It is our pleasure to announce the programme for the 2009 Easter Term Gates Internal Symposium. Every term, the Internal subcommittee on the Gates Scholars’ Council organizes a symposium in which scholars have the opportunity to discuss their own research and interests with the wider scholar community in a friendly and informal setting. The 2009 Easter Term symposium is the 2nd annual themed symposium, this year focusing on:
Social and Scientific Implications of Non-Governmental Organizations
June 2nd, 2009: 4:00-5:30pm
Gates Common Room – University Centre, Cambridge
Ms Julia Fan Li – “How an NGO can use operational metrics to Measure Social Success”
2008 Scholar from Canada
Mphil in Bioscience Enterprise
St John’s College
It is globally recognized that pharmaceutical companies have a important role to play to increase the availability of medicines for poor people in developing countries. Working together as part of the international community, pharmaceutical companies, generic drug-makers and institutional investors need to work individually and together to help ease burdens of global health. The Access to Medicine Index provides a framework and incentive structure for pharmaceutical companies to increase their efforts in this space. The objective of this research project is to obtain reliable evidence and granular information about pharma’s access to medicine strategy implementation and operational performance.
Mr Niraj Lal – “Water Balloons, Solar Cells, and Buddhist Singing Bowls”
2008 Scholar from Australia
PhD in Physics
In 50 years, our kids are going to look at us incredulously and ask “You burnt things to get energy?”. And we’ll answer – yep, but only till we realised how cheap and efficient solar cells could be. Maybe. There are a number of possible solutions to the challenges of sustainable electricity generation and climate change. One possible technological response is the use of Photovoltaic Solar Cells.
To increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of solar cells there are a few exciting ideas – including the use of water balloons and buddhist singing bowls. This talk will broadly canvas the various approaches of solar energy, outline the plasmonic photovoltaic approach, and present a sample of current work being done by Bushlight – an NGO working in remote Aboriginal Australia – to make efficient, affordable and robust solar electricity a reality.
– Short five minute interval –
Ms Elzbita Drazkiewicz – “Non-Governmental Organizations?”
2007 Scholar from Poland
PhD in Social Anthropology
The ideal of civil society has been one of the key concepts constituting dominant modern thought on state and society. It is especially powerful in the field of development where the paradigm of civil society, as it has been promoted by (mostly, though not exclusively) Western experts, epitomizes such grand and vogue values as liberal individualism, pluralism and strong demarcation between private and public. Although the term is a rather elusive one, an empty abstraction, it is
strong enough to set up peoples imagination in a simplified process which ascribes a vanguard role to non-governmental organisations, which defines civil society as opposite to primitive. Drawing on the 15 month long fieldwork conducted in Poland and South Sudan among various development NGOs and governmental and administrative representatives I want to discuss how this very ideal of strong demarcation between the state and the society might works against
ability for exercising peoples’ agency and actions upon their common development goals. Through comparison of developmental interventions in Poland and Sudan aimed to promote so called non-state actors I want to open up a discussion on the validity and usefulness of such a strong division between the state and the people, especially in the cases of societies which are anew constructing and defining their state bodies and internal relations between various political actors.
Mr Noah Isserman – “Growth Capital for the Social Sector”
2008 Scholar from the USA
Mphil in Geographical Research
Gonville and Caius College
In the world of philanthropy, perhaps no other term has burst into popularity – and controversy – as rapidly as “venture philanthropy” did in the mid-to-late 1990s. Venture philanthropy, roughly defined as the use of venture capital practices to incubate and grow social sector organizations, was a reaction to a common problem: social sector organizations, particularly younger and smaller ones, face a number of challenges in securing funding to grow. Although venture philanthropy started in the United States, its principles were quickly adopted (and adapted) by several European organizations and philanthropists.
– Panel Discussion –