Martin Burt is joining Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as the university's first Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He will be on campus Oct. 1-5 and will give a talk on Oct. 3, "Making a Difference Around the World," which is free and open to the public. He arrives at WPI after spending a week in New York as part of the Paraguay delegation to the United Nations.
Martin Burt is a pioneer in applying entrepreneurship to address chronic poverty. A citizen of Paraguay, Burt is the founder and CEO of Fundación Paraguay, a 25-year old NGO, and is known for having developed one of the world's first financially self-sufficient agricultural and tourism schools for the rural poor. Burt is also a co-founder of Teach a Man to Fish, a global network based in London that is partnering with more than 50 organizations from 27 countries to establish self-sufficient schools, mostly in rural areas. His activities with the World Economic Forum include participation on the Education Global Agenda Council and membership in the Latin American Entrepreneurship Group.
Burt has received the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Award, the Microfinance Award from the Inter-American Development Bank, the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award from the Schwab Foundation, the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award, the Ashoka Changemakers Award, the Oikocredit Award, the Templeton Freedom Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the George Washington University and University of the Pacific.
Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 5 p.m.
Atwater-Kent Laboratories, Room 116, WPI campus, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass.
The Great Problems Seminar program prepares first year students for their future, critically important project work; as a requirement for graduation from WPI, students must complete two projects in addition to their course work. Undertaken in the junior and senior years, these projects provide WPI students with opportunities to apply classroom- and lab-acquired knowledge to solve important real-world problems. Student projects are managed either on or off campus, and often take place at sites that are facilitated by WPI's Global Projects Program in 30 cities on five continents. The junior-year project is known as the Interactive Qualifying Project; it facilitates students' tackling societal issues related to science and technology. The senior year brings the Major Qualifying Project, through which students work in teams to define a problem and then develop novel and creative solutions. Martin Burt was the guest speaker for the Great Problems Seminar last year. He will visit all the Great Problems Seminar classes, and will work with Interactive Qualifying Project teams and students going abroad next term.