“Economic development is of the people, by the people and for the people,” declared entrepreneur and economist Iqbal Quadir on the TED stage back in 2005. In his talk, [ted_talkteaser id=79]he offered a bold vision for bottom-up development and shared a searing critique of foreign aid — that it actually does more harm than good. His own story of innovation in his native Bangladesh illustrated his vision for grassroots development: Grameenphone is a network of mobile phones for Bangladesh’s poor that increases productivity by increasing connectivity.
Eight years later, Quadir is still thinking deeply about development in the world’s poorest countries. Grameenphone has grown to become the largest phone provider in Bangladesh. And Quadir, now a professor at MIT, has turned his attention to training the next generation of grassroots entrepreneurs.
At the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT, which he founded in 2007, Quadir teaches…
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