The ISC Voyager

Patient Capital, Root Capital and Solo Adventuring
24/02/2010, 3:04 am
Filed under: Fortnight Update

International News Highlights:

BOP report published by World Resource Institute:Discussions of base of the economic pyramid (BOP) markets have, until now, relied principally on business case studies and rough estimates of market size. The Next 4 Billion uses previously unreleased data to measure market opportunity at the BOP.”

Jackie Novagritz on a different type of capitalism: Patient Capitalism: “The devastation of the Haiti earthquakes and the lack of infrastructure for responding to the disaster have deepened an ongoing debate over foreign aid, international development, and helping the poorest of the world’s poor. Jacqueline Novogratz, whose Acumen Fund is reinventing that landscape with what it calls ‘patient capitalism,’ is charting a third way between investment for profit and aid for free.”

Smart Projects:

Root Capital: What happens when you have a great idea, are too small for mainstream banks but too large for micro finance and you live in a developing economy? You simply seek out Root Capital, who will finance, advise and catalyze you into the flourishing social enterprise you dream to be.

Zafen: Creole for “It’s our business,” Zafen is a new model for peer-to-project lending that will soon launch with dozens of great sustainable economic development projects to support  in Haiti.


ISC Upcoming Events:

Nicaragua Lunch and Learn, Saturday March 21st, Room 626

Want to learn more about ISC’s recent trip to Nicaragua?  Come join us, Saturday, March 20th at 1pm in Room 626.  We will tell the story of our journey through remote villages in Nicaragua, where we learned about micro-scale solar and hydro-power and the challenges of life in el campo.  A 30 min slide show will be followed with a time for Q&A, a sweet video and discussion around the next service learning trip.  Hope to see you there!

Action Potluck: Design For Developing Economies, March 25, Location TBD

We will focus our energy and action around appropriate design for developing economies. Stories about improved cookstoves, distributed renewable energy and composting toilets will lead our action-oriented discussion. If you’re interested in helping facilitate, please email amanda.ravenhill at

The Latest and Greatest from the ISC:

Giles Hayward (C11), our January speaker, is working on an exciting sustainability project in The Bahamas called SINK.  SINK will be the first underwater art exhibition developed to explicitly explore not only the natural beauty of The Bahamas but also the importance of environmental conservation.  By bringing together the world’s most talented artists partnered with marine biologists, SINK will bring such socially important topics as climate change, pollution and marine conservation through visually stunning works of art to The Bahamas and beyond.  The participants will come from all over the world and will also highlight the brightest local talent.


Presidio Passport:

Every issue we will highlight Presidians travels abroad.
Presidio students, faculty, and alumni are encouraged to e-mail Amanda Ravenhill  and Tessa Rudnick to share your international stories: what you’ve worked on, what you’ve experienced, professional, personal, happy, sad, anything! The most compelling stories will be featured here. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures! This issue:

SOLO ADVENTURES by Tessa Rudnick

I like to travel alone. Put solo international travel on your ‘bucket list’ if you haven’t had the experience already. There’s something so empowering about making your own schedule, meeting new people, and doing whatever you want on your own time. It’s also a wonderful way of getting uninterrupted quality time with yourself. You are allowed the opportunity to self reflect, and gain more insight into your own perspective on life.

Before I did it for the first time, solo travel was never on my radar. I went to Europe by myself for two weeks as an undergrad because of a fluke. When my traveling partner cancelled on me, I decided that I wasn’t going to let anything hold me back. Traveling in Europe by yourself is relatively safe, so I thought I’d be brave and try a solo adventure. On my trip I ate at any restaurant I wanted to without debate, spent hours in cafes reading wonderful books related to where I was (try reading Prague by A. Phillips while in Budapest), and took adventures to off the path museums without a nagging traveling partner wanting to move onto the next destination (I would always find the local military history museums and spend the whole day there). I met interesting characters at hostels along the way, met friends of friends who generously hosted me having never met me before, and felt completely alive and completely in control of my own destiny as I traversed countries I’ve never been to all by myself.

I’ve since traveled to parts of Asia and other parts of Europe alone, and I get better at it each time. It’s an unfortunate reality, but women still face many problems when traveling alone internationally. Ladies, before hitting the open road with your passport, make sure to read different resources online about traveling solo. The last thing you want is to have something bad happen while you’re away from home.

As much as I love the experience of traveling alone, it can get lonely at times. Once in awhile, you’ll look around at the beauty, or experience something amazing, and realize you don’t have anyone to share it with. If this feeling ever sets in, all you need to do is think to yourself, “This moment belongs to only me.”


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