Pivotal digital


The Kapuscinski Development Lectures at Copenhagen Business School are hosting a lecture by founder and director emeritus of MIT Legatum Center at the Sloan School, Iqbal Quadir, on the 23rd of November, 2015. Quadir will speak on how digital technologies, originally developed in high-income countries, can pivot low-income countries forward.

Based on these technologies, he conceived, organized, and built successful commercial ventures that have economically lifted up millions in low-income countries. His lecture will contain insights that led to these ventures.

He will also draw on his first-hand experience in implementing them and show how other new digital ventures continue to emerge in low-income countries empowering the average person.

About Kapuscinski Development Lectures
Top global thinkers discuss development in the European Union countries. The series “Kapuscinski Development Lectures”, named after Ryszard Kapuscinski, a polish reporter and writer who covered developing countries, is organized jointly by the European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme and partner universities and development think-tanks.

Over 50 lectures gathered since 2009 over 10,000 participants. In October 2014 - December 2015 the lectures organised in all EU member states contribute specifically to development policy debates as part of the European Year for Development 2015.

About the Speaker
In the early 1990s, Iqbal Quadir advanced the radical idea of introducing mobile phones throughout Bangladesh, including its rural areas that, at the time, generally lacked almost all modern infrastructures.

After five years of persuading, planning, and organizing, his vision was launched in 1997 through Grameenphone, a company that now serves 55 million subscribers. His efforts also brought the Norwegian telephone company Telenor to the continent of Asia—where Telenor now serves nearly 200 million. 

In 2010, Quadir helped found bKash, which allows the people of Bangladesh to safely send and receive money via mobile devices. bKash currently serves 20 million subscribers and executes about a billion financial transactions annually in Bangladesh.

Quadir has been promoting his philosophy in boardrooms and classrooms; in the world’s poorest and richest nations; as an author, editor, and speaker; and as the subject of newspaper, magazine, and book profiles.

After teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School for four years, Quadir joined MIT in 2005. He founded The Legatum Center in 2007 where he trained 200 entrepreneurial MIT students to pursue their own ventures in low-income countries.

He also co-founded and co-edits Innovations, a journal that has focused on entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges for the past decade. 

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