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Paul Polak’s Work Inspires a Powerful Thesis

Pragya Mahendru, ’17, came to DSI to “equip herself with the tools necessary to take her ideas from prototypes to meaningful system change.” While here, she was inspired by the master of system change, Dr. Paul Polak. Paul’s life has been dedicated to helping over twenty million people move from poverty to the middle class, through organizations he’s founded, IDE, D-Rev and Windhorse International, and various enterprises he’s launched as economic engines in the poorest parts of the world.

Pragya, who grew up in New Delhi, saw an opportunity to contribute to what Paul is doing to help people in her own country, through an organization called Spring Health. In hundreds of villages in Orissa, India, Spring Health has organized to sell safe drinking water, while creating jobs for local residents.

Pragya has visited the villages where Spring Health works over the summer, as well as during her holiday and spring breaks, conducting research and prototyping her ideas to increase clean water consumption and improve delivery.

She’s learned some very interesting things. But best to let her tell the story herself. Watch her present it live on May 1st.

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