At a special gala event on Tuesday, over 220 guests celebrated EDC’s 60th anniversary—and took a peek into the future as the winner of EDC’s year-long Pitch Competition was revealed. Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, was also honored with EDC’s 2018 Impact Award. The gala was held at the Museum of Science, Boston.
In his welcoming remarks, President David Offensend traced a line from EDC’s first project, PSSC Physics, to many of its current initiatives, including expanding access to basic education and preventing suicide.
“For 60 years, EDC has addressed some of the most vexing problems in education, health, and international development—often by developing a whole new approach, usually applying technology in a new way—to deliver practical, working solutions,” said Offensend.
President and CEO David Offensend welcomes guests.
Thelma Khelghati and Nancy Devine pose for a photo.
Debra Morris listens to the opening remarks.
Luz Tharon-MacArthur, Siobhan Murphy, and William MacArthur enjoy the festivities.
Members of EDC’s Leadership Team pose for a photo.
EDC Pitch Competition winners Shai Fuxman, Sarah Jerome, and Chelsey Goddard.
Three EDC Presidents were in attendance: David Offensend, Janet Whitla, and Luther Luedtke.
The announcement of the winning team capped the evening of celebration. EDC’s Shai Fuxman, Chelsey Goddard, Sarah Jerome, and Lin Pang were awarded the $50,000 grand prize to develop Care(giver) Navigator, a mobile phone app that will help parents and caregivers of children with special needs navigate complex systems of care.
“Care(giver) Navigator is an opportunity to combine what we have learned from our experiences as parents and siblings of children with special needs with our experiences as public health professionals,” said Goddard, who leads EDC’s behavioral health work. “Winning this competition is incredibly meaningful to all of us.”
Former EDC presidents Janet Whitla and Luther Luedtke were among the attendees, as were EDC’s staff members representing work in the United States and around the world.
In his acceptance remarks, Agarwal—who is also a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT—drew comparisons between edX and EDC, and discussed the critical importance of making education more accessible to more people around the world.
“The barriers to a higher education are simply too high today, in terms of quality, money, and time,” said Agarwal. “It is imperative that we innovate new ways to deliver education to all people who want it.”
Learn more about the Pitch Competition by watching “The Pitch.”