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Our Supplier in Bangladesh

They're called Sikraft and they specialise in software products which serve the healthcare market

I'm using the term supplier loosely because we've never had the opportunity to sell any of their products

The use of an overseas supplier would appear to contradict our stance on stimulating local economies but I make the following points:

Back in 1997, when students at UNC were on the warpath over Nike and Asian sweatshops, it was our founder Terry Hallman who wrote inviting CEO Phil Knight to show up on campus. He came within days, well aware of UNC's significance in sports.    In 2003, he fasted for the US government to ratify the Internatonal Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. His communications with Senator John Edwards would have influence in the creation of the Center on Poverty Work and Opportunity on the UNC campus,

We've also taken a stance as a supplier to the NHS, as a social enterprise operating in the supply chain. I wrote about this stance in our article for McKinsey last year, on re-imagining capitalism for people and planet:

"The P-CED model was adapted to an existing software development business in the UK and from 2004, began operating in the supply chain of several major corporations, government departments and NHS trusts. This is where we’ve always seen the role of social enterprise in healthcare, in providing a competitive commercial service which creates additional social value."

In many aspects of our work we seem to be on the same page as Muhammad Yunus, when it comes to the bottom line.

Consider the cost of developing patient record software for the NHS -  £12.7 billion to a major outsourcer who couldn't deliver.

In our 2004 business plan, which introduced the concept of business with a primary social objective to the UK we make a statement about adherence to human rights in supporting the local economy..

” Fifty percent of annual surplus will remain in each local community where income is derived, by way of deposit into a local community development bank serving that location. In that locales are part of EU and therefore subject to well-developed rule of law, corruption issues should not present insurmountable barriers such as in Crimea.

Fifty percent of surplus will be retained by P-CED for growth and expansion. Along the way, all employees of P-CED are to be paid at minimum a wage sufficient to guarantee a decent standard of living in accordance with the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The fundamental policy guide for P-CED is the International Bill of Human Rights. IBHR is comprised of Universal Declaration of Human Rights; International Covenant of Civil and Politial Rights, and International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. P-CED’s main focus falls within sphere the economic, social and cultural rights, ICESCR."

This is no CSR posturing as our efforts to tackle corruption within Ukraine's childcare system will testify  It will also demonstrate that NGOs and government would not stand with us, rather they would become part of the problem, as our founder observed:.

 "UNICEF was willfully blind to the matter because it was just too dangerous to bother to intercede  Powerful interests remained entrenched with enforcers to make it dangerous.  Jurists were correct, in my view.  It was more a mafia operation than anything else, aimed at misappropriation and laundering of large money.  That was perfectly congruent with how Ukraine operated before the revolution.  USAID wanted nothing to do with it, nor would they fund any organizations or activists who might try.  Some things could be done and some things could not be done.  Helping these children was something that could not be done.  So, I exposed it and made it the central focus and metric of Ukraine’s microeconomic development blueprint.  In that context, it was far more difficult to ignore, dismiss, or argue about.  For about six months, I really did not expect to survive."

He did not survive in the end, due to illness and the misfortune of being born in a country where healthcare is not a right as I relate in my comments about Norvartis and free market capitalism.

The article about his death from Ulraine's human rights activists would illustrate how USAID and the Council on Foreign Relations had simply dismissed the problems.

The greatest obstacle to supply chain responsibility is pure puffery. Take for example the CEO of Business in the Community who says 'Capitalism must be a force for good'   Though he may be talking our walk, on the BITC forum however, it's very much a case of not invented here. Allegedy they're also supporting social enterprise.

UK Business secretary and EU Trade Minister Lord Mandelson offers another example. He was going to 'help firms those who helped others', but when he and Blair showed up in Ukraine they were more help to the oligarchs who are the root cause of social problems.    

The list of those who become part of the problem is almost endless. 

To the Social Enterprise Coalition supported by government funds and our subscriptions, our work was beyond their focus, but that isn't stopping them from now being experts in the field. 

"We are the only UK and international body to independently prove that a business is putting people and planet alongside profit" says the MD of the Social Enterprise Mark

There's been some criticism of late about the controlling nature of TED talks, It was something I'd experience in an attempt to communicate on the Facebook page of TedX Cheltenham,

Saturday 20 October 2012 - TEDxCheltenham will be here! THEME: "Cleverly Connected" - sharing ideas on how we humans connect, communicate and manage our relationships with others, with ourselves, and with the world around us

This rebuke came from Adrian Malpass who practises 'Professional Emotionally Intelligent Business Development'  

"Unfortunately, we have had to delete your comments due to the blatant attempt at advertising on your behalf which is not only disallowed by TED but is also extremely bad practice."

Oddly, my contributions on the TED site have found no such restrictions

Consider the irony of what I'd written, from am article by my deceased colleague, who said - We are all in this together.:

'I wasn't there but as a local advocacy for post growth economics, I thought this might be of some interest in the context of the event "So it is safe to say that all these players in the Information Revolution — the enterprises that created it — have engendered almost immeasurable social benefit by way of connecting people of the world together and giving us opportunity to communicate with each other, begin to understand each other, and if we want, try to help each other." '

It's the same old story, you're always treading on the toes of those whose reputation trumps the lives of others.    .