Emerging markets today represent the frontier of social change; they are hubs for social innovation because they make it easier for innovators to see the tangible difference their work makes. And yet, most of the best educational institutions are in highly developed societies.
We flip that dynamic by intentionally locating ourselves where the world is changing most rapidly. And with several recent innovations (mobile money, crisis mapping, conditional cash transfers, frugal innovation models) all originating in emerging markets, this is where you can see the future.
For too long in the social sector, ideas have flowed from advanced economies to the rest of the world. And yet, there is probably more that emerging economies can learn from each other than they can learn from richer countries. We strongly believe in the importance of collaboration across the developing world.
A follow-on advantage is that locating in emerging markets enables us to have lower operating costs and thus make our programs cost-effective and accessible to changemakers who would never be able to afford the high costs of studying and living in advanced economies. While remaining a world-class global institution.
Cities like Bengaluru, Nairobi and Sao Paulo are global hubs for social innovation that offer not only solid insights into the complexities and possibilities of emerging markets but also countless opportunities to learn from and get inspired by local innovations, while simultaneously building a strong global network and understanding how to work effectively with people from many different cultures.
The future of work is boundaryless, and these hubs are where you build the mindset for global citizenship.