On Friday October 15th, 2021 at 12:15 pm, the Center for International Development continued its Speaker Series with Andrew Stern, Founder and CEO of Global Development Incubator (GDI), who discussed creating impact at a global scale for development. This event was moderated by Brian Trelstad, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

In conversation with Brian, Andrew answered questions about his journey leading up to the founding of GDI, the challenges organizations face in trying to create scalable impact, and on-the-ground strategies at specific GDI initiatives addressing these challenges. An overarching challenge Andrew outlined is the need for businesses to change how to they measure organizational success; social enterprises need to be more concerned with their scale of impact rather than the scale and size of their organization. At the core of GDI’s philosophy is thinking extra-organizationally and across system actors in order to solve problems at scale. This would entail bringing together a variety of partners from the public, private, and philanthropic fields, as well as looking for potential financing from a variety of sources.

GDI has designed and launched numerous groundbreaking efforts. They built the first investor platform for blended finance, Convergence, where market rate capital can coexist with development finance capital and philanthropy, and deals can be syndicated between social entrepreneurs and government actors. They have prioritized the issue of global mental health through the incubation of citiesRISE. They have guided the startup strategy and operations of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. GDI has also expanded financing for the world’s half billion smallholder farmers with ISF Advisors and Aceli Africa, which utilizes smart subsidy models that take market forces into consideration for micro financing initiatives.

The Center for International Development Speaker Series continues on October 29th, 2021 at 12:00 pm with Latanya Mapp Frett, President, Global Fund for Women, who will discuss Why Feminist Funding is Crucial for Development. This event is Co-sponsored by the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School. Register here.


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