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Dear Jeff Bezos: Our Future Will Be Written By Long-Term Thinking

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Dear Jeff,

Interesting thought that perhaps your philanthropic strategy should be the opposite of business, focused on short term, "right now" goals!

I’d like to respectfully disagree—while direct service, as in feeding hungry stomachs, is needed and utterly important, philanthropy can go further.

Think of civil rights, the fall of the Berlin wall, the hospice movement, the modern standards of nursing, the Montessori methodology, the American library system . . . helping these ideas to fruition meant to believe in something more than short term results.

Whether or not ideas need philanthropic money does not correlate at all to how powerful they are in shaping the future. And not too seldom, philanthropic endeavors shape markets of tomorrow. Mobile banking was pioneered by a non-profit. Spearheaders of the sharing economy were non-profits.

If you look for systems-changing and mindset-shifting ideas, your dollars will have way more impact—in philanthropy as in business. 

In response to your call for ideas, we've invited Ashoka Fellows to share their ideas in the coming days at #IdeasforJeff—enjoy!

Konstanze
Ashoka’s leader in North America