From Silos to Solutions - Uniting for a New Era of Inclusive Growth

To build resilience and equity for a new era of inclusive growth, transformational partnerships will be key. Only by bringing together our collective knowledge, resources, and perspectives can we end extreme poverty, protect the planet, and ensure people everywhere can thrive.  

For too long, we have worked independently and sometimes in competition with one another, but the issues facing our world are too large and too urgent to continue this way. We need to break out of silos and move together toward solutions that address and reflect the interconnections between economic, environmental, and societal factors.  

On the eve of our Global Inclusive Growth Summit and alongside the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. in April, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth partnered with Goals House to convene a unique set of leaders from all corners of the world under one roof, with the vision of sharing and advancing ideas to create a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

Over the course of the evening, leaders discussed the role of financial inclusion in addressing climate change and advancing racial and gender equity. There was a resounding agreement among attendees that addressing the climate crisis is integral to building economic resilience and ensuring that economic growth is truly inclusive. We also heard many inspiring and positive stories from people and organisations who are creating inclusive and sustainable economies from the bottom up — lifting local strengths and empowering people in communities to be agents of change.  

Indigenous climate activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim spoke about the need to view climate change holistically, addressing the impact it has on local communities and increasingly interconnected global systems. Through the lens of Indigenous Peoples, Hindou has campaigned to protect livelihoods and bring traditional knowledge to the surface in the fight for our environment and its and biodiversity.  

From across oceans to here at home, Brandon (Stix) Salaam-Bailey — a rapper, record producer, and community activist — inspired the room with his passion for grassroots activation and for advancing equity through financial access and education in his Los Angeles-area neighborhood of Watts.  

Andrea Jung, the CEO of Grameen America, shared how her organization has brought the microlending model, first created by Nobel-prize winner Mohammed Yunus in Bangladesh, to communities in 25 cities across the United States. With a focus on supporting mostly low-income women of color, Grameen’s model has reduced material hardship, and increased credit scores and earnings for women building businesses.    

Rahama Wright, an entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Yeleen Enterprises, and U.S. Department of Commerce representative, Adrienne Elrod, both reinforced the opportunity to advance women’s entrepreneurship, each highlighting ways to stimulate small businesses to flourish and thrive through investment and technology.

Echoing the words of Lilly Singh, who spoke of the power of storytelling: “Stories make the world go round.” It is vital we foster and learn from each of these perspectives. What shone brightly from all our guests was that, with an integrated and inclusive mindset, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel to shift the dial – sometimes the solutions are right there in front of us.

It’s our job, at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and as decision-makers, to listen to these stories and act upon them, driving partnerships that provide sustainable solutions to some of our biggest global problems, with urgency and optimism in equal measure.  


The Mastercard Goals Night Out was moderated by Yahoo Finance Anchor, Rachelle Akuffo, with contributions from Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Founder, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad; Lilly Singh, Founder, Unicorn Island Fund; Andrea Jung, CEO, Grameen America; Rahama Wright, Founder and CEO, Yeleen Enterprises and member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa; Adrienne Elrod, Director of External and Government Affairs, CHIPS for America, U.S. Department of Commerce; Brandon “Stix” Salaam-Bailey, Founder, Thinkwatts Foundation.

Author: Shamina Singh, Founder and President of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

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