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Government’s invisible hand in developing countries

In the countryside of northern Ghana, there is not much evidence of government in action. There are few paved roads, state buildings, or law enforcement officials. It is easy to think the state lacks the resources to control much of anything in such places.  “In the rural periphery of the developing world, we tend to […]

Frequent encounters build familiarity

Do better spatial networks make for better neighbors? There is evidence that they do, according to Paige Bollen, a sixth-year political science graduate student at MIT. The networks Bollen works with are not virtual but physical, part of the built environment in which we are all embedded. Her research on urban spaces suggests that the […]

Academy in Ghana aims to develop world leaders

Carl Kwaku Dey MBA ’21 graduated this month with not only a degree from the MIT Executive MBA (EMBA) Program, but also with plans to open a school in Ghana serving children in kindergarten through eighth grade. He’ll do so with the support of nearly 40 of his EMBA classmates, who helped with fundraising, branding, […]

Transforming lives by providing safe drinking water

As a child, Susan Murcott ’90 SM ’92 saw firsthand the long-term impact that water- and food-borne illness can have on people. At age 16, her maternal grandmother contracted polio, which can be transmitted through direct contact with someone infected with the virus or, occasionally, through contaminated food and water. As a result of the […]

Startup empowers women to improve access to safe drinking water

In Ghana’s Northern Region, thousands of villages rely on water from artificial ponds during the region’s long dry season. The water is unsafe to drink and results in thousands of water-borne illnesses each year. Worse yet, the situation is totally preventable. Cheap, locally available water treatment solutions exist to make the region’s abundant surface water […]

Digitizing supply chains to lift farmers out of poverty

Millions of cocoa farmers live in poverty across western Africa. Over the years, these farmers have been forced to contend with geopolitical instability, predatory loan practices, and a general lack of information that hampers their ability to maximize yields and sell crops at fair prices. Other problems, such as deforestation and child labor, also plague […]

It all adds up

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is more than a math competition for high schoolers: It’s also a springboard for subsequent success. The MIT delegation that annually dominates the Putnam Mathematical Competition is largely composed of alumni of the IMO and related math competitions. Many of these mathletes remain involved by producing training or prep courses […]

Vectorly reinvents itself to maximize its impact on mobile learning

It’s easy to make major changes to a startup in the early stages of its development. But when an entrepreneur has invested years into building a company, attracting employees and customers in the process, changing course can be a painful experience. Sam Bhattacharyya learned that lesson firsthand in 2018, a year he calls the hardest […]