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Issue 61 - 06 | Design for the Other 90%

By Paul Polak
Published Aug. 12, 2009 8:44 p.m.
“Ninety percent of the world’s designers spend all their time working on solutions to the problems of the richest 10 percent of the world’s customers.

A revolution in design is needed to reverse this silly ratio and reach the other 90 percent. In my book, Out of Poverty, I talk about how this can be done. I pull stories from some of the 17 million people I’ve help lift from poverty with the organization I founded 25 years ago, International Development Enterprises. More recently, we have incorporated an organization called D-Rev: Design for the Other Ninety Percent, whose mission is to create the design revolution.”

About Paul Polak | Psychiatrist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr. Paul Polak is the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE), a nonprofit that is harnessing the power of the market to alleviate poverty. Through IDE, he has helped over 17 million impoverished farmers in developing countries to escape the cycle of subsistence poverty. What makes Paul’s work unique is the market-based approach that he brings to poverty alleviation—an approach based on his belief that the rural poor are natural entrepreneurs who, if given the opportunity, will invest their own limited resources to ensure their families’ security and well-being.


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