“Poverty, Inc.” Film Screening and Community Forum on Social Entrepreneurship

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On February 25, Texas A&M University leaders, community members, and entrepreneurs will come together at Grand Stafford Theater to discuss the business of international development, assistance, and social entrepreneurship. The award‐winning documentary film “Poverty, Inc.” will set the stage for community dialogue as experts from Texas A&M’s academic and research community offer their reactions to the film and respond to questions from the audience. The event brings together experts from The Norman Borlaug Foundation, The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School, and Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Tickets for the event are available online at GrandStaffordTheater.com. Student tickets are $5 and general admission is $8. Seating is limited.

Drawing on more than 200 interviews filmed in 20 different countries, “Poverty, Inc.” filmmakers suggest that the West’s position as protagonist of international development has given rise to a vast multi‐billion dollar poverty industry of for‐profit aid contractors and massive non‐governmental organizations. Filmmakers suggest that the business of doing good has never been better, but the results are mixed.

The evening will begin at 5:30pm with a social hour including heavy hors d’oeuvres followed by the film at 6:30pm. After the film, an expert panel will provide their reaction to the film and take questions from the audience. Panelists will include Lori L. Taylor, Director, Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy, George Bush School of Government and Public Service; Dr. Richard Lester, Executive Director, Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Mays Business School; and a representative from The Norman Borlaug Foundation. The panel will be moderated by Daniela Silva, a graduate student in the College of Agriculture and the initiator of the event.

“Inhabitants of developed countries are increasingly becoming aware and involved in international development. While the intentions behind charity donations and social entrepreneurship are whole‐hearted, it is important to understand the core reasons why poverty exists in the first place.” Silva said. “I hope that this film will provide some insight into development work and force people to question the status quo. ”

The event is generously underwritten by Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service; Dr. Richard Lester, Executive Director, Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Mays Business School; The Norman Borlaug Foundation; and AdventGX. Additional Texas A&M student organization sponsors include Just4Water, the Alexander Hamilton Society, the Hispanic Presidents Council, Texas A&M University GENTS, and Feminists for Reproductive Equality & Education.

“Events like these provide opportunity for intellectual engagement and are great for building community and enhancing quality of life,” explains AdventGX Communications Director Joan Quintana. “Having the event in an historic venue like Grand Stafford Theater just adds to the richness and intimacy of the whole evening.”