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Campaign Tour Draws Record Alumni Crowds

Engaging events showcase MIT’s efforts to make a better world.
April 25, 2017
At the Hong Kong event in December, Li-Huei Tsai, director of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and lead investigator for the Aging Brain Initiative, spoke about her team’s recent development of a new method to slow or halt Alzheimer’s disease in lab animals, a breakthrough that may translate to human treatments.

Could a computer feed a hungry person? Can a ray of light produce an effective Alzheimer’s treatment? How fast can an idea travel from incubation to innovation?

The MIT Better World tour is generating buzz on social media as alumni share event quotes and pictures, including photos of Tim the Beaver (seen here at the London Eye).

MIT faculty working to answer these provocative questions are headlining the MIT Campaign for a Better World global tour, an event series launched to celebrate the alumni community and share with the world the vision behind the Institute’s $5 billion campaign. These events are slated for cities where large numbers of alumni and friends of MIT live and work. Each will connect these individuals to the innovation under way in Cambridge and around the globe.

In New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, London, Tel Aviv, and Los Angeles, the tour has drawn record attendance and positive reviews for evenings that combine socializing with brief talks by leading Institute faculty members, alumni, and students.

The MIT Better World tour focuses on the future but also honors the Institute’s legacy through its traveling vitrines highlighting MIT achievements—such as this display in New York on DNA.
MIT president L. Rafael Reif rallied event attendees in San Francisco to support the Institute’s $5 billion Campaign for a Better World.

The evenings feature remarks from President L. Rafael Reif, who highlights the importance of every MIT community member’s contribution to making a “better world.” He also explains the need for critical philanthropic support for the campaign’s key priorities, which fall under six headings: Discovery Science; Health of the Planet; Human Health; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Teaching, Learning, and Living; and the MIT Core.

At the London event in January, Fiona Murray, associate dean for innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative, reaffirmed the importance of the Institute’s role in ushering in global change.

“At MIT we believe that it is our duty to advocate for the conditions that drive innovation based on evidence, not just on experience. And we believe that it is our responsibility to train our students to be the next generation of global innovators,” said ­Murray, the William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship. “Without your support, we would not be effective in these critical actions.” 

For details about upcoming MIT Better World events—including the September 28 Boston gathering—and to dive deeper into the campaign priorities, visit Please use the #MITBetterWorld tag on social media to share campaign-related posts and videos, as well as your own ideas on how MIT can help further address society’s biggest challenges.

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