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Development fair set for Friday

Development Fair

Students and other members of the MIT community interested in the many ways they can participate in international development are invited to this Friday's (Sept. 24) Third Annual International Development Forum/Fair (IDF).

The event, from 1-3 p.m. in Lobby 13, will feature representatives from more than 40 MIT academic programs and student groups who are doing development-related work, as well as student groups representing particular countries or cultures. Each group will have a table with a display where attendees can learn about the group, get to know the people involved, and discover opportunities for participating.

Some of the groups at the IDF focus on a particular need in developing countries such as water, food, transportation and education. Others focus generally on human rights, economic analysis or the dynamics of globalization. Their work varies, too, from offering public forums at MIT that raise awareness of issues to conducting research aimed at solving particular problems for people in places overseas.

This year, as an incentive to chat with as many of the groups as possible, each attendee will receive a "Passport to Progress." Those who get it stamped by a certain number of groups will get a development-related prize as they exit.

Co-sponsors of the IDF include the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice, the MIT Public Service Center, the Edgerton Center, Engineers without Frontiers, MIT Student Pugwash, mitTechLink, the Technology and Culture Forum, and designthatmatters.

Bustani seminars focus on Mideast

The Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar at MIT is celebrating its 19th anniversary this fall with three lectures on contemporary Middle Eastern affairs. The first was held yesterday (Sept. 21). The second will be held Oct. 19. Professor David Commins, executive director of the Clarke Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Issues at Dickinson College, will deliver a lecture titled "Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia and Beyond: Are They in Decline?" On Nov. 9, Sara Roy from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University will speak on "Palestinian Society: Decline or Disintegration?" Lectures take place at 4:30 p.m. in Room E51-095 and are open to the public.

The seminar is funded by the Bustani family of Beirut, Lebanon in memory of the late Emile M. Bustani, who received the S.B. in civil engineering in 1933. He was one of the Middle East's most prominent businessmen and philanthropists until his death in 1963. The Bustani Seminar is sponsored by the Center for International Studies. For more information, contact Laurie Scheffler at 253-3121.

Business knowledge exchanged

Sloan students gave a half-day workshop, BizPlan High@MIT, to teach high school students about entrepreneurship and business plans. Juniors and seniors from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School worked with seven MIT Sloan mentors on Sept. 18 to write simple, executable business plans and to begin thinking about entrepreneurial possibilities in their lives. The workshop was organized by Sumit Bhansali, a doctoral student in management, and was funded by the MIT Public Service Center.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 22, 2004 (download PDF).

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