Big Problem Solvers Organizations

Veer

Veer

Organizations multiply the capabilities of individuals. And networks of organizations multiply the capabilities of single organizations.  They are needed not just to try out solutions but to also scale-up or replicate solutions and make them sustainable (durable).  It is useful to understand the policies, processes, practices, and especially business models of these organizations.  Organizations tackling big problems are both for-profit (private and publicly traded) and not-for-profit (NGOs, foundations, agencies). 

  • Acumen Fund: It is a non-profit, social venture fund that invests in startups in several countries in the areas of health, housing, energy, water, agriculture, education.  Considers its investments ‘patient capital’.
  • AGRA: The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa operates in agriculture.  It helps small farmers grow to alleviate poverty and hunger. 
  • Amazon: It began by transforming the selling of books and is now transforming online commerce. 
  • athenahealth: It is transforming the administrative side of the practice of medicine and health care. 
  • Clinton Global Initiative: It connects leaders from across the world to enable collaborations to take on initiatives in education, infrastructure, status of girls and women, global health, market-based approaches, responding to conflicts and disasters, and leapfrog technologies for emerging economies.
  • DEKA: It is an engineering and research organization that works on pioneering technologies and products for mobility, power, water, and health care. 
  • Diagnostics For All: A non-profit that is developing low-cost, easy-to-use, point-of-care diagnostic tests for developing countries.  Their devices are based on the patterned paper technology. 
  • Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières): MSF is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical care to millions in more than 60 countries.  It operates in situations of armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, natural disasters, and exclusion from health care.
  • eBay: Its pioneering online marketplace transformed the way individuals and businesses buy and sell. 
  • Facebook: Although not the first company of its kind, Facebook transformed the way people interact and keep in touch.
  • Gates Foundation: A philanthropic organization that is working on several big problems (e.g., agriculture, financial services for the poor; water, sanitation, hygiene; education, libraries, emergency response, global health) all over the world.
  • Gavi Alliance: The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization funds vaccines for children in the world’s poorest 70 countries. 
  • Genentech: The company that launched the biotechnology industry.  A member of the Roche Group since 2009 when it was acquired. 
  • Genzyme: A pioneer in orphan drugs now owned by Sanofi. 
  • Google: Transformed the way we find and access information. 
  • Half the Sky Movement: Based on the influential book of the same name, this organization creates awareness to catalyze change against the oppression of girls and women globally. 
  • Innocentive: A pioneer in open innovation or crowdsourcing innovation.  Open innovation is being adopted by a wide range of companies. 
  • Khan Academy: A not-for-profit company that provides free online videos to K-12 students
  • LifeSpring Hospitals: A pioneering hospital that provides good quality, low cost maternal care to low-income women in India. 
  • Made By Survivors:  A nonprofit that helps women rescued from sex trafficking become economically independent.  It educates, teaches skills, and creates jobs for them and sells the products they make.
  • United Nations: A global organization that works on several big problems.
  • World Food Programme:  Part of the UN system, WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency that deals with food emergencies globally.  On average, it provides food assistance to 90 million people in 73 countries.
I am but one member of a vast team made up of many organizations, officials, thousands of scientists, and millions of farmers - mostly small and humble - who for many years have been fighting a quiet, oftentimes losing war on the food production front. – Norman Borlaug
— Norman Borlaug, winner of the Nobel Peach Prize in 1970 for his pioneering work that ushered in the Green Revolution in agriculture