Dr. Paul Polak is the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE), a non-profit organization that has helped 20 million of the world’s poorest people move out of poverty by making radically affordable irrigation available to small farmers, and opening private sector access to markets to further increase the sale of their crops.
For his work in agriculture, Dr. Polak was recognized by Scientific American as one of the world’s leading 50 contributors to science, was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the western states, and received the Florence Monito Del Giardino award for environmental preservation in 2008. His work has been featured in articles in Business Week, the Economist, the New York Times, Forbes, and National Geographic. In 2009, Polak was named by the Atlantic Monthly in as one of the world’s 27 “Brave Thinkers” willing to “risk careers, reputations, and fortunes to advance ideas that upend an established order” along with Barack Obama, and Steve Jobs. Dr. Polak’s book, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail, has become a leading resource for practical solutions to global poverty.