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Making A Difference

Training conference at Northwestern to give people skills to change the world

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April 14, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- David Bornstein -- author of “How to Change the World: Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas” -- will deliver the keynote address at a student-organized conference about social innovation taking place from April 20 through 24 on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. 

Free and open to the public at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 24, Bornstein’s lecture is the culmination of the 2011 Global Engagement Summit (GES), a five-day training conference designed to teach some of the skills required to create global change. His keynote address will take place in Norris University Center’s McCormick Auditorium, 1999 Campus Drive. 

The GES was first established in 2005 to create a community of the next generation of global change leaders. Organized each year by more than 50 Northwestern undergraduates, the summit is part of a series of yearlong student-organized events designed to foster discussion and critical thinking about social change and global issues. 

“Through their efforts, the student organizers take charge of their learning and enrich the discussions on campus about the role of the student, university and global citizen in creating positive global change,” says Brian Hanson, director of Northwestern’s Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies.

This year’s GES will be attended by 60 student delegates from universities in Iraq, Burundi Spain, Israel, the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries. 

A frequent writer on social innovation, Bornstein has written for The Atlantic Monthly and New York Times. He is co-writer of “To Our Credit,” a PBS documentary on microenterprise development -- the practice of extending small loans and other support to low-income people to help them create their own employment -- and author of “The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank,” also about micro-lending.

In “How to Change the World,” Bornstein profiles men and women around the world who are finding innovative solutions to a wide range of social and economic problems. “Its readers will discover the astonishing accomplishments a person can make in the world,” says Hanson, who also is a lecturer in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

For information about Bornstein’s keynote address, other Global Engagement Summit events or the Buffett Center, visit http://theges.org/, e-mail a-toulmin@northwestern.edu or call (708) 609-0692.