Mehta to discuss social enterprise at international conference

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Khanjan Mehta, director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program and assistant professor of engineering design, is an invited speaker at the seventh annual Social Enterprise World Forum.

The conference, held Oct. 14 to 16 in Seoul, South Korea, invites social entrepreneurs and impact investors as well as representatives from government, industry and academia worldwide to come together and discuss policy and practice, to learn from one another and to network.

This year's theme is "Social Change through Social Enterprise." Participants will discuss how social innovation, social inclusion and social investment act as enablers to empower social enterprises to be the driving force behind positive social change. Key topics include social enterprise as an employability solution, social care and health innovations in social enterprise, as well as conference tracks dealing with social investment, social innovation, education and creating supportive social enterprise ecosystems.

Mehta's talk, "Why do Technology-Based Social Ventures in Developing Countries Fail?" will include practical insights on the challenges to developing sustainable and scalable social enterprises in developing countries. He explained, “These collective insights gained from studying agricultural technology ventures and mHealth (mobile health) ventures across their lifecycle suggest that social enterprises are more likely to succeed if teams engage in the design of technology products, develop business plans and implement solutions with an integrated approach, rather than in a linear piecemeal fashion.”

Mehta will also serve as a judge for the forum's Social Pitch Contest.

He noted, "This is arguably the biggest and broadest conference in social enterprise with more than 600 attendees from all over the world. It is an honor to be invited to speak at this global forum and share successes and failures. Social entrepreneurship is really coming of age and some of the most exciting things are happening in Asia. This is a great opportunity to cross-pollinate and take practical lessons back home to Africa and the United States."

The HESE program challenges students and faculty from across campus to break down disciplinary barriers and truly collaborate to develop technology-based solutions to address compelling problems facing resource-constrained communities. The objective is to develop transformative social innovations and scalable business models to transform these technology solutions into sustainable and scalable ventures that enable and accelerate positive social change.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015