Kairos Society Discussion Hits Georgetown
District of Columbia
Nov 09, 2011
As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Kairos Society Fellows--representing the most enterprising and innovative students from top universities around the world--are faced with an open discussion challenge to develop solutions to the persistent global hunger crisis through venture creation.
The Kairos Discussion brings together its U.S. University Fellowships to examine an issue, evaluate past attempts to resolve it and propose workable solutions. From that point, Kairos Global Fellows synthesize what was learned through the discussion with the proposed solutions through creation of ventures.
The Georgetown University chapter of the Kairos Society held one of these discussions as a warm-up for Global Entrepreneurship Week. The following report is from its chapter president, Holly Ormseth:
Global Entrepreneurship Week sponsored the Kairos discussion this month, pitting each of our chapters against each other in a friendly competition to solve one of the worlds greatest problems: world hunger. Here at the Georgetown Chapter, we launched into the debate eagerly, starting broadly by defining the question: Which type of hunger are we talking about? Malnutrition? Nutrient deficiency? Lack of food, or more a lack of access? Where in the world are we going to try to implement a solution? Everywhere, or should we target an area for maximum impact? After narrowing down our objectives, we set out to accomplish them.
We focused on malnutrition due to lack of access, and narrowed the region down to India and China. Fellows brought up several existing organizations, such as Plumpynut that is packed with protein to combat malnutrition and genetically engineered soybeans. Fellows started trying to incorporate microfinance- our go-to sustainability vehicle. Maybe we could sponsor microfinance loans and starter kits for sustainable food production in rural areas. Maybe we could teach people how to grow rice, and even how to grow rice higher in certain nutrients, like ‘Golden Rice”, a rice made to be artificially high in iodine. Create a micro-financed rice patty starter kit. Many fellows suggested the root cause of hunger was from faults other than those directly related to food- like lack of education and income disparity. Some when on a tangent about an app for microfinance businesses- maybe geared towards businesses that educated others. We saw a need for deeper research and ended the debate with several half ideas floating in the air, temping any fellow who wanted to run with one, and start a business to change the world.