Crossover Innovation Makes Poverty Reduction More

By James F

2017 11:41:17

Dear distinguished guests:


Good morning/noon/afternoon/evening


I am the founder of YouChange China Social Entrepreneur Foundation, it is an honor to be here to discuss this topic on poverty reduction. Nine years ago, I have gathered friends from Hongkong, Taiwan and mainland China to cofounded YouChange, a private foundation with the mission to explore an innovative path for the philanthropy in China. Our goal is to establish a cross-boundary social innovative lab to resolve all kinds of social issues with the prime goal to challenge poverty reduction. Hence I would like to share 3 viewpoints and practices with you today. 


First, poverty and development are not only about investing.

Over the years, there were never lack of government investments and corporate donations, nor there were lack of people with ability, willingness and participation in philanthropy and poverty reduction works; however, we are lack of effective program and sustainable development model also a platform to integrate and connect funds, technology and talents to form the midstream of the value chain.

From above, YouChange’s intrapreneurship has incubated a series of platforms for poverty reduction. These platforms aim to break the ineffective conventional philanthropic model to reduce scattered donations through cross-boundary cooperation, integrate resource, improve the effectiveness of financial aid for poverty alleviation, and increase the operational efficiency of the public projects.     

YouChange launched “poverty alleviation volunteer action plan” in October 2008. With all the volunteers, we have established 130 stations in 13 provinces and cities in China. This has formed a national wide poverty alleviation network for corporate, volunteers, local NGOs and government to co-develop various programs including: education, ecommerce, natural disaster relief, micro-financing and rural health care projects.

For example, the Changqing volunteer education program is to organize retired teachers from cities and direct them to go to rural schools to educate teachers and principle. This has increased schools management and teaching level; Shuangshi education program utilized MOOC method to allow city and rural schools to share quality education resources. Currently, this project has received instruction from prime minister – Li Keqiang. The program is put into practice in Guangxi autonomous region     

Our Eagle Plan is about discover and cultivate social pioneer of the future. The eagles are selected from graduated university students and let them work with local NGOs of the poverty regions for a year to resolve local social issues together.


1 classroom program is about gather professional art volunteers to education primary and secondary school students in poverty regions in the form of art.


Ecommerce poverty education program is about gathering ecommerce professionals as volunteers and use internet technology to create an education and incubation service system to assist poverty regions’ people accessing online retail system and increase employment opportunities. This year, the project will cover 10,000 people from poverty regions in 30 counties.  


Second, focus on people, the core value of poverty alleviation projects is about emphasizing on human participation and transformation

We believe “all of the world’s problems stem from mankind, when mental realm and integral quality of mankind is improved, then the greatest contribution to society is achieved” in the poverty alleviation programs of YouChange, “people” are service targets and providers. Volunteer service improved living condition for benefiting group, at the same time, it has made volunteer to grow, and this is a mutual beneficial process. I think this might be the meaning of civil society.  

In 2008, we created the first “social resource coordination platform” and “NGO joint conference mechanism” for Wenchuan disaster relief. This has promoted equitable distribution and effectiveness of use disaster relief resources. This has enabled government and people to achieve the effectiveness of connecting, complementarity and integration of disaster relief resources. We are hoping to develop this model in to SPPP(Social Public Private Partnership) trilateral cross-boundary consultation and dialogue mechanism. SPPP’s basic elements including; PPP investment’s top level design should aware its social purpose, PPP investments should have social participation mechanism, which means to assist different levels of stakeholders to open a dialogue with related issues. Social organization/social representative/social development professional as the independent third party to participate throughout PPP project’s design, monitoring and evaluation’s key consultation and decision-making processes. For example, in the areas of large-scale projects, eco-environmental protection, transformation of shanty towns, new urbanization and social undertakings… in addition to hiring commercial design and consulting organizations, we should also listen to the advice offered by professional social organizations who are active in the frontline. Furthermore, there must be a proportional budget support. In the area of determining the high return of a special operation field, the proportion should be included in the budget of tender notice and design a special public development fund as an institutional arrangement by SPPP tripartite consultation for the utilization of nurturing local social organizations and provide feedback to the region.  . .              

Last, we introduce CASVI(China Alliance of Social Value Investment) which was co-established by YouChange, China Development Research Foundation and Tsinghua University. Based on above idea and practice, CASVI is a cross-boundary national platform for government, industry, academia, research, media and communities. It connects funds, technology, talents to resolve environmental, special groups, low-income, regions and public interest-related social development issues. CASVI is called social value investment is due to it creates social and environmental values at the same time it can get economic returns on investment.  


In this context, we propose to C20 conference attendees and calling private investment institutions from different countries through social value investment to support social innovation, technology innovation, business model innovation to resolve social issues and obtain social value and economic benefits at the same time. CASVI is recruiting members at the moment and you can visit YouChange website for more details. we hope YouChnage’s new exploration can provide new ideas for China and world to reduce poverty. Thank you all for listening.  

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