Baylor > IFL > What We Do > Conferences > Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture > BSFC 2008: Global Poverty
Bottom-up Approaches to Global Poverty: Appropriate Technology, Social Entrepreneurship, and the Church
Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
The way that Christians respond to those most in need is a sign of God's presence. But the mission of the church does not move in one direction-from West to East, first to third world, or affluence to poverty. Nor is it controlled from a central location or organization. Located in every province of every country, the church is situated to react to the needs of the poor in an especially powerful way-from the bottom up.
Prompted by God's call to meet the needs of the poor, marginalized, and oppressed, Christians can respond sensitively and productively to poverty though faith-inspired practices of appropriate technology and social entrepreneurship. The former draws on a community's existing talents and resources to produce technology that is simple, inexpensive, easily maintained, culturally acceptable, and responsive to genuine human needs. The latter finds alternative approaches to corporate structures that provide opportunities to improve the physical and social conditions of the poor.
Instead of rivals at cross purposes, these three forces-local church, appropriate technology, and social entrepreneurship-hold enormous promise when they converge, for they have the potential to create genuine social change and express Christian faith and witness.
Bernard Amadei is professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He earned his MaSc. degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His current interests include sustainability, green construction, and international development. At the University of Colorado at Boulder, he directs an innovative program for engineering students and professionals, Engineering for Developing Communities. He is also the founding president of Engineers Without Borders-USA and the co-founder of the Engineers Without Borders-International. He is currently working on a book titled Engineering with Soul.
Christopher Barrett is international professor of applied economics and management and co-director of the African Food Security and Natural Resources Management Program at Cornell University. He holds degrees from Princeton, Oxford, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a staff economist with the Institute for International Finance in Washington, DC in the 1980s. He has written ten books and more than 170 journal articles and book chapters. He serves as editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and is past president of the Association of Christian Economists.
Ruth Padilla DeBorst
The eldest daughter of eminent theologian and missiologist René Padilla, Ruth Padilla DeBorst is a theologian and church leader in her own right. For many years, Padilla DeBorst worked with the growing Christian student movements of Latin America under the umbrella of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES); now she is president of the Latin American Theological Fellowship, director of IFES's Spanish-speaking publishing house Ediciones Certeza Unida, and team leader of Christian Reformed World Mission's work in El Salvador. Educated at Wheaton College's graduate school, she is pursuing a doctoral degree at Boston University School of Theology.
Ken Eldred is CEO of Living Stones Foundation Charitable Trust and chairman of the board of advisors of Parakletos @ Ventures. A pioneer in the kingdom business movement, he is the author of the acclaimed God Is at Work (2005) and the co-editor of On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategies (2003). Named Silicon Valley "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 1988, he also serves on the board of advisors for Crosspoint Venture Partners, named by Forbes as the most successful venture firm three years in a row. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and was a visiting fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution.
J. Andrew Kirk
J. Andrew Kirk has spent his life in theological education in South America and the United Kingdom. Recently retired from a teaching position at the University of Birmingham, England, he is the former Dean and Head of the School of Mission and World Christianity at Selly Oak Colleges. With degrees from the University of London and Cambridge, he is the author of thirteen books, including The Mission of Theology and Theology as Mission (1997), What is Mission?: Theological Explorations (1999), and Mission under Scrutiny: Confronting Current Challenges (2006).
Perla Manapol is a US citizen born in the Philippines and a graduate of the State University of New York and Harvard University. She specializes in international community development and renewable energy and has worked for the past six years as president of a multi-awarded Philippine NGO, Sustainable Rural Enterprise (SRE), which operates and manages a coconut coir processing enterprise that provides livelihood for more than 700 families of poor coconut farmers. The author of two books, she also does private consulting on renewable energy-based assignments including the productive, or livelihood-generating, uses of renewable energy and alternative fuels.
Caesar Molebatsi chairperson of Empowa Investments and pastor emeritus of Ebenezer Evangelical Church in Dobsonville, Soweto. A champion of social justice and empowerment in South Africa, he is familiar to many South Africans for his work on SABC TV's, "In Search for Common Ground" and "Two Way," and for the radio program "PM Live." In addition, he has led Youth Alive Ministries since 1976 and is currently the Director of Youth Alive Development Foundation, the resource arm of the Youth Alive organization. A graduate of Wheaton Graduate School, Molebatsi is the author of A Flame for Justice (1991).
Since 1990, Dwight Nordstrom has been the chairman of Pacific Resources International (PRI), a US manufacturing-holding company that does consulting and engineering for start-up and expansion of manufacturing in China. PRI is a "GCC" (Great Commission Company) that has strategic alliances and/or spiritual accountability relationships with missionary agencies. The co-author of a book on business as missions and the author of numerous articles in leading business and Christian periodicals, he holds degrees from Texas Christian University and the University of Houston.
Ray Norman is dean of the School of Mathematics, Engineering, and Business at Messiah College. Raised in rural West Africa, he earned an undergraduate degree at Auburn University and graduate degrees (M.A. and Ph.D.) at Cornell University, where he specialized in water resources management and international development. He was engaged for fifteen years in research and applied development work in Africa and the Middle East with various academic and international development organizations, including Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development, the national university in the Sultanate of Oman, and the African Development Bank. In the late 1990s he joined World Vision International and served as national director in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Bill O'Brien holds degrees from Hardin-Simmons University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His missions career spans more than forty years years, including field service in Indonesia, as well as his service as executive vice president of the Foreign Mission Board (SBC) and founding director of the Global Center at Samford University. A past president of the American Society of Missiology, he is currently co-director of BellMitra Associates. He is the co-author of Choosing a Future for US Missions (1998) and the author of Challenges Confronting Baptist Missions (2003).
After practicing psychiatry for more than twenty years, Paul Polak founded International Development Enterprises (IDE), an international nonprofit poverty alleviation organization. Since 1981, IDE has pioneered the development and marketing of affordable income enhancing technologies within developing countries. In 2004, the Technology Museum of Innovation named IDE a laureate for its development of "Easy-Drip," an affordable micro-irrigation system. In 2003, Polak was named one of Scientific American's top fifty innovators for his work in market-based poverty alleviation. He also received Ernst & Young's "2004 Entrepreneur of the Year" award in the social responsibility category.
Glenn White is director of Businesstry Concepts, LLC, an organization dedicated to providing resources and training to bring economic, cultural, relational, and spiritual transformation to individuals in every nation. He also is involved with several for-profit and non-profit organizations focused on kingdom transformation through economic development. For more than twenty years, he has served in a variety of business and industry positions, including consulting with for-profit and non-profit organizations. As president of Businesstry Concepts, he has worked on developing projects in Central Africa, the South Pacific, Fiji, Russia, Mexico, and several other nations. He also serves as sales director for Pearl Technologies, LLC.
Thursday, October 23
Opening Remarks -Blume Banquet Room
Darin Davis, Baylor University
Technology for the Poor: Re-Thinking the Process of
Development and Transfer -Blume Banquet Room
The Kingdom Opportunity Assessment - A Holistic
Feasibility Tool for Transformation! -Kayser
The Church, the Mission of God, and the "Bottom
Billion" -Miller Chapel
Sociological and Theological Reflections on Poverty -Cashion 305
Global Poverty and Economic Development -Kayser Auditorium
Teaching, Learning, and Service: Responses to Poverty through Education -Cashion 307
Poverty Initiatives in Africa -Cashion 309
5:30-6:00 p.m.Vespers Service, Foyer of Meditation, Armstrong Browning Library
Plenary Presentation -Blume Banquet Room
Combating Global Poverty through Entrepreneurship
Friday, October 24
Engineering with Soul [video]
-Blume Banquet Room
Border-Bending Mission: Re-imagining Belonging in
God's World -Cashion 203
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Global Connections and Local Initiative in African Christian Community Development (sponsored by Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, Calvin College) -Blume Seminar Room [Abstract]
Business as Mission I -Cashion 303
Water and Appropriate Technology -Cashion 407
Case Studies: Approaches to Poverty in the United States -Cashion 302
The Potential of Christian Practices to Alleviate Poverty -Cashion 406
Lunch - Cashion Banquet Room
The Role of Economic Systems in Understanding and Alleviating Poverty -Cashion 303
Agriculture and Appropriate Technology -Cashion 109
Reflections on Technology, Business, and Social Change -Cashion 304
The Church's Role in Missions -Cashion 110
Business as Mission II -Cashion 403
Poverty Initiatives in India and Latin America -Cashion 407
Plenary Presentation -Kayser Auditorium
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional
Approaches Fail [video]
Poster Presentations and Exhibits -Blume Seminar Room
Plenary Presentation -Blume Banquet Room
Spiritual Capital: The Power to Transform Spiritual
and Economic Life [video]
Saturday, October 25
Caring for the Poor and Vulnerable through Community -Cashion 306
Energy and Appropriate Technology -Cashion 308
Practices of Business and Transformation -Cashion 307
Seeking Clean Water: AquaClara Foundation, The Water SCH2OOL, and Deep Springs International -Cashion 305
Mission Initiatives: Saddleback Church and Willow Creek Community Church -Cashion 303
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Plenary Presentation -Kayser Auditorium
Lunch - Blume Banquet Room
Appropriate Technology for the Poor: From the
Philippines to Liberia -Cashion 303
Larger-Size BAM Models in Unreached Cities--A
Powerful yet Underdeveloped Model [video]
The Manner of Missions -Cashion 308
Transportation and Appropriate Technology -Cashion 303
Advances in Microfinancing -Cashion 305
Teach, Reach, Feed, Lead: Developing a Campus Kitchen Project at Baylor University (Student Panel Discussion) -Cashion 307