Real World Experts

We are proud to provide an intellectual home to influential, pathbreaking thinkers in humanitarian engineering and social responsibility. Two of our current affiliates include:

Dr. Chris Anderson

Dr. Chris Anderson

Principal of Yirri Global

Dr. Chris Anderson, who is currently the Principal of Yirri Global, the social performance consultancy he founded. He has worked as a field practitioner and senior executive in the mining industry for 17 years, with Rio Tinto, Newmont Mining, and Normandy Mining. He is an anthropologist and has worked with and for Indigenous communities on a variety of issues including land claims, Royal Commissions, customary law and similar. In addition, he is a practicing academic and a field anthropologist with community experience with Indigenous peoples around the world.

He is a board member of the World Bank Institute’s Open Contracting Initiative, past chair of the International Council on Mining & Metals Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples Working Group, and was Alumnus of the Year in 2013 at the University of Queensland.

Dr. Anderson holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia where he is also an Adjunct Professor. He is currently Affiliate Faculty of the Engineering, Design and Society Division at CSM.

Dr. Paul Polak

Dr. Paul Polak

Founder and CEO of Windhorse International

Dr. PAUL POLAK is founder and CEO of Windhorse International, a for-profit social venture that is leading a revolution in how companies design, price, market and distribute products to benefit the nearly three billion customers who live on less than $2 a day, combining radically affordable technology with radically decentralized supply chains to earn profits serving bottom billion customers.

For the past 30 years, Paul has worked with thousands of farmers in countries around the world—including Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe–to help design and produce low–cost, income–generating products that have already moved more than 20 million people out of poverty.

Prior to his development work, Paul practiced psychiatry for 23 years in Colorado. To better understand the environments influencing his patients, Paul would visit their homes and workplaces. After a trip he made to Bangladesh, he was inspired to use the skills he had honed while working with homeless veterans and mentally ill patients in Denver to serve the 800 million people living on a dollar a day around the world.

Paul serves as an Executive in Residence within the Division of Engineering, Design, and Society at CSM, helping infuse our curriculum with real-world expertise and approaches to identifying and solving problems with customers in authentic contexts.