Its interesting for me to note that the category "Ethics" has been a part of this blog from its inception although I'll confess to not really knowing why I was adding it to the list. I've the least amount of posts in this category but here is what just might be a longish one.
I've been thinking. So what's new? That's what this blog is all about isn't it?
So anyway, I've been thinking about the ethics of creating the vestiges of consumerism among the BoP and struggling with what seems to be an immutable fact that we may need to do just that if we're to use market forces to alleviate poverty. Which this BoP thing is all about, isn't it? Otherwise we'd just be calling them the "poor" and still donating away?
Feed Africa or give Africa some disposable airtime and see what happens?
The challenge we face is that in order to offer empowering products like the Kickstart waterpump say, we need to create the market for it. People don't just suddenly figure out what's available for sale and what's good or beneficial and how to buy it, you have to show them first. And that means elements of mainsteam consumer culture must transfer across the value gap to the bop mindset too. Oh dear, and here I'd already made the assumption that the bop consumer mindset was based on values that were far more enduring than the mainstream throwaway consumer culture we sometimes notice we are in.
Where do we draw the line? And how deeply?