Tom Graham – Unlocking the Potential of the Filipinos

Ep 020 Tom Graham

Today, Derek is once again joined by Tom Graham, a very inspiring guy. They will briefly talk about the untapped potential of the Filipinos and the ‘walang iwanan’ popular saying within the Philippine community.


• Tom Graham is an English guy, who grew up in London and came over to cover a story here. He is an author of a book called “The Genius of the Poor”. He’s also the founder of a Travel Company called Mad Travel and he works with Gawad Kalinga.
• They talked about the massive untapped human resources of the Philippines.
• There are roughly 20 million people in this country living in less than $2/day. It is not because they’re lazy or they’re unable to learn. They’re just not given the opportunities in life.
• In Gawad Kalinga villages, children are learning to speak French because there’s a partnership between the France education institutions and Gawad Kalinga. Gawad Kalinga is in partnership with about 25 Universities from Europe
• Nothing says that you care for these people more than being there for them. It means so much more than money.
• Tom also mentioned that he sees a very bright future for the Philippines and wouldn’t change being here in the Philippines, helping Gawad Kalinga.

Key Points

• Social enterprise is really important, it is not only about accepting and giving handouts. It’s about giving an opportunity to as many people as possible and making sure that everybody is empowered to act and  do something with that opportunity.
• The Filipino value “walang iwanan” or no one left behind is very important because when people make it as entrepreneurs, for example, they could help other people to create a much larger change in their community.
• Filipinos, when given the chance, can make something out of themselves. They just need an equal opportunity.



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