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Opening this economic development keynote Ryan Groves says that “man’s greatest power lies in his potential for ideas, that unique ability to dream up something and create it.” In order to help solve world poverty, Groves encourages people to inspire this creative potential in the developing world.
While the goodwill behind donating to charities is well intended, one person’s solution will not solve someone else’s problems and may in fact be irresponsible and hurtful despite the intended benefits. For example, donating shoes is detrimental for a country’s efforts to create its own textile industry, a major stepping stone towards economic development.
Good intentions create cycles of dependency. Change needs to happen on the level of the individual so that they can go on to impact organizations and eventually systems. Ryan Groves ends his speech by saying, “we need to stop pouring money into problems and start investing in people.”