Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Business as a force in transforming the world

Terrific presentation by Hector Ruiz - CEO of AMD . Born an raised in a small Mexican village the story of Hector Ruiz journey to becoming the CEO of a large corporation like AMD is in itself an inspiration .

AMD has an initiative 50x15 . They aim to bring internet access to 50% of the world's population by 2015 . To meet this lofty goal they partner with various companies , organizations , local and state governments . This is not altruism . It's woven into the core of their business of microprocessors and computer related products .
In the presentation Hector mentions a case where the engineers working on the 1 laptop per child project had to ensure a long battery life. A child is (in many parts of the world ) in school for 6-8 hours . So they wanted to create a battery that would last at least 10 hours . Finally the engineers succeeded in creating a battery that would last for 15 hours .
Besides the technical skills that a company like AMD brings to such an initiative they would undoubtedly use their management talent to build systems , processes , partnerships to bring diverse resources ,expertise and momentum to the initiative . Which ultimately manifests as results and pace of progress .
When an efficient business applies its expertise to issues in which it has a stake it can make a far greater impact on social good than any government or most philanthropic organizations .

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