On January 12, 2010 the world watched in horror as Haiti suffered a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake. According to CNN, the earthquake and its aftermath led to the estimated death of 230,000-316,000 people. With 1.5 million people displaced, this disaster goes down as one of the worst natural disasters in our lifetime. However since the earthquake, Haiti and many Western countries have been implementing projects for the island nation to recover and prosper.
At GBSN we are committed to international development and take pride in inducting member schools that not only have excellent CSR policies, but truly operate with a desire for service. MIT Sloan is one such member institution that is implementing effective projects to develop leadership capacity in Haiti four years after the country’s shocking demolition.
In a recent article in the Financial Times our Executive Board member MIT Sloan School of Management was highlighted for its leadership workshop for government officials in Haiti. The program included 55 participants. Despite a relatively small participant list, the workshop has nonetheless served as a catalyst for educational reform for the people of Haiti.
Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has praised MIT Sloan’s commitment towards the development of Haiti by saying, “This course has us partnering with one of the top universities in the world to bring new leadership and team practices into the government of Haiti.” He adds that this course has given the government “a new language of leadership.”
The workshop not only developed the leadership capacity of Haitian government officials, but also served as a learning experience for the MIT Sloan faculty. Deborah Ancona, professor of management and director of MIT’s leadership center stated that the workshop, “was an amazing experience. I did enjoy it. I’ve been intrigued and impressed from day one by these people who are taking on this task in Haiti.” Indeed, it is interactions and exchanges like these that provide measurable and sustainable international development efforts where the learning process is two-sided.
The natural future of Haiti is unsure. We hope against another major earthquake in the future, but know that there will always be a possibility. However, it is initiatives like these by MIT Sloan that are developing Haitian leaders today to set examples for Haitian leaders tomorrow. With better management capacity, GBSN is certain that the logistical nightmare of post-disaster aid will be better administered allowing the casualties to remain at a minimum and recovery to occur immediately and uninterrupted.
>>Click here to view original FT article
Rodrigo Futema is the International Communications and Event Planning Intern at the Global Business School Network