As a member of the International Business program at Northeastern, I spent my entire fourth year overseas participating in a study abroad and international co-op. I was so enthralled with global experience that I added two field study programs before and after my IB requirement. This experiential year as an expatriate strives to develop us as global leaders, thinkers, and doers. I had the opportunity to travel to over a dozen different countries in only 12 months; more than I have ever in my entire life. But the gnawing question when I returned to the states really made me think about what it means to go abroad: “What was your favorite part?”
Very low-income people are too often invisible to businesses and society. Businesses see no significant market opportunity and governments view low-income areas as having insufficient tax revenues to pay for basic services like clean water, healthcare, housing and energy. Building new models that provide these critical services at affordable price – in the face of high costs, poor distribution systems, dispersed customers, limited financing options and, at times, corruption – requires imaginative business solutions and partnerships supported by investors willing to take on a risk/return profile that is unacceptable to traditional financiers.
Earlier this month we lost one of our beloved students, Naman Shah, to an untimely death at the age of 21. His short life reminds me of a something I read long ago, that given a choice between a life of comfort and a life of meaning, the wise person will choose the latter. We too often hear of unnecessary and premature deaths in the world, in fact we’ve all seen the statistic that several thousand children die needlessly each day from poverty and disease. Every life matters, and yet when it’s someone you know, whose path crossed yours, the idea of a senseless death in the face of such promise is that much more powerful.
The goods and services that we depend on daily would not exist without the assistance of nature in the supply chain. Humans constantly derive ecosystem services from nature, like how watersheds source our taps and faucets or how bees fertilize plants for our morning cup of coffee.