Paul Polak Mentor 2013....

Living in: Golden, CO — United States

  • - Helped over 19 million farmers out of poverty
  • - Founder and CEO at Windhorse International
  • - Founder of International Development Enterprises
  • - Founder of D-Rev: Design for the Other 90%
  • - Author of Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional...
Impact: Agriculture, Food & Nutrition, Enterprise Development,...
Geographic Interest: Central America & Caribbean, East Asia and Pacific,...
Expertise: Business Strategy / Planning, Entrepreneurship, Fundraising,...
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Photo of Paul Polak

"Go to where the action is, listen with your soul and think big. Or don't bother."

Describe yourself briefly.

Dr. Paul Polak isn’t your everyday global poverty fighter. A 77-year old former psychiatrist, Dr. Polak has spoken to over 3,000 people earning less than $1/day a day. These conversations taught him that these impoverished people are actually viable entrepreneurs and consumers. Based on this principle, he founded International Development Enterprises (IDE), which has provided over 19 million people affordable agricultural technologies and enabled them to move out of poverty. After 25 years at the helm of IDE, Dr. Polak turned over leadership of the organization and is now focusing on fomenting two revolutions to end poverty: one in design and one in big business. The first, executed by his non-profit D-Rev: Design for the Other 90%, aims to reverse the fact that the world’s best designers spend 90% of their time serving the interests of the richest 10% of customers. The second, led by his new for-profit venture Windhorse International, aims to demonstrate how big businesses can profitably design and market their products and services to $1-$2/day customers. Practical solutions that work as well as stories about $1/day farmers are outlined in his book Out of Poverty.

Interview with Paul Polak

Interview with Paul Polak