03/11/2014 11:40 am ET Updated Mar 11, 2014

ONE ON ONE: Jacqueline Novogratz On Dignity


Jacqueline Novogratz is a philanthropist and founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit venture capital fund using entrepreneurial approaches to help solve global poverty. Novogratz discusses the importance of building solutions based on dignity to tackle poverty through choice and opportunity.

A key issue raised is inequality, with 300 people owning more in assets than the bottom three billion; a situation Novogratz considers unsustainable, unstable, dangerous and immoral. She argues that if we don’t find ways for the three billion people to gain access to dignity, none of us will have access.

“There is an interconnection between all of us that holds the seed to our sense of dignity and the opportunity to end material and spiritual impoverishment,” says Novogratz. Therefore, we have to create an ecosystem -- including the wealthiest, poorest, government, the private sector and civil society -- that is based on the value of dignity in order to take the world into a better future.

We should question current approaches to aid and development and whether they enhance, or undermine the dignity of the world’s poor.