Why I decided to join the Legatum Center at MIT

Dina Sherif

Dina Sherif, the new Executive Director of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship reflects on the mindset that guided her decision to join the organisation.  

"For over a decade, GDP growth has been noticeably faster in 'emerging' markets than in 'developed' markets. Sustaining that growth, however, can only be achieved if we unlock the enormous potential of our youth. The Arab region, where I come from, is famous for its young population. It's also famous for its extremely high youth unemployment rates. Africa as a whole is not any different. Same for many parts of Asia and Latin America. What this tells us, is that even though these economies are growing, they aren't growing fast enough to meet the growing demand for jobs by their youth. This demand is further compounded by global problems in healthcare, education, climate change, gender equality, and so forth. But, what if we stopped considering youth as a burden, but instead saw them as the very engine that could drive inclusive and sustainable growth and development? What would be needed to achieve this transformation?

The world is changing rapidly and if we are to harness the enormous potential that entrepreneurship and innovation has to continue to propel 'emerging' markets forward, we need the full backing of institutions like MIT and the Legatum Center. My intention is to work alongside an amazing team to transform the Legatum Center into the go to place for students and core players around the world to gain a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship in frontier markets and the opportunities that exist there. As we enter into a new decade, my prediction is that some of the most critical technologies and innovations required to solve the world’s challenges will be born within these markets. The goal is for the Legatum Center to be at the very forefront of that movement."

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