We are thrilled to have Curtis S. Chin as our guest for episode 2 of the GoImpact Chats podcast. He is a Milken Institute Asia Fellow and former U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank with an impressive career spanning private, not-for-profit and public sectors.
In this podcast, he shared his insights on how to bring positive change to developing countries in Asia and what to expect of it.
Common Barriers For Developing Nations
Having market and capital access seem to be a recurring challenge for developing markets and hinders their development. Market access refers to the right channels and the ability to evaluate and utilize the correct platforms and having the knowledge to execute projects, whereas capital access refers to the ability to raise funds or acquire financial support from the right institutions.
It is not only about giving access to capital, but also about being financially literate. Individuals with ideas for change or startups need to know the ways to find funding, evaluate risks, and have the tools to utilize the capital such as crowdfunding platforms.
Closing The Equality Gap Through Infrastructure Projects
In his experience, Curtis has learned that to implement change that tackles poverty and socio-economic issues, one needs to focus on infrastructure development.
He says in our interview, “There is this Chinese saying, if you want to get rich, you better build a road.”
The biggest challenge lies in addressing the question of “how to target and finance infrastructure projects to close the equality gap.” Curtis suggests that by giving people access to transport, water, and electricity, those exposed to societal struggles are better equipped to break out of the poverty cycle.
Curtis visited a home made of wood in Bhutan. The family talks about how a single light bulb and some electrical power changed the daughter’s life. She can now study in the evening, no longer relying on natural light. Electricity addresses the divide between the rich and the poor. It enables the family to get educated, ease house chores duties to focus on developing their human capital.
The Power of Social Media
Social media is a great equalizer in giving voice to those who would otherwise not be heard. Companies now have to look closer into user experience and customer satisfaction as social media has granted much more power to customers in driving the development of products.
Nowadays more and more of us demand an excellent customer experience and more importantly having an impact element, demanding corporates to be held accountable and be ESG compliant. Curtis knows this from personal experience, through his various social media channels, he aims to inspire others to do things differently and correctly.
However, not everyone uses social media for good. The recent US election is an example where there are maleficent uses of social media. There has to be a greater responsibility on the social media companies’ part, to promote the right content, and to also manage the negative sides of social media such as fake news or malicious activities. Despite the negatives, we must utilize these platforms to address inequality on social media and amplify the voice of those in need.
To know more about the portfolio life journey of Curtis, his insights and real-life examples, tune into our full episode. More industry leaders in Capital For Good and Tech For Good are coming. Stay tuned!