College of Business Hosts Economic Development Expert for Sustainable Speaker Series March 4

Paul Polak, founder of the Colorado-based non-profit International Development Enterprises, will speak at Colorado State University Tuesday, March 4, as part of the Sustainable Enterprise Speaker Series sponsored by the College of Business.

Polak, whose innovative poverty solutions helped his organization increase the net income of poor farmers by $288 million annually, will speak about his new book, "Out of Poverty, What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail." His speech will discuss how traditional aid approaches to combat poverty are not working and will explore other practical methods to solve the situation. The topic will interest people who strive to reduce poverty levels and develop cost-effective innovative projects to better the lives of people worldwide.

The event will be at 5:30 p.m. in Clark A102 on the Colorado State campus. The event is free and open to the public; however, reservations are encouraged at

Polak practiced psychiatry in Colorado for 23 years before founding International Development Enterprises. Through his work learning how work and home environments influence a patient, Polak applied this knowledge to farmers around the world, developing solutions catered to the farmer’s environment. The organization designs and produces low-cost, income-generating products, such as a $3 small-farm drip-irrigation system that helped move 17 million people out of poverty. Last year, International Development Enterprises received a $14 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.

In fall 2007, the College of Business at Colorado State University began offering an 18-month master’s degree in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise that teaches students to use entrepreneurial, sustainable approaches to solve global challenges in energy, agriculture, health, environmental management and economic development.

For more information about this event or other Sustainable Enterprise Speaker Series events, visit