The Blue Sweater

Recently I finished reading The Blue Sweater: Bridging The Gap Between Rich and Poor In An Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz. It was really a deep, thought provoking read. As someone who has an interest in international development, The Blue Sweater offered a different approach on how to address the causes and effects of extreme poverty. The title comes from the author’s donation of her favorite Blue Sweater to Goodwill, only to find that very same sweater 10 years later on a little boy in Rwanda.

Proving in a very special way how we are all interconnected, all neighbors on this planet. Jacqueline sought to acknowledge and understand the causes of extreme poverty and discover. Through success and failure – her work with Acumen Fund has developed sustainable, pragmatic solutions for those living on the financial margins of society.

Jacqueline shares interesting, inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of working in Rwanda (both before and after the genocide), her work in India and Pakistan and founding The Acumen Fund. Much of her focus in the book discusses women’s financial inclusion and the idea of “patient capital“. As Jacqueline Novogratz describes patient capital in her TED talk, “takes the best of the markets as well as philanthropy and aid. Patient capital is money invested in entrepreneurs building companies and organizations that solve tough problems like healthcare, water, housing, alternative energy.”

What interested me the most with this book is the whole idea of being interconnected, as humans, as Earthly citizens. Now a blue sweater on a little boy in an African country only tells part of the story. This is also a tale about globalization and economic impact – and how WHAT we do, impacts others in the neighborhood we call Earth. If you are considering reading The Blue Sweater, I would highly recommend it.


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