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Voices of Yunus, Kagama, and Greer in New Free Think University Course: Is There a Cure for Poverty?

Industry: Education

Based on Acton Institute’s PovertyCure Series, New Course Features Economists, Entrepreneurs, Bishops, and CEOs Presenting Solutions to Extreme Poverty

Washington D.C. (PRUnderground) March 14th, 2014

More than a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. Every year, millions of men, women and children die from AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases. Tens of millions lack clean water and go to bed hungry. Is there a cure to this extreme poverty?  Some argue that there is.

Although we cannot create heaven on earth, we know what it takes for the poor to be able to create new wealth for themselves and rise out of poverty. A new Free Think University course educates us about rethinking poverty and the revolutionary solutions to poverty that are painting signs of progress.

Rather than a Free Think University debate experience, this course presents an under-represented point of view. It is centered around excerpts from the PovertyCure DVD series, created by The Acton Institute, in which scholars and activists voice why they believe that the problem of poverty cannot be encapsulated in the number of people living on less than $2 per day and why the solution does not lie in the delivery of aid through the redistribution of resources. The solution lies instead, the series producers propose, in the productive capacity of uniquely created human persons.

The course presents this question: Can helping ever result in hurting the very people you are trying to help? The answer is yes. “Sometimes our good intentions have unintended consequences,” says Hope International CEO, Peter Greer. Greer goes on to explain how Hope International and other companies are using microfinance to revolutionize how the poor are being helped.

This course experience also digs into the foundations upon which prosperous societies have been built. We see how things like property rights and rule of law are essential and most often overlooked elements of development. The world’s leading development experts Hernando de Soto, Muhammad Yunus, and Harvard’s Marcela Escobari join host Michael Miller, John Nunes (CEO of Lutheran World Relief), and Baylor’s Rodney Stark to explore the crucial importance of these foundations, as well as the spiritual dimension of these issues.

Doug Seebeck, president of Partners Worldwide, provides a twist on the classic “teach a man to fish” idea explaining: “The poor know how to fish. They don’t have access to the pond.”

The course closes with a CNN video of a speech by Bono of U2 calling us all to action in this fight to end poverty.

“It has become increasingly clear that foreign aid is hurting poor populations, and that alternative approaches merit consideration now more than ever,” notes Free Think University co-founder Jim Van Eerden. “Acton Institute has done a remarkable job of presenting one such alternative that is worthy of a wide audience.”

To access the full course, click here. For additional media information, please contact media@freethinku.com.

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to ideas@freethinku.com. For more information go to www.freethinku.com or follow @freethinku.

About PovertyCure

PovertyCure is an international network of organizations and individuals seeking to ground our common battle against global poverty in a proper understanding of the human person and society, and to encourage solutions that foster opportunity and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that already fills the developing world. We know there is no single solution to poverty, and good people will disagree about methods, but we have joined together to rethink poverty, encourage discussion and debate, promote effective compassion, and advance entrepreneurial solutions to poverty informed by sound economics, local knowledge, the lessons of history and reflections from the Judeo-Christian tradition. To learn more, visit www.povertycure.org or follow @povertycure.

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to ideas@freethinku.com. For more information go to www.freethinku.com or follow @freethinku.

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