A Tipping Point in Human Progress
Well. Welcome everybody. Delighted, to have you here and delighted to have, Raja. Here at at Stern. Raja. And I worked together in, the Obama. Administration, and. I. Have great respect. And admiration for, everything, Raj, has done both in the, private sector, but also in the public sector we we. Share an affiliation, with a great, Midwestern. School, the University of Michigan, we both went there go blue go, blue and we. As. I say we were both, proud. Members, of the Obama. Administration. Team barrage also, has a grade. Both academic, background, he in addition, to his time at Michigan he has a several. Degrees from University, of Pennsylvania. Both a business degree and a medical degree he, was a senior. Person. Adviser at, the Gates Foundation for. A number, of years helped. That foundation. Really play, a preeminent. Role in a lot of issues relating, to health and and and. Development, and then. Secretary. Clinton and President Obama, brought. Him in to run I think one of the most complicated, difficult, agencies. But important, agencies. USAID. And, where. I watched Raj try, to tame. The beast and. Try to engage, in. Smart. Development. Policy, for the United States which. Was. Really a wonderful. Run, Raj. Finished. That. Run. It in the in the government in 2015. And as. Of last year joined, the, Rockefeller, Foundation. As its as. Its head and he's also doing a terrific job there, so we thought this would be a great opportunity, to, engage, a bit on some of the things going on ad, Rockefeller. In the world there's a big. Ambitious. Agenda that, the foundation, has and we, come to this conversation, Raj, and I really want to sort, of start out with a kind, of cosmic, question, if as it were. We're. Speaking on a, Monday. After, one of the longest weeks, we've had in. The recent, memory. Lots, of division. Within our own society. A kind, of despair. Among many, of our of our, citizens, and and the reflection, of that in other parts of the world we had also over.
The Weekend of Brazilian election, which also. Continues. This pattern, of, populist. Leaders. Basically. Reaching, out on the, basis, of fear and anger to a, population. That feels underserved. So, as a as a public, person as somebody who's both served in government now, in the philanthropic community. What. Are your reflections, where do where, do you see this heading and what are what's the role for universities. For philanthropy for. Concerned. Citizens, as we sort, of look out at this world, where there is so much disconnect. Well. Thank. You Michael and thank you for for having me here it's an honor to be with you, for. I'm sure everyone, here knows but Professor. Posner, is a was, a hero in our administration, at someone who made sure. America. Stood for human rights in the farthest corners of the globe and worked tirelessly. To, do that and a, lot of the brave and courageous things, you did were the first time we. Joined the Human Rights Council or the first time we would call. Out certain types of acts, of violence. And. Trafficking. And the like so I really. Appreciate. The chance to be back with you and congratulate, you on having a human, rights Center at a business school which is just fantastic. And, and we I wish we had more of that around, the world working, and we'll get to talk about that. You. Know this obviously, has been a very difficult time and this weekend, in particular, as a symbol, of that challenge. Was, particularly, poignant my my, hearts and prayers continue, to be with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh. And all around the country I. Happened. To be at a friend's, son's. Bar Mitzvah at, a synagogue, when they, announced, that, that, tried. Shooting, had taken place in Pittsburgh and. You. Know it is, it. Is deeply. Sad for our country, and the world that. We. Have gotten to a place where. Hate crimes particularly, against Jewish Americans. Are. Effectively. At an all-time high I think, higher. Than any point since 1979. According. To the anti-defamation league, and I. Feel like, in. Addition to our thoughts and prayers we. In, the university, community in, the foundation, and philanthropic space, in. Corporate. America, and civic life have more of a responsibility, to, both call. Out the, hatred. And bigotry that underlies. Those, ruthless. Acts. But. Also. You. Know not stop. There we have to get. To a place where our civic, discourse is, about. Issues. And hopefulness. And bringing people together and, we have to recognize these, types of X as. Correlated. With the, the, hateful, kind. Of political dialogue we, see in this country and as you point out the. Populist, retrenchment. We see our. Nationalist retrench Minh however you want to characterize it in the Philippines, and Brazil and parts. Of Europe so, you. Know there's a there's a movement out there that has recognized, that, it's. Easier, to tear people apart than, bring them together and, those of you in this room and online, and at, this great university, stand for the opposite. Element, to that and I wish we could be. Projecting. Our voice on those issues more forcefully. Especially. Right now yeah. Wow no I totally agree with it, you. This last, year you've participated in, a task, force on, extremism. Organized. By the u.s., Institute, for peace and. One. Of the things that they sort of looked at the fragility, of our world and one, of the things that the report, that you all came out with talked. About was the importance, of looking not only at. Armed force, and, military. Solutions. To fighting, extremists. Violence, but, also looking. For other alternatives. Maybe you could say a little bit about that. Process that, outcome, and where, you see that going sure. Well the the u.s., Institute of Peace Task Force is an. Outgrowth, of an effort to bring leaders, together on a bipartisan, basis, to explore. Real solutions, to the tremendous. Acceleration, in, violent, extremism, we've seen around the world and, I.
Think, The main initial. Point that we have. Identified. And make through the report. Is that. Violent. Extremism, is a cause and consequence, is both a cause and a consequence, of the, extraordinary, fragility. Poverty. And vulnerability, that. So many people live with on a day to day basis. I've. Spent as you, point out a lot of my career working, on say global health issues in trying to understand, why children. Often. Young children, under. The age of five die from. Such simple, preventable. Diseases, malaria. Diarrhea, etc. This. Report, points out that, those, tragic. Deaths in part. Because we've been successful at eliminating, those those deaths in well-governed parts, of the world take. Place way, disproportionately. In the most fragile states, around. The planet for, those of you that saw the New York Times cover this, weekend. On Sunday, and that, tragic, photo of the Yemeni child. You. Know you understand. That those types of consummate. Tragic, consequences. Of war of conflict. And of fragility. You. Know we need to deal with the the root causes, before. We are going to be successful at ending extreme poverty, and its consequences and so that that, report is a serious, effort to try to deal with those root cause root. Causes in Yemen I was, in Yemen in, 2011. And 2013. And. We did a lot of humanitarian, action but. If we were investing, in creating, a real viable, agricultural. Economy, reducing. The, dependence. On khat and the, water utilization, that comes from that particular crop and how they are effectively, running out of water if we did more especially, in the southern parts of Yemen when when, they cleared out al Qaeda after, a, tremendously. Tragic. Period. There and were winning a civil war to. Give people tools. And resources to come back into their communities, restart, schools, have. Economic. Hopefulness. Some. Of the tragic, consequences, that have transpired, there since the, Civil War is accelerated. Could have been avoided and and the report makes the case that great. Powers, in. This case focused the United States should, be making, those kinds of investments really, as the forward defense, of our national security getting. Girls. In school in Afghanistan. Ensuring. Children have. Access. To food in Yemen making. Sure that the, streets are safe in Mogadishu, and there's.
Lighting, And public services, and basic civilian, government. Or. Ensuring. That human, rights are being observed at border, crossings through the Sahel. These, are the. Preconditions. For. Avoiding, war and conflict and, the. Report points out that we have spent almost six. Trillion, dollars, since 9/11. Enmeshed. In wars and conflicts, a small, percentage, of that could. Avoid, some of those dire human, and economic costs, to our country, yeah, hmm. I wound up, partnering. With, general. Mattis when, he was at CENTCOM, and he, would constantly, say, to me you, know there's, there's, if, we if you guys don't succeed we don't succeed you know there's only so many bullets you can put, into a situation, you. Need exactly, as you're saying to have a strategy, that figures, out the development, piece the diplomatic, and the political, piece well-built. Bill McRaven whom, you remember sure colleague who most. People know is the you. Know extremely. Fit for a role. Military. Four-star, leader who successfully. Led the raid, and that captured, and killed, Osama bin Laden he. Conducted. Together with US aid and DRL, State, a, mapping. Of the Sahel in West Africa, and would, constantly. Point out to us that. The greatest, intersections. Of trafficking. And guns and people and drugs took. Place in in and around those communities, that had the lowest access. To you, know food, and health. Services, and basic civilian, government. Where, family. Planning indicators. Were lowest, it's, called contraceptive, prevalence rate, and therefore, the total fertility rate or child children, per household was highest and so, he would always say we should be doing a lot more on, agriculture. Family planning health and education, in, these communities, and, cared. Deeply about it from purely a national, security perspective yeah, so. Let life we're, going to talk I want to focus, mostly, on what you're doing at Rockefeller, but if we can just reflect, back a little bit to your time in.
The Government at USAID, give. Give. Us a sense of what, you, in. A macro, sense what you were trying to do with the US development. Agenda, and where, are some of the places a couple, of the places you feel you really made a difference and then, what are some of the unmet, needs that we still should be paying attention to. Well. What we were trying to do I think is very simple, and it was to point it was to make the case and have our policy, reflect, that. If. We that, the purpose of aid and assistance, should be to put ourselves out, of business and, give our, partners. Countries. Communities. The stamp the chance to stand up on their own two feet and to. Grow, and to be part of a thriving global community. And. That if we did that we'd have more trading partners, and we'd be safer, than, if you. Know we just isolated, ourselves from particularly, the toughest, parts of the world and then, only dealt with the consequences. Of extreme. Poverty and vulnerability whether. It's migration, or war or terrorist, activity, or just. The consequence. Of large-scale human, deprivation. So. With. That in mind I think we had some really important successes and I'm proud to say. Bipartisan. Successes. Have we brought Democrats. Together with Republicans. To pass. The global food security act which, supported, a program called Feed the Future which, helped, nineteen countries you. Know dramatically. Transform. Their agricultural, economies, I think achieving, the six percent. Annualized. AG GDP, growth rate which was one of the targets we had set for that effort in, the process we move 40 million children. Out of hunger, not because. We're handing out food but because their families were able to grow more, food and and. And lift, them up and, ensure they were no longer stunted, or malnourished, those. Types of efforts one, allotted, bipartisan, support because, they were results, oriented we, could measure and take account of how dollars, were being spent. They, were science, based, in science driven and though many of those efforts. They relied on new seeds and new, agricultural. Inputs they. Were ultimately. Meaningful. Kind, of moral. Expressions, of what America. Stands for and. And, people took pride in that we did the same effort, in, an effort we called power Africa, which also passed. An almost, unanimous, basis, in. A bipartisan, way in Congress, when they passed the Electrify, Africa act. And and I can go on and on I mean transforming the. Way food aid and assistance was provided around the world, optimizing. The efforts, around humanitarian. Relief in the Haiti earthquake typhoon. Haiyan in the Philippines. Dealing. With migrant. Children this is relevant, to today that we're showing up at the u.s. southern. Border. And. And, we helped put partnerships, in place to improve policing. And community services. And education. Efforts in Honduras, and Guatemala and, El Salvador that for a while, decreased. The migratory, pressure on the. US economy. And, and, by the way you as you know President, Obama dealt, with those. Children, at the border by saying we're a country of 300 million people we can take, 30,000. Kids who. Who, need to be sheltered, and supported, and that's. Just who we are we're. Obviously not seeing that today so I. Gives. Me a lot of faith that at Rockefeller. At NYU. Like, we can come together as, civil society and do extraordinary things to solve difficult problems and I, have seen as you have seen that when you kind of take risks and do that even. In this fractured, political, world people, come together as, Democrats and, Republicans, are so eager to see some progress happen, which, is why it's so tragic that our. Politics, are so far from that today yeah I totally. Agree one, of the you you mentioned, a couple of times now. Agriculture. And food and one, of the agendas, at Rockefeller, is to deal with food and you've, been involved, in the. African, Green Revolution Alliance. We're in Rwanda, recently. And. I know stryve. Massey Wow who's a friend, and was, a longtime trustee, of Rockefeller. Was very involved in getting, that going as was Kofi Annan you. Know people a lot of times I think it sort, of view Africa, as one and, then full of problems. And, Wars and famine. And all the like there's, a lot going on there that's really exciting, and this. Is an example maybe you could just give a little flavor of what, your involvement, has been where is it now what. Did Kofi Annan have to do and where do we go from here, well. You know when we looked around the world, 15. Years ago at. Hunger. And malnutrition. It. Turns out Africa. Was the one continent. On the planet that actually had food. Production. Growth. At, a level that was lower than population. Growth for many decades and as, a result, the, highest levels, of the highest prevalence of hunger and child malnutrition as, many as 45 percent, of all children.
In Sub-saharan. Africa, suffered. From stunting, which is the hidden hunger of not getting enough micro nutrition, micronutrients. And. Therefore, being shorter, than then you should as a physical. Sign but also it. Affects brain development and your whole potential, future. So as. A result of that we. And the Rockefeller Foundation, has for decades really. Led the world in investing, in agricultural, research to lift up, humanity. As much as possible, dr., Norman Borlaug a famous, Nobel prize-winning, agricultural. Scientist, was our longest serving employee, I think, 45 or, 46, years in. The job and won the Nobel Peace Prize you. Know because he, invented. Dwarf wheat varieties. That led to the Green Revolution and. Kofi. Annan in particular, felt it was important, to bring that concept of agricultural, investments. In research and science to. The agricultural, challenges in Africa and, and. Became the first chair of the Alliance, for a green revolution for, Africa, which was a partnership, between the Rockefeller, Foundation, and the Gates Foundation. Stryve. Massey, WA became the second. Chair, of that, effort and has and continues to be the chair of that that. Continent-wide. Program, and today, the good news is the Rockefeller, Foundation, and Gates Foundation's, are a relatively. Small part, of that effort, countries. From, first across Africa, I think, ten countries, have increased their investments, in agriculture to hit their target, of 10 percent of their domestic budget being invested, in aggregate the agricultural, sector which. Is important, because many. Of these economies have 50, 60 % of total employment still, in the agriculture, sector and. Then there are a whole host of partners from around the world including the United States European. Partners, Asian donors, and partners as well and I just say that effort is working like if you if you're worried that we're not making progress at, solving some of the toughest challenges we face, I think, stunting, has gone from 45% to, 33%. In. Agra. Countries, I mentioned earlier that GDP. Growth had gone from 1 percent to 6 percent over. That period of time these things take time, but, they work and then they lift people up in, a way that's really sustainable, and that's what Rockefellers. Been trying to do for a hundred and five years and. We now get a chance to figure out how to make that happen for for the next decade that's great so. We're sitting here in a business school and one of the, challenges. I think always is to figure out what's the right role. For the private sector to play, strive. Is from a business, he runs a big. Mobile. Phone, company. Econet. Wireless I know that he organized, also, some African, business leaders and issues, like Ebola yeah, what's your message for. American. Business, leaders what are they doing well and what's, the unmet, need, that they should be addressing in whether it's dealing with agriculture. Dealing, with jobs, or or, whatever. Well. My. First my first message is in reference to strive you know until, the recent commodity. Downturn, and pricing. We. Used to note that as many as six out of the world's ten fastest-growing, economies. Were in Africa, I think, that's numbers a little lower today because, of the commodity, issue but the, reality, is you, know every, part of the globe. Including, Africa, has a lot of economic, vitality and, that, economic success. Was driven by people like strife, business, leaders who created, businesses, and that in his case connecting, hundreds, and millions of people to mobile mobile. Connectivity. But. A little bit like strive it you know now is it time particularly, because governments, are often stepping, back and saying. It's not our responsibility, to help others I think. It's important, for companies, to set, the right tone and, your, your, report, on, putting. The s back, in economic. Social and governance efforts, to. Measure how, companies, have impact, on the world around them is particularly. Important, at, Rockefeller, we have had a history of supporting, impact, investing, as a field and, we're. Proud to you, know be kind of one of the partners helping to make that a reality but. We also know that it's tough for.
Investors. And companies to, really, know, in a quantitative, way that. Their work is in fact helping. To end human. Rights violations, in a supply chain that might go to Bangladesh, or, China or other. Parts, of Asia it's. Difficult, to be to report, with clarity, and sophistication, that yes we are our supply chains are clean and lift people up as opposed to aid. Trafficking. And cause problems with child labor and the rest of it so I. Think the reporting, elements particularly, important but first and foremost you need corporate, CEOs to, accept. The public, responsibility. That. Comes with that job and, it's not just about shareholder. Value it is also about, being, part of a community supporting. Your employees. Ensuring. You're not breaking the law but going beyond that and really. Trying to know what's in my supply chain and in my force for good in the world or part. Of the problem, exactly. One of the things we're trying to push on is just. Where you said that, when. Companies, have business, priorities, they. Have standards. And metrics that, go with those priorities, they can measure everything just, as you were describing you, know stunting. Or food in. Africa you have facts. And figures and you can evaluate it's, gone from 1 percent to 6 percent, we've, been I think slow, in the human rights labor. Supply. Chain world in, coming, up with those kinds of metrics that really, make. Every company, where there's a single standard, you're, gonna here's the data we're going to collect and here's, how you should evaluate yourself and how the world's going to evaluate investors. Evaluate, what you're doing so, you know I think a lot of what you seem to be doing at Rockefeller, is tied to those metrics, and that's, I think the right approach for the S as well as everything else well I give you one other example of, that in it just one thing we work on here in the United States our is the recent tax bill had, an. Amendment, that allowed for something called opportunity, zones and, these are. 8,700. Zones. Around the consensus, tracts that have been designated by, governors, and approved by. The federal government as tax, preference, investment, regions and they. Are places. Where economic. Activity, has been depressed for for, many decades and so, you. Know if companies, are gonna get a tax break or if, individuals. And capitalists. People who've made, you know real resources, and our experiencing. In this case effectively, a capital, gains tax holiday. If you're, getting a tax break to invest, in these communities. It's. Important, to know are, those investments. Creating opportunity, and lifting people up or, not and it's, tough to measure right now so we're part, of a consortium, of foundations. That are looking at how you might identify how. To make. Those measurements, work yeah before the market at large yeah yeah well, that's that's music, to my ears. Let's. Talk about public. Health your your health guy, you. Were. Involved. Very involved both agates and in government and PEPFAR. And the effort to deal with hiv/aids. And, most. People view that is a quite extraordinary, achievement. Again a long way to go still but turn. The corner in some fundamental ways. Give. Us a flavor of where. We are in, terms. Of these public, health issues, that you're dealing with at Rockefeller. Some. Issues like malaria, tuberculosis. Hiv/aids. A lot, of money a lot of attention, I was, on a board, of a group that was looking at neglected, tropical, diseases. And. It was hard to find the, allies in Congress, who said we have to do that give, us a kind of a map of where we are in the public health space and again, what's Rockefellers, strategy, what are you doing about it well, I'd say the best well first it's important to recognize, there's been a huge amount of success in public and global public health right and, as you point out hiv/aids. Used to be a death sentence for 38. Million people and now that is not the case and, it's in large part because of concerted, global investment. In action. We've. Made, huge, strides in reducing the, number of children that die from malaria for example cutting. That almost, in half around. The world. Tuberculosis, is actually. On the rise because of the association, with hiv/aids, but would be much much much worse if, there hadn't been a Global, Fund for AIDS to be a molecular and, tuberculosis so.
That's Been great on. On. Other diseases, like polio there's, been a lot of progress. It's not completely eradicated. And as you point out on, schistosomiasis. And, the other things you work down in that space we've been successful, the, challenge, though has been we're, starting to see that success flattened, so. We focus a lot on the third sustainable. Development, goal which is ending, maternal. And child death around, the world preventable. Maternal and child death and the. World has been succeeding. At bringing child deaths down for example it was 12 million I think in 1991. And is today just, under six million which, is phenomenal progress, but. That progress is slowing, because, frankly. Just handing out bed nets for children, to sleep under is no longer sufficient - they're. Not dying of mosquito, bites as in as high prevalence today. It's neonatal, mortality and, it's sepsis, at childbirth. And the like so, we are focused, on an effort to end preventable. Maternal, and, child deaths by. Working in, partnership with. Countries and, partners, like UNICEF around the world and frankly, bringing advanced, data analytics, to the task it turns out that you. Know if, you even think about something you see it in your you, know on your phone. Or on a website that you're on as a targeted. Ad we, think you can use the same kind of predictive, analytics to identify which, households. Which communities, are most vulnerable for. Different, diseases and use, that to get ahead of the disease curves and save lives I think. That's that approach, is what helped drive down Ebola, incidents. In West Africa, and in. 2014, and we. See that working today to reduce, for example cholera, deaths in Yemen as part of the humanitarian, effort there and we, think that approach can be deployed more aggressively, to really help us end, preventable. Maternal, and child death it's, great one, of the you mentioned cholera, one of the things sort. Of on the side I've been trying to help some people who are trying. To get the UN and global, community, to respond, to cholera, in haiti haiti, and, when. At. The end of the Obama term I went, to Samantha, power we're trying to push, the u.s. to be supportive. I think the US has committed, about 10 million dollars, towards a. 400 million, dollar goal the UN of course brought cholera, through its peacekeepers. What. Do you what's your advice for me and my friends who are trying to push this agenda, well, I think a couple of things first they. Are looking, to do sort of a social impact bond on cholera. The, UN I think that's a great effort we're, actually helping to structure that bond with Josette Sheeran and I and and the, Asia Foundation and I think that could be a way to raise the resources to be successful, and is, indicative of a larger, point that. When you can structure financial, instruments, that to. Raise money in an outcomes-based, way, that. Can sometimes be an easier way to raise money for public, causes, today than just straight appropriations. But, that's one one a word, of wisdom a second. Is there, are better. Tools and products these days that help to reduce the prevalence of diarrheal. Disease in particular and you. Know the world is relied largely on oral rehydration solution I first learned about cholera, at the, icd, DRB which is an old. Cholera, hospital, that was set up in Bangladesh, and. They literally have cholera cuts children, sit on these cots there's you. Know plastic, and then a hole in the middle and there and they can and. They suffer, through having the disease while their mothers give, them oral rehydration to. Keep them alive as they're having a severe, diarrhea, episode, that can go on for days and that, has worked for decades to save children's, lives but. Today we know so much more about basic, nutrition and and there's a whole range of products. And solutions that, children can have that Yano UNICEF, is trying to get to, Haiti and distributed. More effectively, to children that can help help them survive a cholera, episode, much more effectively, so that's. The second piece of advice is innovation, and science, is still going to be transformational, and the, third is you know cholera did come from the Nepalese peacekeepers. That's now been acknowledged. But, it does spread through, a lack of sanitation. And hygiene and, simple. Things like hand-washing and support, for basic sanitation and hygiene can have a huge impact and we, together worked, on the Haiti earthquake relief.
One Of my proudest, moments before cholera. Hit was, that six months after the earthquake. Port-au-prince. Had a lower diarrheal, disease, incidence, rate than the day before the earthquake and, it was because of a huge focus, on water sanitation, and hygiene in the early part of the response and I, was made fun of for talking about diarrhea and my very first National, Security Council meeting. Like. Okay but, that is you know that's the challenge, yeah and I think if if you and others can do those three things in Haiti they can be very successful at, reducing the prevalence yeah yeah I think of the four hundred million two, hundred million, is really for that you, know yeah. It makes. A lot of sense, the. The broader question I guess your comment, on impact bonds makes me think is you. Know there seems to be a fatigue. Among donors. Of course the, US historically. Has been a leader and there's much, less appetite, in this administration, for leading, but. Menino, if I look at the refugee, population. And displaced, population. 65 million, people now. Displaced, from their homes because, of war and various. Instability. I don't know if impact, bonds are the answer, there it does strike me that on some, level we also have, to keep, the pressure on governments, to stand up for the things that are right and I do worry in places, like Syria Yemen, elsewhere. We have an awful lot of people that are pretty desperate. Absolutely. Do you recall, what what's the current level of refugee, flows into the u.s. I know they've the numbers been coming down and down and down so. I, actually, wrote a piece about this a few weeks ago the the. Number that the administration. At the end of the Obama term, we. Were admitting, a hundred thousand, refugees or, that was the the ceiling, it, was 80 or 90 thousand, at the end of the Bush administration, so this is not a democratic, or republican, issue. We. Let in about. 20,000. This year and the, administration, has set a cap of 40,000. For next year but we're not going to get anywhere near that I think, we let in this, fiscal. Year which is about and we. Let our last month I think we let in 45, people from Syria. That. I mean that 45. People from Syria is. Shameful. Yeah and it's shameful partly because, and. You you had to carry this message throughout. The region and we spend a lot of our time asking, other countries, to. Take hundreds, of thousands. Of refugees, just, from Syria and so. I. I just think in general for us and obviously rockefellers a private institution but. American. Leadership, on these issues as, you point out is just, essential. It's essential, to build, coalitions and, partnerships, we. Are a American. Private. Institution. And we. See around, the world whether the task is you. Know building, a new coalition to invest in sustainable, protein production for. Emerging. Economies or. Building. A coalition to bring people together to both accelerate investment, in these opportunities, owns but also measure whether they're having impacts on reducing, poverty. Leadership. Is central to getting, these things to be successful, and it's it's. Really sad. To hear those are the refugee, numbers for the most powerful country in the world yeah yeah and you know again I think one of the challenges, for all of us going forward is to kind.
Of Reinvigorate, the, bipartisan. Coalition, the refugee, issue, really. Began, after World War 2 and the Holocaust and, there, was always a real. Strong sense that Democrats, and Republicans could. Come together this. Is who we are it's our history it's you know we're the melting pot and, there's. A real need for us to continue, to lead as you say we're asking everybody else to do it we have to step up I want, to turn to another area that's part of your, ambitious. Big portfolio which is the issue of jobs and economic opportunity. When. I teach, my classes I always say that the greatest. Human. Rights development. Progress. Over the last 40 or 50 years has. Been the reduction, of global, poverty. Two, billion people were living, below the extreme poverty level, in 1975. Or 80 77%. Of the people in East Asia we're living below the poverty, level now it's way under 10% so. That's a to, me if you take a broad view of human rights and I do that. Said that's the headline it's extraordinary, and what's driven that more. Than eight or more than the World Bank is jobs we, have a global economy that's, put people to work and they're, like I deal with a lot of the challenges, of those workplaces but, you have to start by saying it's better that people have moved into the cash economy, for, the first time they're getting opportunity. Give. Us a sense of what you're trying to do because another, aspect, of this as we've, put people into work we've also seen, a growing. Disconnect. Between rich, and poor greater. Polarization I, think Oxfam, said the, 42. Richest, people in the world have the equivalent. Income. Of the bottom three, and a half billion, so. We live in a world that's both got opportunity. But also great, inequality, how. Do you view this issue of economic opportunity, jobs, poverty. Alleviation, and, what's, Rockefeller, doing about it well. First, I'll just say is one. Of the world's foremost leaders. On human rights to hear you articulate, that connection. Between. A job and your. Economic Opportunity as, a basic, human right is. Is. Both. Exciting and important, you know for everyone to think about I'd, say we work on this issue at home and abroad and at home our focus is you, know we've studied. The. Nature of economic opportunity. In America been highly influenced, by work that Raj Shetty and others have led out of Stanford, and and the, like that have shown that really. If you were born in the 60s or 70s, you, had a 90 percent chance of doing better than your parents economically. And unless. Your last name was Rockefeller and, it was tougher mostly, because of your parents but. You. Know if you were born after. 1980. And certainly, more recently it's less than 50% that's. That's, just transformational. For the American, economy and for the hopefulness, that comes with. Believing. You will have the dignity of work and the, ability to be part of a community. That's moving upward, when. We localize, that even more we see if you take out New York and San Francisco and a few other major metropolitan, areas it's, even more dire and so, this idea of place-based, Economic.
Opportunity Is. Very significant. To the fabric, of our country and that's, why we've spent a lot of time on issues like the opportunity, zone legislation, we feel that could actually motivate, many. Billions, of dollars of capital formation, and, deployment, specifically. And census. Tracts that in, general, have, a 30-plus percent poverty rate a 13, percent unemployment. Rate a minority, population african-american. Hispanic American, population. Of 54, percent so, places that are appropriately. Targeted. As being more, vulnerable parts, of the economy and that's. Why we're putting a lot of effort into that domestically. We've also entered into a partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg initiative. To, identify, creative. And innovative community. Development, programs, that. Could be scaled in those contexts. Internationally. We focus a lot on power and energy access as, a driver, of getting, on to the ladder of being on in, having, that upward, economic, mobility. Something. I think I I learned we both saw, was. Just if you don't have access to electricity you. Don't really have the chance to be part of a global economy and to be productive in, human, work and, so. We have programs, that we call smart power that are you, know expanding, access to power for low-income communities. In rural, India, for example we're through. Using many rural. Mini grids which are solar, installations. That can serve a handful. Of villages and you know six, hundred to a thousand, households and. Then we, charge those households, for power and we find they're. Willing to pay even a very high price by American. Standards for power like twenty eight twenty nine cents a kilowatt hour if it's good, clean available. Power and they, use that access to power to help move, themselves out of poverty women. Who get sewing machines and. You know manufacture. Garments, or something. Else that or. Agricultural. But, you know automated, agricultural, production, and processing, on on their farms helps, them then move out of poverty over time so we.
Are Expanding, those efforts, in India, and Myanmar in parts of East Africa because. We think that's critical to, the fight to end extreme poverty, and I'd go so far as to say I think, we should redefine. Poverty. In energy. Consumption, terms and if we did that you. Would see a lot more people are effectively. Poor. Than. The current measure which is based on how, many calories a day you can afford effectively. And. I think it would map slightly, differently so so, it would be better for the global development community. To target, and support, those communities that need need. That lift out of poverty, so, you're gonna drive the poverty, levels back up again, I'm bringing down yeah you, have been we. Don't want to take the actual, levels up we just wanted to change, the measures, of people you, know the aspiration, for ending poverty, shouldn't just be you. Have enough food. To survive but, you know but you're not able to connect into a global economy and we. Should raise the bar I should say so that we really, are connecting, everyone to. The kind of Economic. Opportunity and. The kind of work that gives dignity and, gives. You. Know that animates, the sentence you said about the reduction in poverty being the greatest success in human rights on the planet yeah yeah no that makes a lot of sense I want to connect the two things you talked about the domestic, side and the international, side and, this may not be Rockefellers. Domain. But it is part of the discussion. We. Had in, 2016. A you. Know political, issue of a trade agreement the, TPP, the trans-pacific, partnership, and. A sense, from a lot of people around the country who've, either lost. Their jobs or were insecure. That, somehow the. Jobs leaving the country were the cause of their. Distress. Some, cases that was true in, other cases the, jobs had, migrated. To a machine. They were automated. Or the. Industries, had simply moved to another, part of the world they weren't coming back you know the garment industry used to be a big deal in New York it's, not today. Or the. Steel industry in Youngstown, Ohio. How. Do we honestly, talk, about, that in a way that doesn't, give. Sort, of bromides, to people that are hurting there are obviously a lot of people that are anxious, and nervous, about their own security. We, talked about you, mentioned you know economic. Zones and the like, there's. Lots of talk about job training, I. Was, out in Cleveland, some months ago and fellow. Drove me to the airport, 71. Years old he had worked for a tool-and-die. Factory. For 30 years and you. Know Japanese. Companies, came in and under cut. His company, in terms of price, and better, quality he, lost his job he's. Just in despair, he's not going out to Silicon, Valley to, code for, Google and, so, what's. The how, do we have a more honest, discussion, about what the alternatives are, I'm not saying what, you're doing is not honest, but how do we go beyond, those. Things to really give people a sense that there's, a straightforward, conversation about, their station, in life yeah. I. Might, have to ask you to answer that a tough. Question but I and I'm curious, what your reaction, is to this thought. You. Know. There's. A lot of truth to that there have been times in our history and, as. We've been thinking about how to be more engaged in, working, on Economic Opportunity here in the US we've studied these periods but. There was a time in our history where it was reasonable. For most, American. Kids to not complete, a secondary, education and I think is between like 1910, and 1920, something, that we changed that such. That more than 85 percent of American kids then started. Completing, a secondary, education, the GI, Bill. Although. Ending. Up referencing. Kind of you, know white men whose. Effectively. Did. Provide. Tens of millions of people, a chance to, get. A secondary, education and. Experience. The economic, benefits, of having that level of education. And productivity, in the future. We. Use our, tax code all the time, to. Provide, incentives. And benefits for one cohort, or another there's a excellent, book by Richard Friedman, called a few thousand dollars that. Points out that we, offer seven, hundred billion dollars, a year in different, preferences. So a home mortgage deduction if you start pricing all those things we, as a country have come together and said we're willing to invest in certain, types of things wealth creation through your house, etc, etc, it. It seems reasonable, that we could take the the, crux of your question and, say this.
Is A moment for a bigger transformation. And maybe. It's the case that everyone should have access to at least a few years of post-secondary education tied. To the, work opportunities, that are realistic for a certain community maybe. It's the case that automation. Will lead to large, enough scale displacement. That, we should change the nature of our public, benefits, and make them portable, make them more accessible make, them more education. And training oriented. Maybe. We should have an expect, and expectation, of a service year or a service, year connected. To. Potential. Scholarship. Benefits, so that people. Who choose to serve in their communities, in the US can, then go on and go, to college and get support for that, maybe. And this is a little far afield from what we do at Rockefeller right now maybe. We should offer every, American, child a. Birth, account so. That that grows over time and can be used for education, and training because, we know the data show that even, a few thousand, dollars. Over. Time can change the, expectations. People have of themselves and, I would bet most. Of the wonderful students that come to this great institution have, from a young age felt. Like if they worked hard and played by the rules they were going, to get a shot at, doing. Something great like maybe even going to NYU someday. And why. Shouldn't every American, child have, that same expectation. So, my I don't know that philanthropies, the answer that on almost every, one of those examples, we, are as the Rockefeller, Foundation, today doing something, to explore the idea and build the partnerships, and see if it could work but. But. It's not philanthropy is not going to solve that that's going to take real. Political work, building, those bipartisan. Institutions. And partnerships. And saying let's. Aspire, for something big precisely, because, we live at a time of such profound disruption yeah, oh that, makes sense and I think for, philanthropy, to be the kind of incubator where. Ideas are hatched. Surface, and then, at a an appropriate moment government, can come, up and make policies, you well you've had enough of me and we have some people on the line this is on. Line a couple of questions of comment the first is what can we do to compete, with investors. Who, are buying up affordable. Housing in major cities across the US and thereby. Creating, a lack of affordable housing and homelessness. Well. I'm, glad, to get that question because, we just completed, a call for proposals for. Funds. Related, to the opportunities, on legislation. With the Kresge Foundation and. What, we found is that almost. 60% of them are related to real estate and of. Those or. Maybe more of those a high, percentage, have as part, of the project, commitments. To affordable, housing and to, me that's one of the examples, of where, foundations. And philanthropic partners. Might be able to come together and preference, those. Investment. Funds that you, know are making, the extra commitment. In difficult. Communities, to make affordable. Housing available, or to pursue. Work or training programs or, to look. At employee stock ownership and, and make. Ownership. And capital, asset development, more a part of the strategy of their business and therefore. Be really. Putting the s in, ESG. I keep looking down at this report because it's Michael's. Great report, on on. How to think about measuring. Social, impact, and business, investment thanks, for the plug you're welcome, we. Have another question here which is in, some ways along the same lines its. How do we integrate a rights but this is from, Venus. Ria's, of New York the first was from Tammy from California. How, do we integrate a rights-based approach into. These, programs. So, they are not doubt just, top-down, initiatives, in other words how, do you ensure that local communities. Participate. In the creation, propagation. And sustenance. Of these programs. So. That strikes, me as two different questions one maybe you should address on on what, a rights-based approach means. To you in the context, of the work that we do from. Our end the second part of that question about how do you get community, engagement. I'll. Just use as an example the smart power projects. I was describing in India, we've now supported. I think about 160. Of these mini grid installations, that serve in total, about 70,000. People in those, cases the, the households. Low income as they are and lacking. Electricity. To give you a sense of their kind. Of quality of life they're.
Actually The customer so they're the payer and while. There's a subsidy, involved, they're, buying, and paying for power, electricity, and. That. Model, forces. Our partners, which, in that case are private companies to, be very responsive. To their customers, provide. High quality electricity. Make sure if you say you're gonna deliver electricity it works at night which believe it or not is not, the case in most government, provided, utility. Electric. Connections, in rural India, and, so I've always felt that that, commercial. Models. Even. If they're not a hundred percent commercial. And involved blended capital, or public subsidy, have, the benefit, of giving. Customers. Voice, because. They're the customer, so. That's one way to do, that another. Way is just real sensitivity, to the importance, of of. Those efforts and in our evolving, health work for example. Listening. To the the people you serve and having community health workers, have digital, tools. So they can listen. To and relay, data back to health. Services providers. About the customers. They try to serve is another. Important, example of that but, I am curious what you would say on the rights piece because I've struggled with that yeah for a long time and feel like it's so important. And. And, yet it's important to make it real in the context of work we do yeah you know so I guess I would say two things real quickly and then I want to open up for some, questions from, the audience here, I think, there's two pieces so that one is the question of how governments. Navigate. A development, agenda and a, rights, agenda, and make sure that they're reinforcing. Of each other, you. Know we're having a lot of discussion, about sustainable. Development goals, a lot, of people having those discussions, are thinking, only in, sort of the technical terms what are the things we need to do to invest. In various efforts a lot, of those investments. Don't, work if there aren't governments. That are respecting, rights and so. I think there's a need to kind of you, know I often with, it, with AIG missions, in, Egypt, in places, I would go in and say you. Know we can pretend, that we're having an effect but. We also have to be sure that it's going to the place it's supposed. To be going and that, there are remedies if it doesn't, we need court systems, we need open media, and. That ought to be more centrally. The way I think aid is. Projected. Either from governments, or them, and I mean so I agree, with that and I used, to and still do believe. All of this work is fundamentally, political and. And that, doesn't have to be a bad thing you, know we used to demand, for our feed the future partnerships. In Agra today the Alliance we spoke about Agra, they demand, a certain level of political commitment. To, what percentage of your public budgets in agriculture, before, engaging. A, country, as a partner, and, that's appropriate, because you got to have skin in the game from your counterpart. Colleagues. Similarly. We are expanding, our smart power effort, into me and and we, have spent a lot of time. Looking. At ensuring. That happens. In a manner that is supportive, of human. Rights and the reality, of what's happened in Rakhine. State and, elsewhere and we. Proudly, supported, Oxfam, and a group of other civil society organizations. At a in a timely, way when they needed it to ensure. That we stood for those. Communities and their rights in the context, of our. Desire, to allow, for rural electrification as, well the to have to go hand in hand yeah and the other piece I will say just in a sentence is that I think, smart, companies, are also recognizing. That their, interests, are best served when they're, operating in a rights environment. Myanmar, would be a great example I was there this summer but, I was in Cambodia a week ago with seven apparel companies, meeting, with the government, about the.
Lack Of democratic, process. And the lack of labor, rights which. Are making their. Rights they're. Making the companies nervous, because the, European Union is about to cut preferential. Trade status to, Cambodia. So they were there in, it I would say a combination of an altruistic, concern. We want a better environment. But also recognizing. That these things have an economic, on Sarge's, yeah. Floors. Open I'd love to get some questions please and please introduce yourself. There's somebody with a mic who's about to show up next to you. Christine. Negra first, vision and thank you very much for the conversation so, my, question is sort of in the vein of nutrition, and food security and the context. Of achieving those global goals and picking. Up on the theme of private, sector be great just to hear what's happening at Rockefeller, on dietary, diversity where, you see that opportunity and both. Kind of in the programming that you do and then your partnerships, in the private sector Thanks, well. Thank you we we just announced. A new leader for our food and nutrition, work whose name is dr. Roy Steiner who comes, to us from the Omidyar Network and, in, fact. Dietary. Diversity is his big focus, you know how do you get and, for those of you that are not nutrition. Experts, there's. Been a big debate about over, time how do you get micro. Nutrient, - two kids who are more vulnerable it's, a families who are more vulnerable and, a. Lot of the standard, practice, driven, by the way the American, food system has worked for decades for. A whole host of reasons has, been invest, a lot in the production of grains, and. Then processed. Food and then fortify, food with the micronutrients. You'd like people to have and and. Get that out there and, the. Alternative. Of course is is, what you're referring to dietary, diversity just, eat yeah eat, a balanced, and diverse. Diet with fresh fruits and vegetables in particular and. And, that's been deeply, under invested, in around. The world almost everywhere, but the Netherlands and maybe Israel. Has. Gone the invest, in grains route and has not invested, in in. Dietary, diversity strategies. To address malnutrition. And if. You believe and we do that the global food system is making people sick it both keeps, almost. A billion people severely, malnourished or, undernourished. And perhaps. Twice as many people suffer. From obesity and, the, consequences. Of a, food system that pushes. People in that direction we. Need to change the way we produce food around the world and. It's not just in Africa, it is in fast-growing. Emerging, markets like China that, will account for the bulk of the world's protein consumption, twenty five years from now and. It is right, here in the United States where you. Know, everything, from child obesity to the way we have food deserts, in.
American. Society. Where. People can't get access to fresh fruits, and vegetables or. Food for that matter you. Know is is really a problem and a solvable one so so. We're very focused on the research and science elements, of that but also some, of the policy, partnerships, that can expand. Access to diet to more diverse diets at home and around the world great. Please, and, again. Microphones. Coming. It's. In conversation. Thank you very much I wanted to go back to the jobs component. And. You mentioned specifically opportunity, zones I had. Read recently a good book called winners, take all and it talks about, how. We continue, to use the same economic, models, that Silicon. Valley models, the financial markets to try. And alleviate the. Problems, instead of maybe systematically. Changing how we do business in some respects it's obviously, a controversial, thing but we. Have a president, who's a real estate developer, and he's put Opportunity, Zones which, asked, investors, to invest in economically. Depressed areas, and there's questions about, gentrification. And. The long-term viability, of those sorts. Of things and I just wondered. What your reaction, is to that and certainly, you, know you've talked about and there are many very. Good things, you're doing I'm just curious to know what you think about particularly. With partnerships, you have technology, firms that. Have. Helped create the, I guess, you call it a shared economy but service, based economy for, the working poor as well which has, all these complex. Externalities. Yep, that's. An excellent question I'm gonna first. Address the opportunities owns, and then talk about the book for a second, on the opportunity, zones I'd say, the following I think this is the largest. Sort. Of impact, investment, experiment, going on in the United States and that has taken place in the US and some time our. Joint. Call for proposals with, the Kresge Foundation. Elicited. Some number I don't recall how many proposals. At this point I think about 140. Or so and. The. Total headline. Capital. Raised within. Those 140, funds if you extrapolate a little bit is about 12 billion dollars so. You. Know and that's just one. Set. Of funds that responded. To a call for proposals that, ostensibly, are more interested, in impact because they're reaching. Out to Rockefeller, and Kresge, and want, to be assessed on those impact terms when. We looked at the proposals, you. Know, 40%. Of them were not real, estate transactions. Which, I found surprising I actually thought they might all just be real estate right so, there were. CDFI projects, there were efforts to support lending, to operating, businesses, there efforts to do new business, starts there were some technology, startup, investments, so, it was a little more diversified, than just real estate, I had, also point, out that most. Almost, all in that bucket had. Kind. Of real impact, measures, that they were proposing, a lot of them were about affordable, housing as we spoke about before, and. And, then finally, you know there have been examples of. Community. Development that, that. Are more, inclusive, than. Those, that lead to gentrification, as, a so as a singular, outcome, and, yeah. We were proud to have. Join us Deborah, Wright who was the CEO of the Harlem empowerment, zone in the head of the federal, Carver, Savings Bank the. Carver Federal Savings Bank I'm sorry and you know access, to credit financial. Services savings, worker, training. Investments. That are part, of a shared. Economic development. Plan for a lower-income, community. Those, are the types of things if they are truly done in public-private, partnership, that can leverage this, twelve billion dollars of investment and, turn. It into progress, for the almost, 30 million people that live in the currently, designated. Opportunity. Zone so you. Know I'm not naive. About the concept, that this might end up being just, a, boon for real estate developers, it that could be an outcome but. I also, think it is incumbent upon those, of us that care about impact, and care about lifting people up to, figure out how to take this experiment. And make it successful on behalf. Of those, thirty million Americans, that live in these designated, zones and, and. I take some comfort in the fact that the designation of the zones have. Been quickly largely, in a data-driven manner, and did. In fact capture. Communities, that have been left out and, and. That can be documented and measured so, okay.
So Now on the book I don't know how many folks, here. Or online have read the book but. It is clearly getting a lot of attention my. Big takeaway and my advice, but also kind, of call to action, folks involved in philanthropy. And, civic society, is, is that. Your, efforts matter like you have to be as Professor. Posner said earlier the. Drivers, have changed, the innovators, the people willing to take risks, to demonstrate, what's possible and, you. Have to be the. Advocates, to ensure that we live in a country whose politics, make. It happen at scale and, when, you ask me the question about opportunity. In this country I keep reverting, to these big grand scale policy. And political decisions because. I actually believe great. Philanthropy, like the, Rockefeller Foundation, did decades. Ago in the case of Social Security can, bring people together and lead, to an outcome like. The Social Security Act, that helps, to create, more justice, and opportunity in our country we don't do those things alone we're part of a group of people that bring a commission together that works for many years and collect data and demonstrate. Something's viable, but, ultimately, ultimately, delivering. Real success, is only, going to come with real political, and policy change, and that's up to all of us not, just those, folks we elect and put into office I don't know Roger if you had in this reaction but one of the things I felt very, strongly, was that when. You're in government you're often reactive. To things that are going on and it, really is up to people outside, and, in philanthropy. Or in the academy, to be thinking, creatively, with the ability, to take. A step back and say, what should it look like and to bring those ideas into, the system you can't do it without government. But, government can't, do it without people on the outside feeding fresh ideas, into the system yeah I very much endorse, that yeah there's. Another question please sir. Thank. You my, name is alfredo Spinoza I come from battle strategies, in New York City and I'd. Like to ask if we could please elaborate a bit more on your vision for using advanced, data, analytics to, support the achievement of, sustainable, development goal number three. Thank. You sure, well. So. As I mentioned, sustainable, dg3, is about maternal. And child health around. The world and and here at home as well America, has extraordinary, disparities. And health outcomes. More. So than any other industrialized. Country, on the planet and. Basically, you know in the poorest parts of the world, we. Actually know, how, to save the lives of. Mothers. Children. People. Who are, vulnerable, because, of malaria diarrhea, and pneumonia. Neonatal. Birth complications. And-and-and. Death, around childbirth and, it's, not costly. It's. Often, simple, things better lighting and a, skilled attendant, at birth a, little. Bit of antibiotics. Being, accessible, should, a child get, an infection in the first 48, hours of life the. Ability to both sleep under a bed net which I made reference to earlier and, importantly. When a child has symptoms be able to get a particular. Type of therapy, Artemis, and containing, therapies for malaria that are more robust, at, addressing. That illness, than than other. Single. Drug solutions, and all, of those solutions cost, pennies per dose or in, a high cost case dollars, per case so. So we're not talking about you. Know thousands, of dollars of investment, per child to, save a life we're, talking about relatively, low cost stuff the, hard part is finding, the children who are vulnerable and, finding. The mothers who are likely to perish in childbirth, and reaching. Them because. The whole point, of being a public, health worker if, you're, in Rajasthan, in India or if you're in a certain part of northern Uganda, where. You've done a lot, of work is. That is, that you're you feel like you're on your own you know there's not enough capacity to reach every.
Household, With basic services, and if, you can only reach 10 or 15 or 20% of the households, that need to be reached, are. You reaching the ones who are most vulnerable and, so, we today know how to do the targeting, and mapping in Yemen, we. Talked about cholera they, basically took the. Current, incidence, of reported, cholera UNICEF, did this then. Did some predictive, analytics, based on projected. Weather, patterns, and where it was raining and where it might rain and had, a significant. Reduction in cholera, incidents, by going to those communities, that were vulnerable before other. People got there we, were just working with the people who lead immunization. Campaigns, around the world they, point out that when they run an immunization, campaign they largely immunize the same kids over and over for polio, and measles and, anything. Else that lends itself to a campaign, and yet the kids dying from polio and measles are, outside. That system they're not showing up when there's a campaign, so target, identifying, those particular. Children and targeting, them and reaching, them is the, name of the game to achieve this sustainable, development goal and, we think data prediction. Predictive, analytics, simple, simply, having better data quality, can make a huge, huge impact and I will say and then I promise I'll stop but in, in the Ebola crisis, in 2014, we. Were the, world was panicked, our, country, was panicked, the, people, were talking about the CDC had released a report talking, about 1.6. Million deaths, due. To a bola 1.6. Million cases of Ebola, and at the time there was a 70%, mortality. Rate from, a bullet just off the charts the, reason, it went away without. Ever reaching our shores is, because. A group of epidemiologists. Sat in Liberia. That's a data system that led that allowed us to know which, particular. Child. Or which particular father. Had. Got it was, infected, and we, could be much more specific, at, targeting, you, know the community, around that infected, individual, in, a much more targeted way that simple, there was a spreadsheet that actually, a scientist, named Hans Rosling, who. Has since passed away from, Sweden would send around to all the public health leaders that simple, data on targeting. Who had, Ebola or likely, had Ebola allowed. All the global, resources, to be focused, where it mattered, and Ebola. Went away within months effectively. And so, you. Know I'm very optimistic this, can be achieved and there's no. Reason why we can't bring the same tools that allow Google. To know that I'm searching, for a pair of golf shoes, to. Help us find out a far more important, task which, is which child might which mother is pregnant and so, severely, malnourished and, lives in, a community served by. Underperforming. Health clinics such, that she's very high highly, likely to perish in childbirth should there be a co