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Martha Bonilla
Lecturer, Urban Studies and Planning

People > Faculty ProfiLes > Martha bonilla

Q. Who most influenced your work as a scholar of international development and why?

Bonilla:There are several people  that influenced   my work as a scholar such are  Hernando de Soto, Amartya Sen, Mike Davis, Michael Pollan, Rodrigo Escobar.

Q. What is your research focus?

Bonilla: My research focus is on how communities learn and transfer knowledge for progress. Today in the South we face an unprecedented expansion of fellow citizens living in the slums. Poverty is spreading like an epidemic. One in six inhabitants of the globe survive in the slums today. I was struck by the disconnect between academia and community needs. I was disappointed by the limited capacity of the academy to stimulate community learning. Since then I have been asking myself how communities learn and transfer their new knowledge into actions for collective opportunities? How can higher education institutions in the global south play a stronger role in tackling local challenges? I am searching for examples of how universities are identifying innovation in the margins and build on these with research? What can higher education institutions in the global south do to facilitate community learning and knowledge transfer for progress.

Q. What are some of your most recent public lectures?


• MIT Visiting Lecturer for the MIT /DUSP Practicum class in Cartagena, Colombia. Fall 2009 – 2010 and 2008 – Jan 2009.

• Speaker at the MIT Conference for the Center for Latin American Logistics and Innovation Program,10/30/08.

• Conference Climate Change, Challenges and Opportunities to Colombia". World Bank Mission. June 26 2008 Bogotá Colombia.

• Speaker at the the Seminar: Technology Transfer and Innovation: Capacity Building with Bogotá Universities' VP for research. April 2008.