I’ve recently written that, as professionals seeking social impact, we have essentially two ways to respond to the shift in the political winds of today. The first response is to walk away from the profession. Regardless of your reasons, this will likely be the choice for many as budgets contract and traditional soft power programs either end or are significantly curtailed. In fact, there is no time like the present for pivoting your career, if you’re so inclined.
However, the path that I’ve chosen, and one I see many other taking is the double down. I see this time of upheaval as an enormous opportunity for anyone who is interested in flexing their Aidpreneur muscle to create new solutions, find new sources of funding and bring in new partners.
In this vein, I was excited to read an article penned by Michael Clemens over at DevEx recently, where he details how visa programs could be used to help those most in need, while benefiting the host country. He gives two specific examples of how this has already been put in to action:
In Haiti, under a project run by Protect the People, Michael explains how Haitians have been matched to short term opportunities on farms in the US that allow them to earn substantially more (1400%) than they would at home, while not displacing US workers. While only a small scale venture right now, Michael also provides an example from the South Pacific where a World Bank project allows islanders to do the same type of farm work in New Zealand.
I love these examples because it shows that funding is important, but very far from the only thing you need to help those in need and make the world a better place.