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On July 29th and 30th, the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) hosted their annual Corporate Impact Forum. The event, “Accessing Talent in the developing World, and in Your Company,” was held on the University of Notre Dame campus.  I had the pleasure of participating and representing SAP.

Forum attendees included key government stakeholders and corporate representatives participating in both roundtable and panel discussions focused on critical issues such as accessing talent in emerging markets and employee engagement. Chris Jurgens, Division Lead for Corporate Partnerships at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Global Development Lab delivered the keynote address.

This year’s forum focused on the expansion of partnerships in the developing world. NDIGD also released the findings from their 2014 Public Private Partnership survey, a follow-up from last year’s forum, The Next Generation of Public Private Partnerships. An overview of the survey findings was presented and I had the great privilege to serve on a panel and comment on creating sustainable change with public private partnerships.

NDIGD welcomed key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to ensure a comprehensive and well-rounded dialogue throughout the Forum. Government leaders from the U.S Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and corporate representatives from a wide spectrum of companies, including Coca-Cola, Accenture, IBM and others were in attendance. University representatives and various non-profits also participated in the discussions.

Throughout the forum, key participants had the opportunity to meet with Notre Dame’s Mandela Washington Fellows, who just finished their time on campus studying business and entrepreneurship as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Young African Leaders Initiative. These leaders represent 19 different countries in Africa, and are already successful entrepreneurs within their home countries.  They shared incredibly inspirational and aspirational stories of how they plan to use recently acquired skills back at home.

The afternoon session panels featured guests from across the participating organizations and covered three key topics:

Access to Talent in Your Organization: Employee Engagement

Scott Appleby, University of Notre Dame (moderator)

Sherri Bossung, Lilly Foundation

Kathy Eichlin, Syngenta

Jessica Jecmen, Accenture

Luis Hernandez, Lenovo

A Strategic Approach for Monitoring and Evaluation, and Learning for the Private Sector

Sara Siever, University of Notre Dame (moderator)

Juan Carlos Gusman, NDIGD

Thomas Kelly, MCC

Veronica Olazabal, Rockefeller Foundation

Mike Bisk, Bisk Education

Identifying Global Needs and Business Opportunities:  A Practitioner’s View

Jeffrey Bergstrand, University of Notre Dame (moderator)

Dustin Holland, Better World Books

Patrick Bryski, Deloitte Consulting

Melissa Paulsen, Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship, Notre Dame

Carlos Passi, IBM

An integral part of the University’s Keough School of Global Affairs, NDIGD works to address the challenges of building just and equitable political, legal, economic, health, and civil structures in fragile nations that suffer from extreme poverty or are experiencing insecurity due to armed conflict or war.  Learn more at NDIGD.ND.EDU.

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