OCAD launches Art & Design Society with talk by author Dr. Paul Polak

The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) is proud to announce the launch of the Art & Design Society, a new patron group supporting and promoting the education of emerging artists and designers.

“The Art & Design Society is a group of leading individuals championing the roll of creativity and innovation in a changing world,” said Jessica Kamphorst, President of the OCAD Foundation and Executive Director, Development & Alumni Relations. “The Society will be a cornerstone of support for OCAD and its extraordinary students.”

To celebrate this exciting new initiative, the Art & Design Society is presenting a free public talk by Dr. Paul Polak, founder of International Development Enterprises, a global non-profit organization that has helped 17 million people in developing countries escape poverty. His new book, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail, exposes the flaws in Western efforts to alleviate poverty and offers effective alternatives. Dr. Polak’s talk, entitled Out of Poverty: When Traditional Approaches Fail, takes place from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Tuesday, June 17, 2008, and will preview the highly anticipated Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum touring exhibition, Design for the Other 90%.

“The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers,” says Polak. “Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.”

Design for the Other 90% will open at the OCAD Professional Gallery (presented in partnership with the Design Exchange) during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on October 4, 2008.

“As an inspiration for this acclaimed exhibition, Dr. Polak will provide a uniquely insightful discussion about global poverty,” said Charles Reeve, Curator of the Professional Gallery.

A psychiatrist for 23 years, Paul Polak founded Colorado-based non-profit International Development Enterprises (IDE) in 1981 to develop practical solutions that attack poverty at its roots. In 2003, Polak was named in Scientific American magazine’s “Top 50” annual list recognizing outstanding acts of leadership in technology for his policy work in agriculture. In 2004, Polak received Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in the social responsibility category. Under Polak’s guidance, IDE has obtained more than $40 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This event takes place at the Ontario College of Art & Design Auditorium located at 100 McCaul Street in Toronto. All are welcome, and admission is free. As seating is limited, guests are advised to arrive early. For more information, please visit www.ocad.ca.