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Have you ever wondered what problems developing countries face, and how an individual can contribute to potential solutions?

Over 5 billion people living in developing nations face seemingly insurmountable institutional voids that the entrepreneur must overcome to be successful. Contemporary Developing Countries: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Problems teaches you to apply interdisciplinary tools to address challenges ranging from limited access to education and health, lack of water, sanitation and uncontaminated food, lack of financial services, deep-seated corruption, and now, the raging pandemic.

The course (GENED 1011 offered jointly as HLS 2543; HBS 1266; GSE: A-819; GSD: SES-5375; HKS: DEV – 338) will be available this fall to students at Harvard College and Harvard graduate schools. Meeting Mondays and Wednesdays (3:00–4:15 PM EST), the class is taught by Professors Tarun Khanna (HBS), Satchit Balsari (HMS, HSPH), Krzysztof Gajos (SEAS), Rahul Mehrotra (GSD), and Doris Sommer (FAS). The course’s unique class mix of undergraduate and graduate schools from across the University and its group-based assignments provide an excellent opportunity for students to build a community during this online semester.

Throughout the semester, students will examine salient economic and social problems of the developing world through the entrepreneurial lenses of the artist, scientist, and planner; each theme taught by one of the professors above. The class encourages students to hone their problem-solving skills by consciously adopting a multi-dimensional approach, drawing from wide-ranging case-studies around the world.

Students will learn to develop entrepreneurial strategies to tackle the most pressing challenges in today’s emerging economies: health, education, transport, energy, pollution, corruption, lawlessness, violence, food, sanitation, water, shelter, migration, and more. This course will push students to engage with each subject critically; to immerse themselves in the subject matter and reflect on their own thought processes.

There will be four informational sessions during the shopping period. Zoom links are available for different times here: August 18 at 2:00pm and 2:30pm EST, and August 20 at 10:00am and 10:30am EST.


The course will be offered in a flex live lecture model, via live lectures, and a range of alternate synchronous and asynchronous options for students regardless of their timezones.