Legatum Center Hosts 2nd Annual Conference

Thursday, September 17, 2009

MIT Legatum Conference on Oct 2

The Legatum Center at MIT is holding its second annual conference on October 2nd, 2009 in Cambridge, MA. The Center’s annual conference provides a forum for discussion of issues relating to entrepreneurship and international development. In 2008, the conference featured an unprecedented gathering of 5 Nobel Laureates in Economics, as well as entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.

This year, the Legatum Center is hosting an address by Esko Aho, Prime Minister of Finland from 1991-1995 and Board Member and Executive Vice President of Nokia. In addition, the 2009 conference will feature three panels:

1) Entrepreneurship in low-income countries: This panel will include entrepreneurs from Africa and Asia, who will discuss their own enterprises and ways to promote entrepreneurship to further economic, social and political development. In addition, a senior economist will provide an overview of entrepreneurship trends across the globe and the effects that new governmental policies can have on encouraging or hindering entrepreneurial efforts.

2) Internet innovations that empower citizens in the developing world: This year’s technology focus is the Internet. With a special kick-off keynote by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, this panel will look at specific internet-based services that have empowered entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens in low-income countries. Speakers include the past president of Skype, a director from Cisco’s Emerging Markets division, and a social entrepreneur who has leveraged the web to create job opportunities for people in the poorest countries of the world. This panel will be preceded by an overview of internet-innovations across the developing world

3) Investors who fund ventures in Africa, Asia, and Latin America: The conference’s third panel will begin with keynote remarks by Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, founder and chairman of several prominent companies including Sycamore Networks, and a supporter of innovation and enterprise, especially in India. The session will include a detailed discussion with investors who lead some of the most innovative funds that support Small- and Medium- size Enterprises (SMEs) in low-income countries. Moderated by an African entrepreneur, this panel will explore the risks and rewards to these types of investments, what investors look for in a business plan, and how, given the financial crisis in the West, investing in the poorest countries in the world is now more appealing than ever.

Registration is now open / Seating is limited


Source: Press Release (link opens in a new window)