Social Entrepreneurship + Innovation - Innovation Cafe
04/15/2015  8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
University Conference Center 302 -
Past Events


Topic: Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Speaker: Khanjan Mehta, director, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program, Penn State University

Director of Penn State’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program, Khanjan Mehta, discusses how to develop transformative social innovations and business models that convert technology solutions into sustainable and scalable ventures which enable and accelerator positive social change.

8:00 am Networking/Breakfast
8:30 am Opening Remarks
8:35 am Formal Program with Khanjan Mehta
9:30 am  Question/Answer, Program Concludes



About the Speaker: Khanjan Mehta is the Founding Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program and Assistant Professor of Engineering Design at Penn State. The HESE program challenges students and faculty from across campus to break down disciplinary barriers and truly collaborate to develop technology-based solutions to address compelling problems facing resource-constrained communities. The objective is to develop transformative social innovations and scalable business models to transform these technology solutions into sustainable and scalable ventures that enable and accelerate positive social change. Mehta has led technology-based social ventures in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Sierra Leone and other countries. These ventures range from telemedicine systems and ruggedized biomedical devices to low-cost greenhouses, solar food dryers, cell phone-based social networking systems, and knowledge sharing platforms for self-employed women.

Mehta’s research interests encompass affordable design; systems thinking; social entrepreneurship pedagogy; agricultural technologies and food value chains (FVCs); global health and telemedicine systems; cellphones, social networks and trust; indigenous knowledge systems; development ethics and grassroots diplomacy; women in engineering and entrepreneurship; and informal lending systems for micro-enterprises. The objective of these research endeavors is to democratize knowledge and mainstream HESE as a valid and rigorous area of learning, research, and engagement. He has published over 65 journal articles and refereed conference proceedings with a similar number in the pipeline. Mehta serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and Contributing Editor for the Engineering 4 Change portal.

Mehta has served on several university-wide and international committees and taskforces. He has delivered invited talks and keynote speeches on technology innovation, social entrepreneurship, and global sustainability at several universities and international conferences. The HESE program was the recipient of the 2013 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award (Northeast Region) from APLU, 2011 Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program Award from the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and was named by Popular Mechanics as one of thirty “Awesome College Labs” across America. While these are good accolades, Mehta’s primary focus is on the HESE ventures that his students are striving to build up to multi-million smile enterprises.

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