MEDA in the News

Letter to the Future from Allan Sauder, President of MEDA

As printed online at the Global Compact Network Canada

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To celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary next year and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) welcomes you to contribute to an enlightening publication for Canada and the world by writing a letter to the next generation of leaders.

Tell us about your role and how you are contributing to the society:

At MEDA, we believe in the power of markets and the entrepreneurial spirit of humankind. For over 60 years we have been creating business solutions to poverty – and have been working around the world to bring economic justice and inclusion to poor communities. We seek to create, sustain, and innovate as we partner with individual clients, growing enterprises, and investors to seize economic opportunities.

Presently, what do you like about Canada?:

I love Canada’s diversity, resilience, tolerance, sense of humour, work ethic, humanity, multiculturalism, and our tradition of peace-keeping.

Your Letter to the Future:

Dear Future Leaders,

As an international non-governmental organization working to eradicate poverty by harnessing the power and altruism of private sector partners, we at Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) sincerely hope we are out of business by now. We want to believe our world has come together to, at last, tackle what has been such a scourge on humanity to date.

And we imagine that you’ve achieved this aim through persistent attention to innovations in designs and systems that better allow us – all Canadians and citizens of the world – to work together on shared values such as equal economic opportunities, social justice, environmental stewardship and enduring peace.

We maintain an unwavering faith in the power of people and human ingenuity to find scalable solutions for communities in poverty. And we know from our own supporters that people have a generous spirit and believe that harnessing the power of markets can be good for all. Our world is a peaceful world when everyone enjoys equitable and meaningful economic and social value.

As we write this in 2016, we are on the cusp of a shift in how most government donors, private sector players and civil society view the best way to advance international development. Economics has been central to how societies have progressed since time immemorial – and so we encourage you to continue championing practical business strategies that stimulate climate-smart growth and reduce boundaries for populations at risk – particularly the rural poor, women, and youth.

MEDA’s intent was to ensure that we did our part so that you inherited a world in which sustained economic growth and decent work for all fostered global communities that thrived in mutually beneficial commerce and peaceful harmony. While it sounded like an impossible dream to us, we trust you are well on your way to living it. We hope the Sustainable Development Goals that the global community launched in 2015 served as guideposts to this end.

While we currently live in an economically unjust world with dangerous gaps between the rich and the poor that fuel conflict and misery, we are heartened to know that you, the leaders of our grandchildren’s world, are moving beyond such imbalance.

Thank you for continuing the good work to ensure all people may unleash their God-given potential to earn a livelihood, provide for families and enrich their communities.

Warm regards,

Allan Sauder
President – MEDA