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COVID, conflict and climate change are among a confluence of challenges driving a tsunami of poverty that is already crashing into the lives of vulnerable people and communities around the world. 
The World Bank estimates that the pandemic, inflationary pressures and the impact of the war in Ukraine, will push an additional 75 million to 95 million people into extreme poverty this year, compared to pre-pandemic projections.

Peers from around the world for the Business Fights Poverty Global Summit explored these trends and deep-dove into how driving equity and building the resilience of people and communities are key to fighting poverty across its many dimensions.

We tapped into the latest thinking on the role that businesses can play, alongside governments and civil society, and hear directly from leading business practitioners and international development experts.

According to the UN, COVID may have set back progress in tackling global poverty by nearly ten years. Together with conflict and climate change, the world faces a huge wave of poverty on a scale that we haven’t seen in a generation.

This Summit gave us a chance to share insights, build new connections and identify new opportunities to collaborate on this urgent issue.

Access Insights.
Build Relationships.
Drive Collaboration.

The three-day Summit included highly interactive sessions that brought together voices and insights from across the globe, from business, NGOs, academia and government. We shared the latest thinking on the role of business in driving equity, building resilience and fighting poverty. We deepened connections and built new relationships to drive forward collaborative action.

We got the chance to:


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Hear about the latest trends in poverty, and what role business can play, alongside government and civil society.
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Access the latest practical insights from real-world examples of businesses taking action on equity, resilience and poverty so that you can scale the impact of your own efforts.
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Tap into current thinking and best-practice lessons on priorities for collaborative action, and identify new connections to take forward your own partnerships.
Briefing Paper:
The Poverty Tsunami
A brief outline of the latest poverty trends and the role that business can play.

Published April 2022

COVID, conflict and climate change are among a confluence of challenges driving a tsunami of poverty that is already crashing into the lives of vulnerable people and communities around the world. This briefing explores these trends and the role businesses can and should play.

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Meet some of our amazing speakers and panelists

Jane Nelson

Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

Ineza Umuhoza Grace

Founder and CEO, The Green Fighter

Rudaba Zehra Nasir

Global Lead, Economic Inclusion, IFC

Peter Bakker

President and CEO, WBCSD

Amalia Johnsson

Director of Programmes, Hand in Hand International

Marina Leal

Sustainability and Human Rights Manager, Natura &Co

Philip Crehan

Founder, Eolas Consulting and Senior Advisor, Center for Values in International Development

Ian White

Special Representative, UK & Ireland, The World Bank

Katherine Brown

VP, Inclusive Impact, Visa Inc

Tijana Williams

Director, NTD Access Programmes, Global Health, GSK

Fiona MacDonald

Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Talent & Culture, ANZ

Catalina Garcia

Global Director of Corporate Affairs, AB InBev and Board Director, AB InBev Foundation 

Valeria Gomez Palacios

Co-Founder, Global Emergency Response and Assistance, Nicaragua, and One Young World Ambassador

Pamela Molina

Manager, CSR, Agrolibano

Anouk Heilen

Global Sustainability Director, Social Equity and Inclusion, Unilever

Clive Allison

Global Sustainability Director, TRANSFORM, Unilever

Elizabeth Githinji

Customer Development, Leader-Maua
Mars Wrigley

Andrew Hunt

Co-Founder and CEO, Aduna

Scarlet Cronin

Senior Director of Global Partnerships, Tent

Noor Alkasseer

Arabic Language Partner, NaTakallam

Sheena Susan Varghese

President, High-Range Organic Woman Fairtrade Farmers’ Association (HOWFFA)

Zahid Torres-Rahman

Co-Founder and CEO,
Business Fights Poverty

Watch the video for a selection of Global Summit participant quotes from across our community and learn about their priorities for fighting poverty.
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AGENDA
MON 13 JUN
POVERTY
Understanding the latest poverty trends and drivers.


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WELCOME | ONLINE

1.30 - 2.00 PM BST
8.30 - 9.00 AM ET

What are the poverty drivers and priorities for business action?

Welcome by Zahid and Yvette Torres-Rahman, Founders, Business Fights Poverty

Followed by a Fireside Chat with:

Jane Nelson, Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School

Jason Channell, Managing Director, Head of Sustainable Finance, Citi Global Insights

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WEBINAR | ONLINE

2.00 - 3.00 PM BST
9.00 - 10.00 AM ET

How can businesses tackle the new wave of poverty?

This session explored the role business can play in tackling the new wave of poverty. What are the current poverty trends, and how businesses can use a multidimensional approach to poverty to respond? What is the role of collaborative action to tackle the deep systemic issues that drive poverty? Why should businesses take action and what lessons have we learned that could help others take action?

Speakers:

Anouk Heilen, Global Sustainability Director, Social Equity and Inclusion, Unilever

Jamie Coats, Co-Founder, SOPHIA Oxford

Catalina Garcia, Global Director of Corporate Affairs, AB InBev and Board Director, AB InBev Foundation 

Pablo Del Valle, Citi Country Officer, Citi Colombia

Katie Hyson, Director, Thought Leadership, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)

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*** INTERVAL ***

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WORKSHOP
IN-PERSON AND ONLINE

3.30 - 5.00 PM BST
10.30 AM - 12.00 PM ET

How do we work together to tackle multidimensional poverty?

This session explored how we can work together - across business, government and civil society to tackle multidimensional poverty. How does your organisation think about poverty in your sustainability strategies and what lessons have you learnt about measuring progress? How does your organisation take action in tackling poverty and what lessons have you learnt from success or failure about having an effective impact? What examples of partnerships are you working in to tackle poverty, and what have you learnt about the factors behind a successful / unsuccessful partnership?

Lead Discussants:

Clive Allison, Global Sustainability Director, TRANSFORM, Unilever

Ian White, Special Representative, UK & Ireland, The World Bank

Myriam Sidibé, Founder, Brands on a Mission

Pamela Molina, Manager, CSR, Agrolibano

Tijana Williams, Director, NTD Access Programmes, Global Health, GSK

Valeria Gomez Palacios, Nicaragua, Co-Founder, Global Emergency Response and Assistance, One Young World and European Commission Peace Ambassador

TUE 14 JUN
EQUITY
Addressing the inequities that underpin poverty.


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WELCOME | ONLINE

1.30 - 2.00 PM BST
8.30 - 9.00 AM ET

How can business tackle inequality?

Hosted with WBCSD

Welcome by Zahid and Yvette Torres-Rahman, Founders, Business Fights Poverty

Followed by a Fireside Chat with the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality

Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD

Ilham Kadri. CEO Solvay and Chair, WBCSD

Yvette Torres-Rahman, Co-Founder & CFO, Business Fights Poverty

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WEBINAR | ONLINE

2.00 - 3.00 PM BST
9.00 - 10.00 AM ET

How can business support the economic inclusion of LGBTI people and persons with disabilities in emerging markets?

This session, hosted with IFC, explored how business can support the economic inclusion of LGBTI people and persons with disabilities in emerging markets. What are some recent examples businesses focusing on the inclusion of LGBTI people and persons with disabilities as employees and as customers, and what is driving this? What are some good practices that others can adopt? What are some lessons learned on this inclusion journey, and what more does the business community need to do? The session drew on new research by IFC on the role of inclusive banking in supporting employees and customers. Available at www.ifc.org/lgbti and www.ifc.org/disability 

Hosted with IFC


Speakers:

Fiona MacDonald, Diversity & Inclusion Lead,Talent & Culture, ANZ

Kelly Widelska, Economic Inclusion Advisor,
IFC

Philip Crehan, Founder, Eolas Consulting and Senior Advisor, Center for Values in International Development

Simon Brown, Senior Global Technical Lead for Economic Empowerment, Sightsavers

Rudaba Zehra Nasir, Global Lead, Economic Inclusion, IFC (moderator)

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*** INTERVAL ***

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WORKSHOP
IN-PERSON AND ONLINE

3.30 - 5.00 PM BST
10.30 AM - 12.00 PM ET

What difference does tackling restrictive gender norms make to micro-enterprise and other social impact programmes?

Hosted with Hand in Hand International

Gender norms restrict the lives of women and girls across the world. Drawing on new research and key learnings from micro-enterprise programmes in Kenya, Tanzania and Afghanistan, we demonstrated how practical interventions that challenge accepted attitudes can empower women to earn and control their own incomes and have their say in and outside the home.

At this hybrid interactive session we found out why tackling gender norms is worthwhile and the practical interventions needed to empower women and support women's micro-enterprises.

Lead Discussants:

Aatif Somji, Senior Research Officer, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, ODI

Amalia Johnsson, Director of Programmes, Hand in Hand International

Dorothea Arndt, CEO, Hand in Hand

Jane Sabuni, CEO, Hand in Hand

Elizabeth Githinji,
Customer Development, Leader-Maua
Mars Wrigley

WED 15 JUN
RESILIENCE
Strengthening the resilience of vulnerable people and communities.
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WELCOME | ONLINE

1.30 - 2.00 PM BST
8.30 - 9.00 AM ET

How do we build a living wage movement?

Welcome by Zahid and Yvette Torres-Rahman, Founders, Business Fights Poverty

Followed by a Fireside Chat with:

Marina Leal, Sustainability and Human Rights Manager, Natura &Co

Anna Barford, Prince of Wales Fellow in Pathways to a Circular Economy, supported by Unilever, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Annabel Beales, Director, Learning and Engagement, Business Fights Poverty

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WEBINAR | ONLINE

2.00 - 3.00 PM BST
9.00 - 10.00 AM ET

How do we apply a climate justice lens to build business and community resilience?

This session, hosted with Change by Degrees, explored how businesses can put people at the heart of their climate actions. What does climate justice as a term mean, and what is the latest thinking on equity, justice and climate resilience? How can a climate justice approach based on participation and human rights enable the communities to be at the forefront of solutions? What have we learnt about the action businesses can take, individually and in partnership with others?

Hosted with Change by Degrees


Speakers:

Andrew Hunt, Co-Founder and CEO, Aduna

Tara Shine, Co-CEO, Change by Degrees

Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Founder and CEO, The Green Protector

Sheena Susan Varghese, President, High-Range Organic Woman Fairtrade Farmers’ Association (HOWFFA)

Alice Allan, Collaboration Director, Business Fights Poverty (moderator)

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*** INTERVAL ***

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WORKSHOP
IN-PERSON AND ONLINE

3.30 - 5.00 PM BST
10.30 AM - 12.00 PM ET

How can business best support the livelihoods of refugees?

This session, hosted with Visa, explored how businesses can best support the livelihoods of refugees. What models of engagement of the business community to support refugees in the immediate and longer-term are showing promise and can be scaled? What is needed to take action to the next level, what are the bottlenecks and how can we overcome them?

Hosted with Visa Inc


Lead Discussants:

Noor Alkasseer, Arabic Language Partner, NaTakallam

Hamze Ghalebi, Founder and CEO, Remotion and former President, SINGA

Katherine Brown, VP, Inclusive Impact, Visa Inc

Michel Botzung, Manager, IFC

Scarlet Cronin, Senior Director of Global Partnerships, Tent

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About Us
We are a global community of people, companies and organisations passionate about building an equitable and resilient future.

We believe in the power of business to help improve the lives, livelihoods and learning opportunities of the most vulnerable people and communities.

We know that driving system-level change for a better future requires people to unite across traditional divides and come together in fresh and creative ways.

We curate purposeful collaboration to help companies and their partners access the insights and relationships they need to unlock new opportunities for business and social impact.

Join us. We are Business Fights Poverty.


Business Fights Poverty is proud to be a Founding UK B Corp.

© 2021 Business Fights Poverty. The Business Fights Poverty logo and tree device are registered trademarks. View Terms and Conditions.
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