[act-ma] Sept. 24 (tonight): "Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail" with Dr. Paul Polak and Dr. Jasmine Waddell; presented by Ford Hall Forum

Mary Curtin marycurtin at comcast.net
Thu Sep 24 09:31:08 PDT 2009

Ford Hall Forum
at Suffolk University

Paul Polak
with Jasmine Waddell

Out of Poverty:
What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail

Thursday, September 24, at 6:30-8:00 pm
C. Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University

(Boston, MA) Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University presents Dr. Paul Polak
on "Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail," moderated
by Dr. Jasmine Waddell. Thursday, September 24, at 6:30-8:00 pm. Followed by
an open discussion and book signing. Admission is free and open to all. C.
Walsh Theatre, Suffolk University, 55 Temple Street, Boston, MA. Wheelchair
accessible and conveniently located near the Park Street MBTA station. For
more information, call the Ford Hall Forum at 617-557-2007 or visit

"What makes poor people poor? What can they do about it? And why have
traditional international aid programs fallen so short of their promise?
These questions drove Dr. Paul Polak to work with thousands of farmers in
countries around the world - including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia,
Vietnam, and Zimbabwe - to help design and produce low-cost,
income-generating products that allow individuals to create their own wealth
and build better lives. Innovations such as the $25 treadle pump and $3
small farm drip-irrigation systems have already generated enormous sums of
money and helped to raise millions out of poverty. Dr. Paul Polak, writer
and founder of International Development Enterprises, joins Dr. Jasmine
Waddell, Senior Officer for Research and Learning for the US Regional Office
of Oxfam America, to discuss how innovative entrepreneurial practices are
empowering individuals to address poverty at its roots.

Background information:

Paul Polak-founder of Colorado-based non-profit International Development
enterprises (IDE)-is dedicated to developing practical solutions that attack
poverty at its roots. For the past 25 years, Paul has worked with thousands
of farmers in countries around the world-including  Bangladesh, India,
Cambodia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal,  Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe-to help
design and produce low-cost, income-generating products that have already
moved 17 million people out of poverty.

Before establishing IDE, Paul practiced psychiatry for 23 years in Colorado.
To better understand the environments influencing his patients, Paul would
visit their homes and workplaces. After a trip he made to Bangladesh, he was
inspired to use the skills he had honed while working with homeless veterans
and mentally ill patients in Denver to serve the 800 million people living
on a dollar a day around the world. Employing the same tactics he pioneered
as a psychiatrist, Paul spent time "walking with farmers through their
one-acre farms and enjoying a cup of tea with their families, sitting on a
stool in front of their thatched-roof mud-and-wattle homes."

Paul's ability to respond with innovative solutions-such as the $25 treadle
pump and small farm drip-irrigation systems starting at $3-helped IDE
increase poor farmers' net income by $288 million annually.  IDE received a
$14 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in 2006. In 2004,
Paul received Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award in the social
responsibility category. And Paul was named one of the Scientific American
"top 50" for his leadership in agriculture policy in 2003.

[Source: http://www.paulpolak.com/html/paul.html]

Jasmine Waddell serves as Senior Officer for Research & Learning in the US
Regional Office at Oxfam America.  She completed her B.A. with honors in
political science from Brown University, then earned her M.Phil. in
Comparative Social Policy and her Ph.D. in Social Policy from the University
of Oxford as a U.S. Rhodes Scholar.  After pursuing her doctoral research on
anti-poverty policies in South Africa, Jasmine served as a National
Institutes of Child and Human Development (NICHD) Postdoctoral Research
Fellow at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. She also
served as a Lecturer at Boston College, where she taught a seminar on the
sociology of human rights. Jasmine spent a year in Corporate and Foundation
Relations and was involved with raising over $2M for programs at the Lynch
School of Education at Boston College.  She is actively involved in various
national and local organizations including the Association American of
Rhodes Scholars (AARS), South Africa Partners, and the AIDS Action Committee
of Massachusetts.

The Ford Hall Forum is the nation's oldest continuously operating free
public lecture series. The Forum promotes freedom of speech and fosters an
informed and effective citizenry through the public presentation of
lectures, debates, and discussions. Its events illuminate the key issues
facing our society by bringing to its podium knowledgeable and
thought-provoking speakers, including some of the most controversial opinion
leaders of our times. These speakers are presented in person, for free, and
in settings, which facilitate frank and open debate.

The Forum began in 1908 as a series of Sunday evening public meetings held
at the Ford Hall, which once stood on Beacon Hill in Boston. While the
original building no longer exists, the public conversations have continued
throughout the Greater Boston area with the generous support of foundations,
corporations, academic institutions, and individuals. As the Forum marks its
100th Anniversary, it is embarking on a new partnership with the Suffolk
University College of Arts & Sciences. Suffolk is now housing the Forum's
administrative offices just a block away from where the original Ford Hall
once stood.

Ford Hall Forum programs are made possible through the generous
contributions from individual members as well as corporations and
foundations, including The Boston Foundation, The Boston Public Library,
Citizens Bank, Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, CBT Architects, Digitas,
The Fred and Marty Corneel Fund, Fidelity Investment, Helen Rees Literary
Agency, Houghton Chemical Corporation, Iron Mountain, Jackson & Company,
Levine, Katz, Nannis + Solomon, PC, Louise Farrell Studios, The Lowell
Institute, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Nellie Mae Education Foundation,
The Pfizer Foundation, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, Prince, Lobel,
Glovsky & Tye LLP, Suffolk University, The WAND Education Foundation, WBUR,
and the WGBH Forum Network.

For more information on the Ford Hall Forum, contact Executive Director Alex
Minier, 617-557-2007, alex at fordhallforum.org or visit www.fordhallforum.org.
Information about Suffolk University's partnership with the Ford Hall Forum
can be obtained by contacting Mariellen Norris, (617) 573-8450,
mnorris at suffolk.edu. 


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