David Green

Ashoka Fellow
Onsted, Michigan, United States
Fellow Since 2001


This profile was prepared when David Green was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Motivated by what he terms "compassionate capitalism," David plans to use profit and production capacity to bring hearing to hearing-impaired people in developing countries. There are numerous innovative aspects of David's idea. First, he will manufacture state-of-the-art hearing aids that normally sell for more than $1,000 and sell them for $40-$100, depending on the market. Second, he will develop a delivery model that results in a high degree of service and accessibility for patients. Hearing aids will be delivered within two hours in fixed urban distribution centers and via "ear camps" conducted separately from or in conjunction with "eye camps" in rural areas. Third, he is designing his project to be self-sustaining and to use market forces in a positive fashion. David plans to utilize "global cross-subsidization," whereby the higher income from sales in wealthier countries will subsidize the price for hearing aids in poorer countries. He will also implement multi-tiered pricing within a given country market to take advantage of regional variations in ability to pay. To prevent hearing aids from being passed from a lower price market to a higher price market, he will create devices with software that can function only in certain regions and under particular conditions.
A serial entrepreneur, David has already successfully launched similar systems for the production and distribution of intraocular lenses and surgical sutures. His long-term vision is to spread his proven and self-sustaining model of compassionate capitalism to other global healthcare challenges, such as AIDS treatment.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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