Colin McElwee Finding Impact Podcast

FIP 019: Scaling People Reading with Colin McElwee

Worldreader focuses on getting people reading, whatever form and whatever content. In this episode, Colin talks us through Worldreader and the injustice that he’s fighting for, which is the unequal distribution of books and information around the world. They’re reaching 25 million people per month, most of which via their mobile phone, and then of that, about 20% convert to actually start reading on the platform. Colin has been Director of Marketing at ESADE Business School in Barcelona and worked in global marketing in the consumer beverages sector. He is an invited member of the Global Agenda Council on Africa of the World Economic Forum.

Some of the things you’ll learn on this podcast include:

  • Design and build systems big enough for the next level of scale, then grow to that level, and once reached, upgrade those systems, and repeat.
  • Colin’s biggest surprise was realizing that education at scale is the change-maker for many oppressed people around the world, especially the education of girls.
  • Their biggest lesson is to be device agnostic, as opposed to building for the kindle, which is what they set out to do.
  • Social entrepreneurs need to respect the market, and undertake constant learning to localise the enterprise for the market you’re serving.
  • We talk about the danger of congratulatory talk for social entrepreneurs simply because of a social enterprise efforts to do good in the world. This is deadly for achieving final impact, and should be avoided at all costs.

Resources:

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