Critics of government spending claim that building quality infrastructure for the social good is not affordable. Focus on utility and low cost, they say. No need for grand stone building with imposing facades. Their concerns touch on two core marketing topics, design and pricing.
Continue reading Building Quality Infrastructure for the Social Good
“That’s the way we’ve always done it.” More stifling, even deadly, words are hard to find. Changing the way we look after the social good can be hard. It pays to start small. You may not sway an entire country, but you can impact your community. It often starts when you change local regulations.
Continue reading Want to Change the World? Use Marketing to Change Local Regulations
In their recent report card, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave US infrastructure a grade of D+. ASCE also said bad infrastructure costs U.S. households $9 per day in higher prices, poor service, repairs, and wasted time. For just $3 per day, they say we could fix the problem. Those numbers sound small, but they add up. Multiple that household-per-day number by 125 million households and 365 days a year, and you get an annual infrastructure bill of $137 billion. Paying for infrastructure is a big decision. How to pay for things is a marketing decision regarding pricing. What are the options?
Continue reading The Power of Pricing: Paying for Public Infrastructure
Governing common shared resources such as water supplies relies on layers of resource management. Each level of management has different roles and responsibilities, from neighborhoods and cities through to regional, state, national and international governance. Currently, the way many cities approach water quality is inefficient because resource management is not regional. Water agencies ignore problems upstream, where water quality problems start. Applying funds to upstream problems is a marketing decision related to how we price our social goods. Fixing those upstream problems reduces costs downstream for water treatment.
Continue reading How to Fund Holistic Water Quality Management
Are you designing and distributing low quality charitable products? How do you know? Just because your clients may benefit from, and even rely on, products that are free to them doesn’t mean you can give them crap. It also doesn’t mean they stop becoming savvy consumers just because something is free to them. Your products and services may be free to your clients, but in areas like healthcare and water they can also a matter of life and death.
Continue reading Three Ways To Eliminate Low-Quality Charitable Products
Large Pacific storms are pummeling the Bay Area this weekend, which is keeping me from surfing. Since I can’t safely be in the water, I can at least enjoy announcing (via NatGeo) that Palau and Chile have created new marine protected areas in the Pacific.
Continue reading Ocean Dead Zones and Hope Spots – Update
Fresh water may be the ultimate community shared resource or commons. It’s a finite and renewing resource. It’s essential for life as we know it. We spend billions of dollars on space exploration searching for it on other planets. How we make use of this scarce shared resource now and in the coming decades will say a lot about our social nature. Marketing principles about pricing and distribution can help us make better use of water during times of drought.
Continue reading Governing the commons: Making markets for water
“We should stop and think about how we can use the ocean and not use it up.” –Sylvia Earle
As of the last count that I could find, which was published in 2008, there are more than 400 dead zones in the world’s oceans.
Continue reading Governing the Commons: Ocean dead zones and Hope Spots
A recent story from the Business Innovation Facility about the MEGA project touches many of the themes of this blog: how to distribute affordable energy to rural communities living off the grid at the bottom of the economic pyramid. It also raises an interesting question about scale.
Continue reading Scaling micro hydro power in Malawi
MercyCorps works to build secure, productive, and just communities in some of the world’s toughest places like Somalia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Haiti. They recently shared a success story about small-scale irrigation in Zimbabwe that’s really a story about distribution.
Continue reading The power of distribution: small-scale irrigation in Zimbabwe