Sara Menker and Gro Intelligence Are Tackling Global Hunger
With their annual Global Hunger Report, Gro Intelligence is out on a mission to shine a national spotlight on the pressing problems of hunger. That is because in a modern globalizing world, what happens locally in and around the poorest countries of the world is often the world’s worst. “We really believe that hunger is the biggest problem we have,” says Sara Menker, the CEO of Gro Intelligence.
In 2013, Sara was a senior product specialist at HP who used to work on business analytics and predictive analytics. She wanted to do something more with her life, and she set out to create a nonprofit organization that would address important global issues.
“We wanted to work with organizations like the World Bank, the U.N. and other groups to help give a voice to the poor globally while being able to use statistics to tell a story about the root causes of poverty and to highlight the solutions,” Sara reflects.
That started as a small team in her family’s office. And after a few months, they had enough traction to consider formalizing as a nonprofit. There was no organization named Gro Intelligence or anything like it. Sara recalls, “it was called the Gro-Mentor for a number of years and then we thought, why not just go as a nonprofit focused on hunger?”
In 2015, they formed “an umbrella organization” focused on hunger, called Gro Intelligence. Sara and her co-founder, Lisa Chittick, a former Stanford University economics Ph.D., are co-founders of Gro Intelligence, a research and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into the problems of hunger in the world.
Gro Intelligence’s work is based on a series of five “tactics” that address some of the biggest challenges of hunger today, while also helping companies and organizations grow their food industry and reach the world’s poorest. They are:
1. Focusing on the root causes of poverty: “In many cases, we will start with an idea for how to tackle a problem, and then work with our clients to use the insight to find the root cause.”
2. Bridging the gap between academia and practitioners: