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Winter 2004 CalBusiness  
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United Nations Joins Berkeley in Conference on Bringing Technology to Developing Economies

"Bridging the Divide – Technology, Innovation, and Learning in Developing Economies" is the theme of the first conference that is part of a new collaboration between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UC Berkeley’s Management of Technology (MOT) program. The conference, which aims to bring technological solutions to problems in the developing world, will be held at the Haas School on April 1-3, 2004.

Organized under the auspices of the MOT program, a joint effort between Haas, the College of Engineering, and the School of Information Management and Systems, the conference has garnered support and enthusiasm from faculty and students across the UC Berkeley campus, global industry leaders, and public officials and UN representatives from around the world.

"The expertise we can draw on here at Haas and across UC Berkeley through the MOT program meshes perfectly with the goals of this conference," says Andrew Isaacs, executive director of MOT. "The focus is to work on real solutions to the problems of the developing world."

Confirmed keynotes include John Morgridge, chairman of Cisco Systems; Vice Minister of Education for China Zhang Xing Shen; Long Yongtu, former vice minister, Ministry of Economics and now China’s chief World Trade Organization negotiator; John Gage, chief scientist for Sun Microsystems; Robert Reich, former secretary of labor and visiting UC Berkeley this semester as a distinguished visiting scholar; and Akinobu Kanasugi, president of NEC Limited.

Haas and other UC Berkeley graduate students get the chance to create content for next year’s event through the Berkeley/UNIDO Fellows Program, a new research program established in conjunction with the conference. The fellows will spend at least three weeks in a developing region conducting field research including primary and secondary data collection, interviews with government and industry leaders, focus groups with individuals, interviews with non-governmental organizations, and site visits.

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