D80—Prosperity by Design

D80 Conference

80% of the Earth's inhabitants are not considered by designers of infrastructure, goods, and services.


The D80 Conference is a dialog and celebration of our efforts to solve issues that confront the world's poorest 80%. Together we are creating a better future.

The Michigan Tech campus hosts this annual conference in the fall every year to give a platform to the voices of university students serving communities-in-need, both domestically and abroad. Our conferences highlight service and research work done by students from Michigan Tech and elsewhere, and are open to anybody interested in development, design, and discovery for the poorest 80% of humanity. The public is always welcome.

The 2018 D80 Conference will be held on Saturday, October 13th in the Memorial Union Ballroom. We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Erna Grasz, co-Founder of the Asante Africa Foundation. Erna brings her business savviness to the non-profit world and is the visionary behind many of the organization’s innovative programs and practices. She has a strong belief in local staff, local partnerships and developing local talent for the long term sustainability. Erna was the recipient of the Jefferson Award for public service and received a “Distinguished Engineering” Award for her Innovation in Developing Countries. Erna is an award-winning speaker with Toastmasters International and has published numerous articles on leadership, communication skills and project management. She is frequently on global stages on topics of traversing the corporate-nonprofit divide, executive leadership, innovative education programs, and sustainable philanthropy versus charity.

Registration for the 2018 D80 Conference is now open. Register here by September 30, 2018.