The World Bank presented their fifth annual global Doing Business report in Second Life yesterday. It was a notable effort to expand knowledge and understanding about the work of the World Bank to end poverty across the globe. Case in point as to the need for that very effort: Nobody Fugazi and Canuckflack (two very tuned-in people) wonder how the clients of the World Bank "many of them living in remote corners of the internet" were supposed to sign on to hear the presentation. The World Bank customers were not the intended audience - in fact, it was the exact opposite. It was intended to inform those who know little about the role of the World Bank. The role of the World Bank is to finance states (countries), not individuals or companies - but to my point, it is a widespread misconception that developing countries are "unconnected." Connectivity is in fact a driving force toward their overall economic development.
The event was extremely well attended (gratifying to see!) and the presentation summarizing the 2008 report by Dahlia Khalifa, senior communications officer for the Doing Business project of the World Bank, was chocked full of the high-caliber information you would expect to come from such an institution. Most unfortunately the session was also full of audio technical snafus and avoidable SL event-planning mistakes - but I for one found the session thoroughly engrossing and it upped my global economic market perspective quotient several notches. I am delighted to see the World Bank living up to their goal of innovation. And Second Life can indeed be a most suitable communication platform - if sometimes tricky.
To learn more about Doing Business 2008, to review market data or to view a variety of videos on regional economies and reforms visit the Doing Business website: http://www.doingbusiness.org/ For more information on market approaches to development and toward ending world poverty, check out the World Bank blogs: http://psdblog.worldbank.org/.
On a related note, The World Bank is not only employing social media to distribute information on global ecomonies, but it is watching the space for its implications toward ending poverty, growing businesses, and providing peer-to-peer support structures. They note in a recent blog post for example, a favorite site I reference in my social media "It's Sociology, Not Technlogy"© presentations, the peer-to-peer lending site Prosper.
Social media - and you thought it was just a new-fangled marketing or PR tactic. Go figure.
October 27, 2007