The Legatum Center at MIT is founded on the idea that entrepreneurship is the central driver of both economic development and the emergence of good governance. Innovative for-profit enterprises in a competitive environment contribute to the alleviation of poverty, the elimination of corruption, and improvements in health and education.
In 2007, Legatum made a structured gift of US$ 50 million to establish the Legatum Center at MIT and to provide annual Fellowships to graduate students. A cross-faculty curriculum enhances their entrepreneurial acumen and helps the Fellows to acquire the knowledge and skills required for successful business development and civic leadership in developing countries.
In 2008, the first class of Legatum Fellows gathered from around the globe – from Rwanda and Nigeria to Colombia and the United States.
The number of Fellows and Alumni has now grown to almost 100 young men and women from 33 countries.
The class of Legatum Fellows in 2011-12 is the largest to date with 34 graduate students: the number of Fellows and Alumni has now grown to almost 100 young men and women from 33 countries. Their chosen projects channel business and technology to promote economic growth and cover a wide range of sectors – from generating clean, low-cost energy to developing mobile medical diagnostic devices, improving water treatment solutions, establishing joint replacement manufacturing centres, to a technology consulting firm for women-owned businesses in Southern Africa.
The Fellows also benefit from a full programme that includes the Legatum Lecture Series, featuring inspiring and seasoned practitioners of entrepreneurship; the Legatum Convergence, a two-day global forum on entrepreneurship in emerging markets; and Seed Grants that fund market research, project scoping, travel and pilot studies for development projects.
The Legatum Center is supported by a distinguished Advisory Board of successful innovators, entrepreneurs and business professionals from around the world including:
Thomas C. Barry, Founder and CEO, Zephyr Management
Ira Jackson, Dean, Drucker School of Management,Claremont Graduate University
Joseph W. Bartlett, Esq., Venture Capital Expert, Sullivan & Worcester
Karim Khoja, Chairman and CEO, Roshan
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor, World Wide Web
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder and Chairman, Biocon
Rick Burnes, Founder and CEO, Charles River Ventures
Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO, Acumen Fund
Michael Chu, Co-founder, IGNIA Fund, Former President and CEO, ACCION
Robert Pattillo, Founder, The Rockdale Foundation
John M. Hennessy, Former Assistant Secretary, US Treasury, Former Chairman and CEO, Credit Suisse First Boston
Edmund S. Phelps, 2006 Nobel Laureate, Economics
Judi Wakhungu, Executive Director, African Centre for Technology Studies
Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Celtel
Shoshana Zuboff, Professor of Business Administration (retired), Harvard Business School