans for the region to help the indigenous people participate in strategy, as well as workforce. Second, the project provides training in basic workforce skills for an initial agri-business cluster dealing with timber, fiber, sugar, and coconut. Third, the initiative includes creation of a new K-12 curriculum that integrates the culture, language, and traditions of the indigenous people into contemporary knowledge and skills development to prepare the rising generations in the region for future work and fulfilling lives. Fourth, in collaboration with Clayton Christensen and Efosa Ojomo at the Christensen Institute, Harvard Business School, the program will create a new workshop for civic leadership designed to help tribal leaders understand the challenges, as well as the benefits of development. The leadership workshop will be based on Christensen and Ojomo’s recent book The Prosperity Paradox. Moving a society from poverty, dependence,and non-consumption into prosperity, self-determination, and consumption is complex. Preserving and enriching personal and community ethical norms through such a transition is key to success and responsibility for that transition requires leadership. The leadership workshop will seek to address these needs.
“Our two Rotary clubs were eager to write a Rotary Global Grant when we became aware of the needs of the indigenous people. This Rotary Global Grant fits our area of focus called Economic and Community Development as well as touching on our Basic Education and Literacy area of focus. Funding this project fits two of Rotary’s strategic initiatives which are to Expand our Reach and to Increase our Impact.We want to provide grants that partner with other organizations and will change economies and this is one that over time will do just that. With the financial help of seventeen Rotary districts and four Rotary clubs plus The Rotary Foundation matching these contributions from the World Fund, this grant was funded. We as Rotary clubs are excited to see this major innovation in development start with our help and participation, and we look forward to sharing this model with others in similar need in nations and regions around the world where Rotary works,” says Rita Esterly, The Rotary Club of Jefferson City’s Global Grants Chair.