Monday, July 21, 2008

The Girl Effect

I am in the process of reading Made to Stick. Checking out the companion blog I came across this idea - that investing in girls in the developing world will deliver a far greater effect than investing in boys. Putting aside qualms I have about the inherent sexism of the idea - the way that the Girl Effect organisation has communicated their premise is superb - lots of comples information distilled into a persuasive 2 minute presentation.

According to the Made to Stick blog:

"At this point, they’ve got a credibility problem. You now understand what they mean by investing in girls, but why would you believe that the “girl effect” can make a dent in big global problems? The approach they use is “micro –> macro”. First, they paint a picture of a single girl. They show how the investment has cascading effects in her family and in her community. Then, they shift to the macro. “Multiply that by 600 million girls in the developing world…” [The zooming-out effect with the dots is a nice touch to make this more concrete.] This micro/macro approach also works well for entrepreneurs — I’ve often seen entrepreneurs highlight a single, vivid customer situation and then switch to the macro (”Our market research shows that there’s a $1.2 billion market made up of 181,000 customers with the same needs as this one.”)

Then comes the wrap-up. ideally, this will inspire you and move you closer to action. I love the line: “Invest in a girl and she will do the rest.” It makes you feel like you’re on a team — you do your part and she’ll do hers. Which brings me to my one (and really only) quibble: I don’t like the closing line … “It’s no big deal. Just the future of humanity.” To me, this line was a bit jarring … just when you’re feeling positive and empowered, all of the sudden you’re hit with a tinge of guilt. (”It’s on you, pal — the future of humanity.”) I think it would have been stronger to end with the “Invest in a girl and she will do the rest.”


Made to Stick- the book.
Made to Stick - blog

The Girl Effect site

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