The Catalyst Summit: Issues and Opportunities in a Dynamic and Ever-Changing World

Global Catalyst Group in partnership with Georgetown Entrepreneurial Organization


The Catalyst Summit:
Issues and opportunities in a dynamic and ever-changing world

Global Challenges
DATE: October 3, 2009
TIME: 8:30 AM- 12:30PM
LOCATION: Georgetown University, ICC Auditorium

The Global Catalyst Group provides a platform through which current and future leaders of industry, politics, and social servies interact with like-minded catalyst, learn from industry experts, and search for practical solutions to today's issues in order to build a more sustainable future.

Join us for a half-day Catalyst Summit that explores the opportunities that exist in a dynamic and ever-changing world.


Creating Entrepreneurial Communities: How do we utilize entrepreneurship to promote economic development in deteriorating communities?

Due to recent economic downturn, municipal government revenues have declined in parallel. Given an inability to provide traditional local stimulus programs, community leaders are exploring alternative economic development models based on endogenous entrepreneurship. Frameworks that have been developed range from subsidies for anchor companies to create a local multiplier effect, partnerships with research educational institutions to encourage high-tech spin-offs, and local "enterprise facilitators" to formulate strategic partnerships amongst community members. This presentation will focus on practical examples of various community economic development models and facilitate discussion on the pros and cons of each model. Participants will be encouraged to discuss the applicability of these models to other community examples in the United States and internationally.

About the Presenter:

Megan Yonke is a Global Catalyst Group member and a consultant at for a fortune 100 consulting firm in Washington, DC. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Economics. Her research has focused on international community economic development topics, ranging from the role of entrepreneurship in emerging industries to the impacts of foreign direct investment and trade. She has worked extensively with Michigan State Government officials, as well as local governments and civic associations.


How the changing venture landscape is revolutionizing collaboration in startups.

Venture capital as it has been known for the past forty years is dying -- and it's being replaced with a new and distinctly different financing model which will have profound impact on the way young companies are run, raising questions such as:  How should an entrepreneur with an idea today go about starting their business?  How will founders and employees collaborate within companies?  How will strategic partnerships between young companies look in 10 years?

About the Presenter:

Brad Hargreaves is a Global Catalyst Group member and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of PickTeams, the creators of the GoCrossOffice teambuilding program and GoCrossCampus gaming network. Since founding PickTeams in 2007, Brad has been featured in the New York Times, MTV News, Sports Illustrated and CBS News, where he was recognized as a creator of some of the most popular and fastest-growing games for 18-24 year olds. Prior to founding GXStudios, Brad attended Yale, where he was President of the Yale Entrepreneurial Society and co-founded Yale’s first university-run entrepreneurship initiative.


From Kalamazoo to Kinshasa: The Future of Interconnectivity and Economic Development at Home and Abroad

The concept of the network is as old as the dismal science itself yet has been one of the key -- and often overlooked -- drivers of economic prosperity ever since its inception. With the creation of a smaller, flatter planet thanks to the Internet, mobile technology, and other means of collaboration that are as widespread as ever, both small and large communities around the world stand at the brink of an unprecedented spiderweb of "clusters" that give way to novel and lucrative competitive advantages, as well as economic advance for those communities well-positioned enough to exploit them. This discussion will explore these connections, how communities of all shapes and sizes have leveraged unique local, national, and international networks, and the brave new world created by this concept of economic development.

About the Presenter:

Brett Staron is a Global Catalyst Group member and aconsultant with a fortune 100 consulting firm in Washington, DC. He graduated with High Honors from Michigan State University in 2008 with dual bachelor degrees in International Relations and Economics, with a specialization in Political Economy. Brett has led and conducted several research projects with a focus on higher education, family structure, and political systems and their influence on the standard of living in both industrial and developing economies.


The Failure of Iran’s ‘Twitter Revolution’: New Media and the Iranian Election

On June 12, 2009, Iran held its tenth election since becoming a democracy in 1979 following the Islamic Revolution.  Incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won with a reported 63% of the vote.  However, as reports of vote rigging, missing ballots, and other irregularities surfaced, hundreds of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets over the past few months in a peaceful manner. The Iranian armed services, the Basiij, has cracked down on the opposition using strong force and arresting thousands. The entire world watched as the drama surrounding the Iranian elections unfolded, helped by new forms of media. Protesters organized themselves through text messages and social networking sites, and later posted video online. International news stations picked up the Twitter updates and Youtube videos, and commentators immediately dubbed the opposition movement the ‘Twitter Revolution.’ However, scholars have since declared the ‘Twitter Revolution’ a dead and failed one, as Ahmadinejad will serve his term with the official support of Iran’s most important clerics.

What, then, is the role of new media in Iran? Can new media help to liberalize Iran, or are the military and religious institutions of the Islamic Republic too strong ?

About the presenter:

Elizabeth Nugent is a Global Catalyst Group Member and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Arab Studies at Georgetown University. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic and Government. She was a 2007-2008 Fulbright Fellow (Egypt) and is a 2009 Cosmos Scholar. Elizabeth’s research interests include Middle Eastern politics, Islamism, and Lebanon.


The Catalyst Summit is free to Students, General Admission/Non-Members and GCG Members thanks to our sponsors, Global Catalyst Group and the Georgetown Entrepreneurial Organization. Registration is required.

Upon registering for the event additional information will be delivered to the email address provided.

Name Sales End Price
Student Ended Free
GCG Member Ended Free
Non-Member Ended Free

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