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经济学人:奥米迪亚式的给予

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Business

商业报道
Schumpeter
熊彼得
The Omidyar way of giving
奥米迪亚式的给予
The founder of eBay aims to be a more entrepreneurial philanthropist than his predecessors.
这位eBay的创始人想要成为比他的前辈们更成功的创业慈善家。
THE billionaire's dilemma:
这是一个亿万富翁的艰难选择:
spend 250m on buying the venerable Washington Post, or splash the cash on a start-up news network to be headed by a controversial investigative journalist with no experience of running anything?
花费25, 000万美元买下可敬的《华盛顿邮报》,还是把砸在一个刚刚起步的网络新闻公司上?而且这家公司的领头人只是一个毫无管理经验而且备受争议的调查记者。
It is entirely in character that Pierre Omidyar chose the second option, bankrolling the new journalism venture of Glenn Greenwald, best known for his reporting on the National Security Agency.
奥米迪亚当然是选择了后者,为以报道国家安全局而出名的Glenn Greenwald的新型新闻事业提供资金。
Mr Omidyar did not become a billionaire at the age of 31 by fixing an established institution, but by building eBay from scratch into a worldwide online marketplace.
奥米迪亚能在31岁的年龄就成为一个亿万富翁,是通过白手起家将eBay打造为一个涵盖全球的购物网站,而非改组一个已经建立的机构。

And fostering innovative start-ups with an ambition to improve the world has been the focus of his philanthropy since he gave up his executive role at eBay while still in his 30s.

也正是这个原因,使得他在30多岁放弃了eBay执行官的角色后,就把帮助那些想要促进世界的革新创业者作为了自己慈善事业的核心。
Mr Omidyar, who is now 46, has already deployed 1 billion of his fortune to this end, which puts his 250m media investment into perspective: a big bet, but not that big.
现年46岁的奥米迪亚已经将自己财产中的10亿美元用于该方面,借此我们可以正确地理解为何他会向媒体业投入这25, 000万美元:算是一次豪赌,却也并不离谱。
His wealth—still around 8.5 billion—is not the only reason why any venture by Mr Omidyar should be taken seriously.
我们关注奥米迪亚的原因可不仅仅是他仍然高达85亿美元的巨额财产。
Both at eBay and in his charitable schemes he has demonstrated an ability to turn a promising but vague idea into something concrete and substantial.
不管是在eBay还是在他的慈善事业上,奥米迪亚都展现出一种将有前景却很模糊的想法转变为具体而详实的计划的能力。
And the evolution of his philanthropy is a case study with lessons for other entrepreneurs seeking to become benefactors.
他在慈善事业上的创新也可以为那些需要帮助的创业者们提供不少经验。
In his first few years as a big giver, Mr Omidyar went from embracing the conventional wisdom to challenging it.
在开始几年大量投资以后,奥米迪亚对于传统观念从开始的全盘接受转变为了审视挑战。
From the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller a century ago to Bill Gates today, the American tradition has been for the rich to give a large chunk of their fortune to a foundation, usually carrying their name, which then doles out chunks of money to charities it likes.
从百年前的卡耐基和洛克菲勒到如今的比尔盖茨,富人们都习惯于将财产的大部分捐献给基金会。然后这个通常以捐赠者名字命名的基金会再将这些资金分配给合适的慈善机构。
Mr Omidyar started out doing that, but quickly concluded that handing out grants was not the most effective use of his money.
一开始奥米迪亚也是这么做的,但马上就发现这种单纯给予的方式并不能最有效地发挥资金的价值。
His experience at eBay led him to conclude that in the right circumstances a business can be at least as powerful a force for good as a charity.
他在eBay的经历让他意识到,在合适的情况下,商业行为也能和慈善活动一样,有着造福社会的能力。
By creating a readily accessible global marketplace,eBay had given hundreds of thousands of people the chance to improve their lives by becoming online entrepreneurs.
eBay就通过建立一个全球参与的网上商城使得几十万人可以通过网上创业来改善生活。
So in 2004 Mr Omidyar replaced his foundation with a new organisation, Omidyar Network, which sees itself as an active investor, not a passive donor, and is free to put money equally into for-profit and non-profit ventures.
因此,奥米迪亚在2004年将他的基金会改组成了奥米迪亚网络公司。公司的定位是一个主动的投资公司,而不是一个被动的捐赠者,同时也能自由地将资金用于盈利或者非盈利的创业行为。
Almost half of the 300 or so outfits it has backed aimed to make money—though Mr Omidyar has said that any profits will be recycled, with none going back to him.
在它所资助的将近300企业中,将近一半以盈利为目的的,虽然奥米迪亚曾表示这些盈利将会重新用于投资,而不是回到他本人手中。
The network's early years were a mess, with the sort of frequent strategy changes and staff turnover that are common among foundations.
早期,这家网络公司因为频繁的策略调整和人事变动而一团糟糕。但这种情况在基金会中也相当普遍。
Things have got better since 2007, when Mr Omidyar brought in Matt Bannick, a former head of eBay's international operations, to run the network.
2007年,奥米迪亚让前eBay国际运营主管Matt Bannick接受公司,此后情况开始好转。
He has focused it on five main themes: financial inclusion, consumer internet and mobile telecoms, education, property rights and open government.
Matt Bannick将公司的业务集中到了5大领域:金融包容,消费互联网和移动电信,教育,财产权利和开明政府。
With the non-profits it backs, ranging from Kiva, a microfinance website, to the Sunlight Foundation, which promotes open government, Omidyar Network practises venture philanthropy—developing a non-profit start-up in the same way as a new business venture, except for not expecting it to make money one day.
奥米迪亚网络公司采取了一种慈善新模式来资助从小型融资网站Kiva到提高政府透明度的阳光基金会那样的非盈利组织,即用和创业公司同样的模式去建设,只是不期望它们挣钱。
Typically, foundations have given funds for a specific project rather than to build the capabilities of the charity itself, which makes it hard for the charity to hire and retain talented people.
传统的基金会将资金给予特定的项目而非慈善机构,这也就阻碍了慈善机构吸引和雇佣人才。
In contrast, the network not only provides money for its charities' general budget, it has a human-resources department that helps them find good staff.
与此相反,奥米迪亚网络公司除了向慈善组织的整体财政提供资金支持外,还有一个为它们寻找雇员的人力资源部门。
This service seems to be universally appreciated by the charities Mr Omidyar backs, some of which say it is more valuable than the money they get.
这项服务受到奥米迪亚资助的那些慈善机构的广泛推崇,其中一些机构甚至认为这比资金援助有价值的多。
Although there are several other successful venture-philanthropy organisations, such as New Profit Inc, none comes close to the scale of Omidyar Network, which makes it the crucial test case for the idea.
虽然此外还有一些成功的创业慈善机构,比如New Profit Inc,但它们都没有达到奥米迪亚网络公司的规模,也因此该公司是这种模式最重要的试金石。
The moneymaking counterpart to venture philanthropy is impact investing: aiming to turn a profit while doing some social or environmental good.
还有一种和创业慈善极其类似的盈利行为称为影响力投资:以创造利润的同时努力使社会和环境收益为目标。
But Mr Omidyar thinks most so-called impact investors are being too risk-averse.
但是奥米迪亚认为大多数的所谓影响力投资不愿承受风险。
He has concentrated on trying to build viable businesses that sell to the very poorest consumers, where costs must be pared to the bone.
他一直致力于为极端贫困地区提供交易渠道,在那些地区费用要消减到最低程度。
Some of these already look promising.
他的一些努力已经得到了回报。
D.light, a provider of cheap lamps that absorb solar energy during the day and dispense light at night, in place of dangerous and toxic kerosene lamps, is now shipping 500,000 units a month, in India and Africa.
灯泡供应商D.light希望用一种在白天吸收太阳能而在晚间释放灯光的廉价灯泡替代危险且有毒的煤油灯。如今它在印度和非洲的销售额已经达到了每月50万支。
Bridge International Academies now has 200 schools providing poor children in Kenya with a decent education for 5 a month.
公司Bridge International Academies现在在肯迪亚有着200所学校以每月5美元的收费为贫困儿童提供初等教育。
MicroEnsure, a firm that gets mobile-phone companies to provide free life-assurance as an incentive for loyal subscribers, now serves over 4.5m people in Africa and Asia, up from 600,000 in 2010.
一家推动手机公司以免费安全保险来刺激订阅服务的公司MicroEnsure正为亚洲和非洲超过450万人口提供服务,而在2010年时这个数字只有60万。
Big enough to make a difference
足够影响世界
To be judged a success, Omidyar Network will need some of these promising start-ups to grow far bigger.
想要获得公众的认可,奥米迪亚网络公司还需要这些前景美好的新公司们的规模进一步扩大。
To encourage this, it is seeking ways to co-ordinate its investments in for-profits and non-profits so as to accelerate the growth of an entire sector.
为了达到这个目标,该公司正积极努力地平衡在盈利和非盈利组织的投资以加速整个行业得到发展。
So far it has succeeded only, to some extent, in microfinance, where it has invested in for-profit lenders and in non-profits that provide the ecosystem for the market, such as credit bureaus and consumer-information services, for which there was no viable commercial model.
目前,它只在小型融资业上获得了一定程度的成功。在这一领域,它同时投资了盈利性的借贷方和非盈利性的供贷方,如征信所和消费信息服务机构,为市场营造了一种前所未有的生态系统。
Can Mr Omidyar do the same in education? Or health? Or indeed journalism?
奥米迪亚能在教育业也做的同样出色吗?那么医疗业呢?当然还有新闻业呢?
His media venture is in a similar spirit to his other projects, seeking a new business model for the investigative journalism that he sees as a crucial underpinning of democracy.
他涉足新闻业的初衷和开展其他计划相同,都是为了给投资新闻业寻找到新的商业模式。他也把新闻业看做民主的基石。
Years more of work will be needed before it is clear whether his mix of impact investing and venture philanthropy can deliver social change on the scale Mr Omidyar dreams of.
奥米迪亚这种影响力投资和创业慈善相结合的模式想要给社会带来如他预想的那么大规模的变化还需要很长时间的努力。
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