Paul Polak, a self-described "troublemaker" and social entrepreneur who has worked with thousands of farmers around the world to pull them out of poverty, will speak at a lunch event Tuesday, March 13, in the Wells Fargo Room.
The talk will run from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., with an approximately 20-minute talk by Polak followed by Q&A. Registration is required at haas-paulpolak.eventbrite.com.
Polak will talk on "The Future Corporation and The Other 90%" – a reference to his nonprofit D-Rev, which he founded to create a design revolution to help multinationals develop affordable products to help the world's poor earn their way out of poverty. "The Other 90%" traces its beginnings to a New York exhibition inspired by Polak that highlighted how 90 percent of the world's designers focus on solutions for the richest 10 percent of the world's customers rather than the other 90 percent who need them most.
Polak, originally a psychiatrist in Colorado, founded and now serves as chairman emeritus of the nonprofit International Development Enterprises (IDE). His ability to respond with innovative solutions – such as the $25 treadle water pump and $3 small farm drip-irrigation – has helped IDE increase poor farmers' net income by $288 million annually. Polak is the author of the book Out of Poverty, which includes moving stories about the people he and IDE have helped as well as practical advice on ending poverty in a way that honors the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor themselves.
Polak is in Berkeley as a regents' lecturer as part of a program that brings to the university distinguished people outside of academia in the fields of the arts, letters, sciences or business. Polak received Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in the social responsibility category in 2004 and was named one of the Scientific American “top 50” for his leadership in agriculture policy in 2003.
For a preview of Polak's talk, watch his 2011 TED talk on "The Future Corporation" at youtube.com/watch?v=ezVxt7TkyeM.
Polak's talk at Haas is co-sponsored by the Dean’s Speaker Series, Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, NetImpact, and the International Development and Enterprise Club.