Archive for Events
Friday, October 24th, 2014
Jeffrey Hollender, Founder and CEO of Hollender Sustainable Brands. Hollender Sustainable Brands developed and markets Sustain condoms, the first US brand of condoms that is certified to be fair trade, free of chemicals of concern, and sustainably produced. Jeffrey is also Adjunct Professor of sustainability and social entrepreneurship at New York University and the co-founder of Seventh Generation. He is also a board member and former Board Chair of the Greenpeace US; co-founder and Board Chair of the American Sustainable Business Council, a coalition of 200,000 business leaders committed to progressive public policy; and a board member of Verite.
The Responsibility Revolution: The Business Case for Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Thursday Nov. 13, ISSP Conference 2014. Corporate responsibility today lies at the heart of many of the world’s most successful businesses. But to be successful, companies must incorporate sustainability into all aspects of business strategy. The Responsibility Revolution is as much about culture as it is about products. Responsibility is also about a systems-based approach, radical transparency, and leveraging the impact of business to regenerate a world faced with increasingly complex problems.
Hunter Lovins, Founder and President of Natural Capital Solutions. Natural Capitalism Solutions educates senior decision-makers in business, government and civil society to restore and enhance the natural and human capital while increasing prosperity and quality of life. Hunter has co-authored several seminal works in the field, including the ground-breaking book Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution and most recently co-wrote The Way Out: Kickstarting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass. She has taught sustainable business management at Bard College, Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle, Washington, and Denver University, and was a founding professor at Presidio Graduate School’s MBA in Sustainable Management program.
The Edge Economy: Creating an Economy in Service to Life, Thursday Nov. 13, ISSP Conference 2014. The global economy rests on a crumbling precipice. It is based on unsustainable assumptions and business practices that are driving societies and ecosystems into successive collapses. There are many palliative “fixes” that can prop the system up-but only for a time. What is needed is a new economic paradigm, one based on recognizing that the economy depends wholly on preserving healthy ecosystems and sustainable communities. If humanity is at the edge, let’s explore that space. In nature, edges of ecosystems are where diversity and abundance are found. Entrepreneurs use edges to innovate. Sailing to find new worlds, they show that the Earth is not flat, and that a circular economy is possible. The Edge Economy is where we can begin to build a world that works for 100% of humanity.
We’re looking forward to seeing you in Denver on Nov 12-14 for ISSP Conference 2014.
Monday, October 20th, 2014
Curious about Cuba? Spend J-Term with us!
Dr. Jan Black will host an info session about the practicum on Wednesday, October 22, 6:00 -7:30 pm in McGowan 100.
If you’re thinking about joining the J-Term trip to Cuba, please come to the info session to find out more. This opportunity is open to all current MIIS students.
If you’re not able to make it to the info session, but are interested in the trip, please email us for more details.
Dr. Jan Black, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Taylor Meyer, email@example.com
Please include all three of us in your email so we can get back to you as quickly as possible.
Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Friday, October 10th, 2014
The Hult Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative and Monterey Institute of International Studies are dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs with the 2015 Hult Prize at MIIS competition. The Hult Prize encourages the world’s brightest minds to compete in teams of 3 – 5 members to solve the planet’s biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises. On November 21st, MIIS will select a winning team to advance to the regional finals. Each regional winner will get to spend the summer inside the Hult Accelerator – an innovative incubator for social enterprise – and the champion receives $1,000,000 in start-up funding and a one year membership into The Clinton Global Initiative. All you need to compete is an idea, a team, and a 5 minute pitch that addresses this year’s President’s Challenge: Early Childhood Development in the Urban Slum and Beyond.
Get more information and register your team today at go.miis.edu/hultprize
Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Last Friday, October 3rd, marked the first East Africa Forum organized by the Monterey Institute. Nearly 50 participants came to enjoy the theme “Personal Transformation” through storytelling presented by two panels – a student panel and a faculty panel. After the panels, the MIIS Africa Club treated participants to drumming and dancing, as well as a reception in the DLC space. The event was a success on many levels – it provided a platform for community members to talk about East Africa, and gave panelists a chance to share their experiences.
One of the speakers, Mugo Kennedy, participated as a representative of his organization, AfroArt East Africa. Check out his blog about the event here:
Monday, October 6th, 2014
<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/68659872″>Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/ideoorg”>IDEO.org</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
For two years now, IDEO.org has partnered with Acumen to offer a course for those interested in learning about and practicing human-centered design. Join the over 25,000 individuals from 148 countries who have taken the course with us in the past two rounds, and become part of our flourishing community of innovative problem solvers.
Find out more below or visit the course page for additional information. Class begins on October 14th, so register now!
How does the course work? This course is designed with a group-guided learning structure. This means that in order to participate, you’ll need to form a team of between two and six people. Once you have your team, you’ll meet each week to learn the human-centered design process via the readings and workshop materials that we’ve created for you. Along the way, you’ll also tackle a social sector design challenge in your own community.
How much does the course cost? The Course for Human-Centered Design is free!
When does the course start and how long does it last? The course begins on October 14, 2014 and is designed to be conducted over a minimum of seven weeks, ending on December 2, 2014. However, you can also choose to do the course over a longer period of time if a different pace is right for your team.
Do I need to be a designer to sign-up for the course? This is an entry level course and does NOT require any prior design experience.
What if I’ve taken the course already? Human-centered design is all about practice, practice, practice! We encourage you to join us again in honing your human-centered design skills and have a brand new challenge to bring to the table. (Hint: think Amplify!)
What if I’m a more advanced human-centered designer? We’re looking for Course Catalysts to participate in this next round of the course and help our new human-centered designers learn what it’s all about. Learn more about this role and apply.
Who else is taking the course? You’ll join teams from around the world taking this course as part of the leadership classes offered by +Acumen. Last year, many participants found it valuable to take the course with their coworkers and explore how human-centered design can add new perspectives to their work—whether it be applied to nonprofits, social enterprises, educational institutions, or international aid organizations. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to share your learnings, ask questions, and get to know other course participants from around the world via an online community hosted on NovoEd.
Interested in signing up? Register by October 14th at: bit.ly/hcdcourse.
More information? +Acumen course ambassadors are holding precourse Meetups in cities around the world. Attend a Meetup to learn more and to meet other human-centered designers interested in taking the course.
More human-centered design?
Sign up for Design Kit and join our 58,000+ community of practicing human-centered designers!
Monday, October 6th, 2014
Monday, September 29th, 2014
Monday, September 29th, 2014
Why is Cuba such a contradiction? Because Cuba is characterized by everything I was told the world should not be! Socialist not democratic, communist not capitalist, systemic human rights violations, a dictatorship, inefficient, unproductive; should I continue? I was able to get a sense of this notorious island during a seven day immersive learning excursion with twenty-seven other MIIS students and the renowned Professor Jan Black.
There was a time when I imagined Cuba as a socialist utopia. I had thought Cuba was going to be the national anthropomorphization of Eugene V. Debs famous quote that is “opposing a social order where it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives to secure barely enough for a wretched existence. But, there is no substitute for actually visiting the country – after seven days in Cuba, I’ve realized that the little island nation, and the United States, are a lot more complex than I was led to believe in the comfort of my Midwest upbringing.
As an American, I grew up on the smell of apple pie; lightly toasted crust, crisscrossed across the top, somehow evoking feelings of liberty, justice…righteous stuff. You see, Cuba, at least for United States citizens, is one gigantic contradiction and trying to digest and make sense of the country through the nationalistic viewpoint from which my mind has been programmed to think, whether I like it or not, is no easy task. Close your eyes and think about apple pie. Now, envision biting into pineapple sorbet. So, I apologize now if, and that is a big if, you get to the end of this blog and you walk away more confused than you started. That’s fine though. Cuba could be the poster child for the phrase; the more you know the less you think you know.
Our professor and guide Dr. Jan Black told us to experience Cuba using our five senses. I would like to take the liberty of taking you, my reader, along for the ride with the idea of trying to engage your five senses. Unfortunately, I am less likely to engage your sense of smell. But, here we go:
We met with all different types of people, from Cuban foreign ministers to a diplomat from the U.S. Interest Section. We also met with individual Cubans, both pro-government and oppositionist. We met with U.S. expats working with the Cuban health system and Cuban students studying international relations. What was so trying after listening to all of them was that you could easily pick each one up and place them into two buckets, Cuban Nationals (CN) or U.S. Nationals (USN). Whether we were speaking to Cuban oppositionists or expat sympathizers of the Cuban government their rhetoric fit, nicely, within these two buckets. Their world-views and indeed those of us students had been systematically crafted by the nations from which they grew up and regardless of their support for either side or not they continued to use rhetoric that perpetuated the conflict between the United States and Cuba. What was most contradictory of all was that these two worldviews of the same conflict were like hearing two completely different stories for two completely different historical events told perpetually for generations upon generations without change.
How are these national worldviews constructed within a citizenry? It is often much more subtle than one would assume. Irrespective of whether we understand nationalism as a positive or negative force, it is generally acknowledged that nationalism places the nation on the highest pedestal and viewed as the supreme agency of meaning, collective identity, and moral justification. Critically noting that one of the powerful ways in which nationalism becomes historically instated is through its presumption that the nation is sacred, likening it to be equivalent to the church. Interestingly, if nationalism is being valued as sacred within the population we can see its physical manifestation in the ritualized images of national leaders and national public ceremonies that are underscored by the nations presumed history of greatness. Harry Anastasiou, a professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and world-renowned leader in the settlement process in Cyprus, goes as far to claim nationalism can be a justification for divine election.
Thursday, September 25th, 2014
A Vision of the Inter-Korea Relations and the U.S. Korea Alliance
Mr. Han Dong-man has been serving as Consul General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco since May 2013. Consul General Han received his Bachelor’s at Yonsei University in Korea and his Master’s in International Organization Law at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, France. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1985 and has held Secretary posts in Algeria, the United Kingdom, and Australia as well as in the Office of the President in Korea. In 2002, he served as the Director of the Security Policy Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and as Consul at the Korean Consulate General in New York. He also served as the Ministry-Counsellor at the Korean Embassy in Washington D.C. Prior to his post in San Francisco, he served as the Director-General of the International Economic Affairs Bureau of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011 – 2013). Consul General Han received the Order of the Service Medal in 2012 and he has written four books, including The Next 10 Years of Korea, an insightful look at the future of Korea on the international stage for the next decade to come. He is married and has two sons.
Open to the public
Irvine Auditorium, Monterey Institute of International Studies
6:00-7:30 pm, Thursday, October 2, 2014
This lecture is co-sponsored by The Center for East Asian Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies and The Gentrain Society of Monterey Peninsula College.
For inquiry, contact Prof. Tsuneo Akaha, Monterey Institute of International Studies at (831) 647-3564.
Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Over the summer, students participating in DPMI Kenya had the opportunity to visit President Barack Obama’s paternal grandmother! She lives in the province of Nyanza, on the eastern edge of Lake Victoria. Nyanza is a Bantu word which means “a large mass of water.” The provincial capital is Kisumu, where the DPMI training is centered in partnership with the Omega Foundation.
Said DPMI Kenya participant Maritza Munzon: “There is lots of natural beauty near town and I feel fortunate to have taken a walk through Kakamega Forest, taken a boat ride on the biggest lake in the world (Lake Victoria) and visited President Obama’s paternal grandmother! I never thought I’d get to do any of it, let alone the last part!”
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Participation: Guiding Value or Empty Buzzword?
During Professor Levinger’s recent sabbatical, she worked with 14 international organizations in 16 different contexts and countries. The one thread that bound this set of amazingly diverse experiences together is that each organization claimed to embrace participation as a value that guided their work. Her talk will explore the very diverse meanings that organizations attach to the term “participation,” and what this means for the future of development work.
All are welcome.
When: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 12:15 – 1:45 PM
Where: McGowan 100
Friday, September 12th, 2014
Michelle Zaragoza, IEP, left the United States to begin her Peace Corps service as an Environmental Education Promoter in Nicaragua last month. What follows is an excerpt from her blog: “My Journey as a Peace Corps Master’s International Volunteer”
March 5th: Just another regular Wednesday morning. I was pacing my living room anxious about the phone call I was about to make to my Peace Corps recruiter. Not having heard from them in more than two months I was more worried than excited.
First try went to voice mail and I thought I would just try tomorrow…I called again and she picked up on the first ring. She started some small talk, and asked what I was up to in my life. The whole time I was hoping she would just get to the point and tell me what ever bad news she had. She asked about the research I was doing in school and I gave her a 30 second description of my Fulbright proposal for an environmental education study in Nicaragua. She laughed…why was she laughing!? After what seemed like for ever she says, “Well we have a slight problem”…here it was!
She says, “I know we had originally told you you’d leave in September but that has changed. Could you leave earlier?”
Confused I said yes, although a little worried about how much earlier that meant. And she says, “We think you would be perfect for our Environmental Science Education program in Nicaragua that leaves in Aug…” YES!!!! YES and YES. I may have yelled yes about five times into her poor ear! After waiting ten months since I first sent in my application I was being extended an invitation to my top choice!
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
As a summer graduate assistant at the Monterey Institute, my daily tasks range from marketing programs, providing logistical support and even learning to cook hot-dogs on charcoal at Del Monte Beach. However, the best part by far is being able to be a part of the institute’s many summer programs such as FMS, DPMI, and PTD, or Peace Trade and Development. This summer I was lucky enough to actively participate on the many site visits with PTD. I’m pleased to share stories from our fascinating excursions:
When asked to describe the Monterey Institute’s Peace Trade and Development program, Reed College graduate Shruti Korada could not have said it better when she remarked, “PTD has made development come alive for me.”
In this simple statement, Shruti made reference to her learning and experiencing of complex development topics in the most hands-on and real-life way possible. The program included class sessions taught by top-notch MIIS faculty and many immersive site visits on the Central Coast.
Alumni Joel Saldana commented that PTD teaches students how to, “One, identify what the global issues are today, and beyond Identifying, two is understanding what those issues are, and the third part of that is for those individuals to figure out how they can try to be a part of the solution to those problems.”
Aside from the signature pedagogy in the classroom, the immersive excursions allowed the students to see peace, trade and development “come to life.” They began their transformational journey learning about local and global development in Santa Cruz, where they visited the Homeless Garden Project and the Firelight Foundation. After meeting with Global Supply Chain managers from Tesla Motors, they traveled on site to pitch a proposal about where should be the next source for lithium batteries.
After the visit, PTD Alum Jose Alvarez was most inspired by Tesla’s “drive for having no limits, literally. If somebody were to talk to me about going to the moon for lithium or washing away the whole oil industry, I’d probably laugh and walk away. When Tesla talks about that, though, you can’t help but to listen carefully and with all seriousness because you get this strange feeling that they actually could. Tesla embodies innovation. They’re the bold company the future needs for getting here.”
Salsabeel Khan described Tesla as, “an environment where even the sky isn’t the limit. Do you want to go to space? Go to space!”
The students also traveled to the Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco, where they met with MIIS alumni working in the Global Financial Crimes Intelligence department. Students learned how the department monitors financial transactions to prevent money laundering and corruption. Some students, such as Nyoma Clement were very intrigued by this field, and the visit helped them direct their career aspirations.
Clement remarked, “Actually my coming to MIIS has helped me reexamine myself as to what I need to learn in life. I have decided I wanted to do risk management. I really want to work in the area of regulatory compliance and managing political risk around the world and financial risk. I want to study how risk can be used to help governments, NGOs and the corporate world in accomplishing the tasks they have set forth.”
The immersive site visits solidified and transformed the career goals for many by allowing the students to speak with the professionals in the field. However, not only did they learn from the professionals in the field, as well as the expert MIIS faculty, but they learned immensely from each other. Just by sharing car rides, lunches and occasional trips to salsa dancing, I could tell how much the students had inspired one other. Their interests in the complex development topics were expanded and defined. To sum it up in four words, Jose Alvarez describes PTD as “innovative, different and an empowering experience.”
Learn more about PTD at go.miis.edu/ptd
About the author:
Cara Hagan is pursuing her MBA at the Monterey Institute with a focus on the role of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility within Supply Chains. She has interned for a host of non-profits, working primarily on economic development and workers’ rights in Latin America. She received her BA from Otterbein University where she studied in Alicante, Spain and Valdivia, Chile. Cara aspires to have a career in which she can positively impact supply chains, especially focusing on the lack of human rights in the garment industry.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
As a GA in the GSIPM office, I like to try and stay in-the-know about what’s going on in my department and around campus.
As it turns out, fall 2014 will usher in some changes. Yuwei Shi will begin to turn his attention to the new Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL), and teaching in the MBA program. As the founding dean of GSIPM, Yuwei Shi has shaped the Institute in significant ways, helping meld the separate policy and business schools into one school (GSIPM) in 2009. He will officially step down at the end of December, and in the meantime Jeff will serve concurrently, and then continue as interim dean from January 1 through June 30, 2015.
I had a chance to sit down with Jeff recently to chat about what’s going on, and what this means for us students.
During fall semester, he’ll be a busy guy – still chairing the IPS department and teaching classes in addition to job shadowing the current dean. He feels pretty fortunate for the overlap, and is looking forward to “learning what the rules of the game are,” getting to know colleagues from other parts of campus.
I asked him if he’ll continue teaching in the spring and he mentioned that none of the deans currently teach any classes. So if you haven’t had a class with Jeff yet – get in on one this semester before he’s off the market! There’s also a chance he’ll teach a J-Term class or two, but nothing’s been decided for sure.
What new policies or priorities is the interim dean eager to tackle first? He says he’ll be pushing for the immersive learning programs. “We have an exciting portfolio for students, and a lot of them are working really well,” he said. “DPMI and DPMI Plus are great examples. The challenge is the monetary one – it’s so exciting, but students ultimately opt out for financial reasons.” He also mentioned that sometimes students have trouble fitting them into their schedules or finding enough credits to participate. “If we really believe these are such valuable programs, we should find a way to make them more accessible.”
This is certainly something I can agree with, and I wish him the best of luck! President Ramaswamy encouraged Jeff to think long-term in regards to his new role, and reflect on what’s working well, and what could be replicated. If everything goes smoothly, Jeff will likely apply for the official position in the spring.
In the meantime, he says, “If anybody is reading this and has something to share, please come see me, or email me, I’d be happy to talk.” firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also make an appointment through Lauren Patron-Castro, Dean’s Assistant: email@example.com
As program chair of the International Policy Studies program, Jeff has been working with faculty, students, and staff to bring the IPS and MPA programs together within a larger, stronger and more focused program in Development Practice and Policy. As one of the architects of a major piece of curricular reform, he is well positioned to lead and oversee the implementation of new and revitalized programs.
Jeff came to MIIS in 2011, following seven years as a senior economist at the OECD in Paris. At the OECD, Jeff was the first Head of the Americas Desk at the organization’s Development Centre; the Desk has now overseen the publication of seven annual Latin American Economic Outlook reports on topics ranging from international migration, to fiscal policy to the middle class. In Paris, Jeff built a team of 20 professionals, led policy relevant research and dialogue processes, interacted with policy makers and experts in Latin America and beyond, and oversaw fundraising efforts totaling millions of euros.
Jeff’s experience as a policy researcher, manager, and fundraiser in the hyper-politicized bureaucracy of an international organization provided him with a mix of soft skills and thick skin that will serve him well as dean in the comparatively upbeat realm of GSIPM.
Prior to moving to the OECD, Jeff was a tenured associate professor of economics and international development studies at Dalhousie University in Canada. At Dalhousie, he coordinated the university’s Master in Development Economics (MDE) program, which, much like many of GSIPM’s degree programs, trains professional policy analysts with a passion for global issues. Jeff earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Monday, August 18th, 2014
At its core a cutting-edge institution, the unique, intensive, development-focused three-week Development Project Management Institute (DPMI) program seems ageless. Nonetheless, as “nae man can tether time or tide” (in the words of Robert Burns), 10 years have passed since its inception, and that is worth celebrating. “A decade of DPMI has produced over 1,000 alumni using their skills everywhere in the world,” remarks founder and fearless leader Professor Beryl Levinger.
This year also marks the change of the official name of the program from Development Project Management Institute to Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation – still DPMI! Levinger shares that the “process of renewal and reinvention means seeing ourselves not only as responders to international development trends, but also shapers of them.”
The DPMI alumni network is vibrant, diverse, and a source of wonderful social capital for past, present, and future program participants, says Levinger, noting also that there is “nothing more rewarding than seeing a DPMI team in action responding to a development challenge by drawing on culturally diverse perspectives, deep social interaction, and a rich toolbox of tools and approaches.” Apart from Monterey and Washington D.C., the program has been offered in Ecuador, Egypt, Rwanda, and beginning this year, in Kenya.
DPMI alumni are encouraged to share their stories on the anniversary website found at go.miis.edu/dpmi.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Be the solution…now, that is a daunting idea. So, where do we start at MIIS given that this is our core goal? Here’s an idea, let’s start by asking ourselves who we are as people and what motivates us to act. I’ll begin by sharing my latest inspiration in honor of the United Nations International Day of Youth – please chime in with your comments below!
Youth, Optimism and Peace
Young people living in less peaceful countries tend to be far more optimistic about the state of the future than their pessimistic peers living in more peaceful countries.
Originally published by Vision of Humanity on 12 Aug 2014
As the world celebrates the International Day of Youth, we ask how the 1.8 billion young people around the world feel about the future, and what this means for peace.
Using our own measures of internal peace and comparing them to qualitative data on levels of optimism and pessimism about the future, we were able to determine if levels of peace in a society impact on the optimism of the youth. The results might surprise you…
OPTIMISM, YOUTH AND PEACE
From a range of survey data is seems that young people living in countries with low levels of peace are, on average, pretty optimistic about the future.
While this may be surprising as those living in less peaceful countries tend to face greater barriers to development and often have less opportunities, their optimism about the future is promising, as future leaders this is the kind of thinking we like to see.
Not only that, but optimism is a key ingredient in the recipe for high levels of human capital, meaning it is one of the essential stepping stones on the path to a more peaceful future.
IEP estimates that 86% of the youth living in less peaceful countries (purple) are optimistic about the future, compared to 50% in relatively peaceful countries (yellow). Additionally, only 1% of people in low peace countries are pessimistic about the future, compared to 7% in high peace countries (see image below).
PESSIMISM AND PEACE
On the flip side we see that young people living in peaceful countries are more pessimistic about the future.
Having said this, it’s not all doom and gloom for those fortunate enough to live in peaceful countries.
In fact, if we look at relative response rates we can see that optimism across the board is about 10 times more prevalent than pessimism.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
If you are living in a peaceful country then… brighten up! Yes you have a long way to go in creating a more peaceful world, and better life for yourself than the generation that proceeds you, but you also need to recognise that living in a peaceful country gives you access to a lot more opportunities.
Living in a not so peaceful country? Explore what makes a society peaceful and take a look around your local community to see what can be done at the grassroots level to start creating a more peaceful and prosperous future for you and the generations to come.
– Published by Vision of Humanity – http://www.visionofhumanity.org/#page/news/1067
Do you have any opinions or inspirations you’d like to share with the GSIPM team? We’d love to hear from you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Last week the Peace Trade and Development (PTD) students met with Tesla’s global trade team at the factory in Fremont. The students were there to offer their pitch to the Tesla Challenge which called for proposals on sourcing raw materials for the new Gigafactory. In addition to the pitch session, the students were treated to lunch and a VIP tour of the Tesla factory, an impressive and re-purposed building conveniently situated in a California Free Trade Zone. “I was treating the presentation like a final exam, but when it came time to present, I had realized that we were speaking to real individuals with genuine concerns about their long-term acquisition of critical minerals. This wasn’t a quiz–my team had done in-depth research, provided a reasonable strategy, and were ready to have a conversation about alternatives.” – Shruti Korada, PTD summer 2014 student What was the best part of the Tesla challenge? Well, that’s subjective but things definitely got intriguing when one team suggested sourcing Lithium from the moon and another proposed a corporate-backed coup d’etat… Learn more about the PTD program via: go.miis.edu/ptd.