Date(s) - 02/01/2010
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

MIT 1-277

Categories No Categories

A Talk by Manish Bhardwaj

Predicting the success of any new enterprise is difficult, but most social entrepreneurs face an added challenge: their lives bear little resemblance to the people they serve. This can significantly impede their understanding of what matters most to their customer, her priorities and concerns, resources, the constraints imposed by her environment, and the interplay between agents. Bridging this gap, and not technology per se, is arguably the chief determinant of success. While there is no substitute for gaining a deeper understanding of the community, in part by immersing oneself in it, this talk will draw lessons from past successes and failures to help us avoid common traps, and improve our chances of meaningfully serving our communities.
(Acknowledgment: The title myth is courtesy Kentaro Toyama, Microsoft Research India.)