7. Broadening the Corporate Bandwidth

When we set our sights on the world’s “poor countries,” we tend not to see complex societies with unique histories and economies. Instead, we see societies with economies that are “underdeveloped” versions of our own.1 Indeed, my colleague Erik Simanis at Cornell University has made it very clear to me that our conceptual categories, which seem as though they were decreed by God, are only one way of looking at the world.2 Whether we speak of industry boundaries—automobiles, computers, energy, telecommunications—or societal subsystems—economy, government, education, church, family, community—all serve to blind us to the actual conditions and constraints that exist for those beyond our realm, particularly ...

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