The student-led DESTIN Society of the LSE’s Department of International Development is committed to improving the experience for International Development students and promoting dialogue between students, academics and professionals. In keeping with this vision, the society hosted its 6th Annual International Development Industry Dinner on Sunday 15th March at the Holiday Inn Regent’s Park.

Photo Credit: Aoife Casson Photography

DESTIN Society and Industry Dinner Committee. Photo Credit: Aoife Casson Photography

The dinner commenced with vibrant welcome speeches by Katharina and Dr. Stuart Gordon, Programme Director for the MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at LSE.

With an attendance of over 140 guests, Katharina Raudzus, President of the DESTIN Society, emphasized the amazing array of students and professionals that attended the dinner. “We are proud to have reached so many students from various universities, LSE departments, and undergrads as well as postgrads. It was a truly diverse group complimented by a wide variety of professionals with unique career paths,” she said.

It was a truly diverse group complimented by a wide variety of professionals with unique career paths.

Katharina Raudzus, President of the DESTIN Society

Between appetizers and the main course, the guests were treated to not one but two unique Indonesian dance performances that were both outstanding and that satisfied the guests’ passion for learning about cultural traditions. The first dance by a Classic Balinese Dance group, Lila Bhawa, was beautifully performed. Later in the evening, the Aceh’s Saman Dance group performed a fast-paced and perfectly synchronised dance to a live singer and drummer.

Performance by Lila Bhawa. Photo Credit: Aoife Casson Photography

Performance by Lila Bhawa. Photo Credit: Aoife Casson Photography

Rather than being confined to the podium, Dr. Amlan Roy, Managing Director and Head of Global Demographics and Pensions Research at Credit Suisse London, made full use of the conference room to directly engage and interact with the audience. Dr. Roy’s enthusiastic keynote speech sought to show the guests that one cannot understand demographics as age segmentations and numbers of people, but rather as an illustration of the dynamics of how people live their day-to-day lives at a certain point in time.

Bryan Tse, a LSE MSc Political Economy of Late Development student, proclaimed, “I think the keynote speech offered insights into factors in economic development I would not have heard about otherwise, especially the case that the demographic dividend is far from a given. This highlights the importance of context and got me thinking about different cases where a surplus of youth may either help or hurt socio-economic development. This was characteristic of a LSE lecture – you get some answers, but leave with even more and bigger questions afterwards!”

The keynote speech offered insights into factors in economic development I would not have heard about otherwise…

Bryan Tse, current student

After dessert, guests were free to circulate the conference room to meet other students and interact with the industry professionals. Reiko Kurihara, a LSE MSc Development Management student, stated that the dinner was “a great time with great talks, and tasty food. I am especially thankful to the opportunity to talk to my classmates who I didn’t have much time to spend together with during the two terms at LSE. It was a perfect night to wrap up the end of the hectic term!”

The enthusiastic conversations, positive energy, and essential selfies to tweet attested to the industry dinner’s success in empowering students, academics and working professionals to share experiences and ideas.

It was a perfect night to wrap up the end of the hectic term.

Reiko Kurihara, current student

Dinner conversation between students and an industry professional. Photo Credit: Aoife Casson Photography

Dinner conversation between students and an industry professional. Photo Credit: Aoife Casson Photography

The DESTIN Society and Industry Dinner committee would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsor, Costa Coffee, which generously contributed coffee bag souvenirs for all the guests to take home to cherish the evening and to reflect on how more sustainable brands may be built. We would like to encourage everyone to check out the inspirational projects of the Costa Foundation in coffee growing communities around the world.

Finally, thank you to all our guests who attended the dinner! We hope the evening was enlightening and left everyone with a much needed supply of caffeine for the upcoming late-night study sessions as well as some sage advice on breaking into international development careers.

Best of luck to all, and we hope that one day DESTIN will be extending invitations to our student guests to attend future DESTIN Society dinners as industry professionals!


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Megan Dold, MSc Development Management 2012