Bangladesh Rickshaw Driver Builds Clinic

February 20th, 2012
in econ_news

by Roger Erickson, with editorial comment

Econintersect:  One rickshaw driver in Bangladesh, who saved for 30 years on $6 per day, founded a small hospital in the remote village of Tanhashadia. His efforts have made him a national celebrity and his clinic now treats 300 patients each day.  The following video from Al Jezeera tells the story:

Follow up:

Editorial comment:

This story is an inspiring testament to the positive impact of individuals, and a lesson for exploring emerging options.  When people do inspiring things like this, how can we honor their audacity, by visualizing - and then achieving - even more?

Upon reflection, it's useful to ponder the following questions:

1) If that man had spent a rupee on distributed, preventive health every day the last 30 years, what would be the aggregate impact of his accrued ounces of prevention now? How would it compare to his tiny hospital of repair today? More importantly, would anyone have recognized the distributed options enabled by his distributed actions? Would those individual recognitions have ever summed to the point of actually triggering coordinated group exploration of the generated options? After all, people, like 500 monkeys with typewriters, remain blissfully unaware of most emerging options. Group options are nothing without adequate group awareness that they exist.

2) Can we productively measure the lost opportunities attendant to hoarding currency for decades, before finally leveraging the leverage? If so, would we save fewer fiat assets, seriously deprecate the import of banks, and instead invest more in building aggregate capability. Culturally, that would entail a transition in practiced expression of our basic hoarding instincts, from hoarding base assets to hoarding coordination capabilities.

3) Can we accurately sense and track, as a group, the steadily diverging potential between our dynamic and static values?

4) If so, is there a reliable pattern to how members of any aggregate can instrument themselves and interact, so as to monitor and manage their more-than-the-sum-of-parts potential - instead of being restricted to more base, individual forms of hoarding?

5)  Watching the movie "Moneyball" reminded me how close we are are to capturing coordination on a greater scale as a culture. If we can capture the statistics that discriminate optimal sports teams from the sum of players, surely we can capture the distributed statistics that describe a “coordi-nation.”  The alternative is to be a nation that is no more than the sum of its uncoordinated parts.

Source: Al Jazeera

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