In 2005, there was an unprecedented focus on overcoming world poverty. But debate focused on the ‘what’s’ without sufficient attention to the ‘how’s’. Bunker Roy argues that people in poverty must – and can – be the authors of better livelihoods. Top-down approaches won’t work. This important address is intended to ground the Forum’s predominant concern with finance and capital market development in real needs, and the practical ways social entrepreneurs utilise different assets to bring about change.