In an opinion article in The Guardian newspaper, in London, Tristram Hunt, a history professor, writes that Google.org, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other groups that mix philanthropy and business practices will not solve health inequities and global poverty.
Such donors have “little engagement with the kind of structural injustices — racial, economic, social — or broader environmental, demographic or strategic challenges that require political advocacy. Having made their riches from the existing free-market model, venture philanthropists see little need to confront its problematic aspects,” he writes.
In a letter to the editor, Kurt Hoffman, director of the Shell Foundation, disagrees because “Many of these new actors have been motivated precisely because governments and charities have failed for decades to deliver, particularly in the developing world, where the delivery of aid has an atrocious record. Do we want to continue with the status quo or apply some fresh, inherently efficient and potentially very effective thinking to find new solutions to old problems?” he asks.
What do you think?
— Ian Wilhelm