MSE Seminar: Social Entrepreneurship as an Opportunity for Engineers in Materials Science

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Martin Burt

Distinguished Visiting Professor
School of Social Science and School of Social Ecology
UC Irvine

Abstract: In this seminar, we will explore how social entrepreneurs target difficult and unjust social and environmental problems, discover the opportunities imbedded in such problems and apply entrepreneurial and business strategies to create sustainable and scalable solutions. We will discover how social entrepreneurs are not necessarily interested in improving existing social systems nor in becoming social activists but are committed to creating and sustaining new systems. Special emphasis will be placed on case studies of engineering solutions to wicked problems and how ingenuity, inspiration, creativity and innovation are combined to produce permanent benefits to targeted groups and society at large. 

Bio: Martín Burt is founder and chief executive officer of Fundación Paraguaya, a nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion of social entrepreneurship and economic self-reliance to eliminate poverty around the world. He is currently a board member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum, the Global Foodbanking Network and Teach A Man To Fish. In public service, he has served as chief of staff to the president of Paraguay, was elected mayor of Asunción, and appointed vice minister of commerce. Burt has written books on economics, development, municipal government, poetry and education. He was born in Asunción, Paraguay, where he resides with his family.