The Third World is Watching

I don't have the data, but I imagine smartphones are now as common in developing nations as in the First World. The President of The World Bank says that for the first time the poor know how the rich live - thanks to the images, videos and content they view on their iPhone.

Bringing a glimpse of the developed world to developing nations can have its advantages. This LinkedIn column explains how the World Bank along with its private sector and NGO partners are making significant investments in Third World development: improving access to energy, jobs, sustainable food supplies and opportunity.

Swiss Re and Oxfam America are making some of the world's most vulnerable areas more resilient. For example, they offer an income replacement insurance to farmers in Ethiopia and other sub-Saharan countries whose livelihoods depend on the weather. When a drought or floods wipe out an entire crop, the policy makes them whole. But how can these nearly-impoverished farmers afford insurance, you ask? Instead of paying a premium, they invest in their own sustainability by building an irrigation system!

Thanks to the smartphone, more people in the planet's remotest areas have access to news about these initiatives. The smartphone is shrinking the world in dramatic ways and showing us what is possible.