MIDE International Alumni Conference
The 2017 MIDE International Alumni Conference is behind us! This year’s conference was held at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin from June 21 to June 23, with a focus on “Innovation in Development Thinking and Practice”.
We gladly hosted around 100 attendees from 30 countries and 5 continents at the 3-day conference. Participants included current and former students of the MIDE, professors at HTW Berlin, members of the MIDE Academic Advisory Council, as well as alumni and colleagues from the Small Enterprise Promotion and Training Program (SEPT) at the University of Leipzig and external guests.
The aim of the conference was twofold: to explore innovative solutions to development challenges, and to foster professional, academic and personal exchange between participants.
The formal part of the conference consisted of presentations and workshops. On second day of the conference, we heard 4 main presentations introducing the main topics of the conference to all participants:
- Topic 1: Trade Policies and Protectionism: A New Era of Mercantilism?
- Topic 2: Innovative Approaches to Development Policy-Making: Digitalization, Finance Governance and Education
- Topic 3: The Revival of Cooperatives? – Opportunities and Limitations
- Topic 4: Households and Livelihoods
This was followed by 4 parallel workshops based on the 4 main conference topics. Experts presented their current work/research and attendees worked closely together to find common threads between the various issues at stake and to formulate policy recommendations. After two days of lively debate and valuable input from all participants, representatives from each of the 4 workshops presented their group’s results and conclusions to the wider audience.
However, stimulating discussions about Donald Trump and his effect on global trade, opportunities for rural development in the Dominican Republic, education apps for Kenyan schoolchildren and career prospects were not confined just to the Audimax and the 4 workshop rooms. During the Greek-style welcome barbecue and the boat tour on the Spree, participants had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and form new bonds.
All in all, this year’s MIDE International Alumni Conference proved to be a success. We were particularly impressed with the level of creativity displayed by the conference participants. Many of the solutions and policy recommendations do not require huge investments, but smarter, more innovative ways of working with available resources. We hope that the relationships formed at the conference will allow you to utilize some of the solutions presented, through new business cooperation, internship opportunities and joint research projects!
We hope to see you again at a future Alumni Conference. Until then we wish you all the best!