On Oct. 9, the first TEDxWBG will take place in Washington, D.C. A special group of thinkers, artists, and doers will come together and look at the theme of ending poverty from multiple perspectives.
It is heartening that, as we approach 2015 and the end of the Millennium Development Goals, there seems to be strong political will for continued progress, along with interesting data that suggest ending poverty may be possible in our lifetime. While the statistics show a dramatic drop in poverty over the last 30 years, serious challenges remain.
In this TEDxWBG, we will explore what’s being done to reach those who have been excluded from the benefits of growth and development. Reza, an acclaimed photojournalist, will share striking images of his work with people caught in conflict. Susan Davis of BRAC USA will talk about a new program that pushes the frontiers of what's possible in development by assisting the very poorest -- those who are too poor for microfinance. And the World Bank Group’s Marcelo Giugale will talk about the importance of understanding poor people as individuals.
Ideas that can help end poverty can also be scaled up for impact. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, who’s recently launched her new firm, eleni LLC, proposes an efficient modern, agricultural trading system that is designed to serve millions of very small farmers and traders. Shelly Batra shares her vision of delivering TB treatments to remote areas across East and South Asia, and LABi’s Rafael Parente and the Bank’s Claudia Costin tackle the tricky problem of engaging disadvantaged youth and teachers in learning and education. We also get a glimpse of how a street artist can spread ideas for freedom and democracy.
Finally, we will hear about innovative ideas that can transform societies. Christin Clyburn, a young poet who took part in this year’s River of Words, the largest environmental poetry and art competition for children in the world, will present her award-winning poem about the environment. Jeff Risom of Gehl Studio explains how his firm reimagines cities. D’Banj, a singer and Nigeria’s first UN Youth Ambassador for Peace, talks about his vision for transforming his country with the help of young people. Finally, Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, shares his ideas on transformational development.
Ending poverty is a tough challenge, but with courage, ingenuity, purpose, and vision, it is a goal that is possible in our lifetime. This is the message of TEDxWBG.