7 Universities Channel Resources To Address Real-World Development Challenges

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Can the ‘Ivory Tower’ end poverty?
Ticora V. Jones, chief of the Higher Education Solutions Network at USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab

“Some of the most innovative thinking in the world happens within universities… and never leaves. Meanwhile, outside the Ivory Tower walls, the world’s greatest challenges — poverty, access to health care, climate change — still need solving. We need to break the Tower walls to get these brilliant ideas out and into the real world. Seven universities are working together to change that. These seven schools in the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) — a partnership led by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s U.S. Global Development Lab — channel the ingenuity of university students, researchers, and faculty toward solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. Instead of just learning in the abstract, students are working with community leaders, industry experts, and private sector partners to deploy their ideas in more than 50 countries that need it most. These students aren’t just learning within the walls of a classroom, they are part of a far larger structure that allows them to partner, leverage, and cooperate across time zones, borders, and cultures so that innovative ideas can flow freely between them…” (10/4).