Kevin Starr

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Kevin Starr directs the Mulago Foundation and is the founder and director of the Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program. Mulago spends its money to drive forward the most promising ideas in health, development, and conservation in poor countries. The foundation is unabashedly obsessed with impact: designing for it, measuring it, investing in it, and taking it to scale. The Rainer Arnhold Fellows program is an outgrowth of the foundation, and works with the best emerging social entrepreneurs with solutions for the less-than-$2-a-day world. The program uses a clear understanding of impact and behavior change as the raw material to drive a systematic process of design for maximum scalability (see www.rainerfellows.org). Starr’s stint in Cambodian refugee camps at age 19 propelled him on the path to his current work. He had a perfectly good career in medicine and international health when he stumbled into philanthropy in the early 1990s. Since then he’s gotten deep into dozens of projects ranging from forest conservation by monks in Tibet to micro-franchise clinics in Kenya to one-acre farming in Burma.
  • Faculty 2010 Social Innovation Fellows
  • Speaker PopTech 2010
  • Faculty 2011 Social Innovation Fellows
  • Lab participant PopTech Climate Resilience Lab
  • Faculty 2012 Social Innovation Fellows

Archived blog posts

This week in PopTech: Book releases, musical reviews and food rules

This week in PopTech: Book releases, musical reviews and food rules

This week in PopTech: Innovating the news and minding the mind

This week in PopTech: Innovating the news and minding the mind

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

Interested in exploring if and how mental training involving mindfulness exercises changes attention and emotion in the brain? Take a free, online course on The Cognitive Read more »

Kevin Starr demands impact

When Kevin Starr talks about philanthropy and his work with the Mulago Foundation, he keeps it simple and straight-forward. As the foundation’s director, Starr is looking to fund the best scalable solutions to the biggest problems in the poorest places. No fancy mission statements or long grant proposals are necessary. As he described during his PopTech talk, he’s seen too much

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"This is PopTech.  We want to talk about impact..." Kevin Starr on how not to save the world

"This is PopTech. We want to talk about impact..." Kevin Starr on how not to save the world

Kevin Starr has spent much of his adult life in the world’s most desperate places and his patience for the empty rhetoric of would-be do-gooders has worn thin.


“It’s really cool to be here and talk about philanthropy in the midst of all these people who actually do something,” he said by way of greeting the PopTech crowd Thursday morning.


As head

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More From the 2009 PopTech Fellows Program

More From the 2009 PopTech Fellows Program

All images in this post are CC images from 2009 Teaching Fellow Erik Hersman from his Flickr set.

We have had a busy few days at the PopTech 2009 Fellows Program (you can follow the #poptech hashtag on Twitter to see more of what we have been talking about) as the PopTech 2009 conference (streaming live), starting on Wednesday and where each of the

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