Andrew Revkin recently blogged in the NY Times about his visit to Ecovative Design, a former E-Team developing packaging, insulation and other materials from mushrooms. The piece delves into the history of Ecovative, which got its start in a course run by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (and NCIIA Olympus Award winner) Burt Swersey.
Congratulations to our winners! The 2012 video competition winners were announced on Thursday, 3/22 during the Open Minds public exhibition at The Hub, San Francisco. Nearly 2,000 people cast votes online and the Open Minds judging panel weighed in on the top picks. The 2012 winners are:
Two teams that are coming to the Open Minds exhibition at the NCIIA conference in March, Balde a Balde and Team GiraDora, recently won Spark Awards. Spark Awards are competitions created to promote great design and designers and to encourage people to explore their creativity.
Team Giradora, developers of a human-powered washer and spin dryer to increase the efficiency and improve the experience of washing clothes by hand, took the highest prize. Balde a Balde (developing a portable faucet that provides running water from any bucket) took the Gold Award. Congratulations to the teams!
In 2007, Stanford University began a multi-year partnership with the Government of India to establish the Stanford-India Biodesign (SIB) program, the goal of which was to promote medical technology innovation in India. Phase I of SIB was a five-year pilot with the aim of developing one center (in New Delhi) as a prototype SIB center. The center has been internationally recognized for its approach to training innovators in the process of creating novel medical technologies for the poor, with three novel medical devices developed and one new company formed.
The Government of India is now enthusiastic to commence Phase II, in which additional SIB centers will be developed. This grant will support the launch of Phase II, which includes continuing to enable Stanford medical, engineering and business students to pursue clinical immersion within India, creating the India Biodesign Sourcebook as an open source resource for medical technology innovators, and advising in the creation of new India Biodesign centers within India.
Paul Yock Martha Meier Weiland Professor of Medicine & Director, Biodesign School of Medicine and Bioengineering, Stanford University
Christine Kurihara Associate Director Stanford India Biodesign, Stanford University
Low-cost Prosthetic Solutions for Above-the-elbow Amputees Living in Poverty
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
While approximately 80% of the world's amputees live in developing nations, only 2% of the people in that segment have access to appropriate prosthetic care and rehabilitation. There are two primary reasons for this: the custom-fit sockets typically provided to amputees are very expensive, costing about $5,000, and they aren't geared toward the agricultural- and labor-oriented contexts of the developing world. Additionally, due to the fact that 90% of the world's amputees are missing a lower extremity instead of an upper extremity, the majority of prosthetics research has been applied to leg development and not toward arms, thus leaving a gap in upper-extremity devices.
This grant will involve three entities in producing an inexpensive prosthetic arm for above-the-elbow amputees in India. The three entities are: 1) a year-long, interdisciplinary, project-based course at UIUC, including international immersion with a team devoted to this topic; 2) Illini Prosthetic Technologies (IPT), a non-profit organization founded by University of Illinois engineering students; and 3) Marketplace Literacy Communities, a non-profit organization in South India.
IPT has been working for over three years to develop an affordable and appropriate below-the-elbow prosthetic arm for amputees in Guatemala. This new device will build on the technology, called OpenSocket, and take IPT in a new direction by exploring above-the-elbow prosthetic arms in a new geographical setting.
Madhubalan Viswanathan Professor College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Eshan Nourselehi Vice President & Creative Director, IPT Industrial Design Masters Student, University of Illinois
Thomas Frankie Grant Writer, IPT Civil Engineering Graduate Student, University of Illinois
Designing and Constructing a Low-cost Incubator/Warmer/Cooler/Transporter for Neonates
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Infant mortality in poor areas of the world remains high, with premature birth and asphyxia two of the leading causes. The well-regulated thermal environment provided by an incubator in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can be crucial for a newborn's survival, but social, cultural and economic pressures often result in mothers of premature infants in developing countries being forced to leave hospitals as soon as possible in order to resume their traditional family duties.
This team plans to circumvent the problem by providing a low-cost home incubator kit for in-home care of high-risk infants, greatly impacting survival and eventually starting to push infant mortality rates down. The team's device is a combination transporter (for the move between hospital and home), cooler, heater and incubator. It consists of a heat pipe-coupled evaporative cooler (water-filled clay pot) connected to a pod-like bubble for housing the infant. The heat pipes will allow both heating and cooling. A digital temperature readout is on the front, and a battery and solar panel are provided for off-grid functionality.
The team is partnered with General Electric's Maternal Infant Care division and a charitable hospital in Southern India. Their one-year goal is to design and test the device; once tested, GE will take over marketing and manufacturing.
Govind Rao Professor & Director Center for Advanced Sensor Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Dagmawi Tilahun Undergraduate Student University of Maryland, Baltimore County
This grant supports the launch of Brilliance, a low-cost phototherapy device for newborns with jaundice, in Sub-Saharan Africa. A cross-disciplinary team of Stanford and Northwestern students and faculty will collaborate with the non-profit D-Rev to research the medical device markets in East and Southern Africa, seeking to understand medical device distribution channels, sales, marketing, and maintenance for Brilliance and other medical devices.
Specifically, the team will research medical device markets in Zambia, Kenya, and Mozambique, with the end goal of pilot launching Brilliance in one region. The team will also broadly disseminate its research, experiences, and lessons learned to support other medical social enterprises in Africa.
Bernard Roth Rodney H. Adams Professor of Engineering, Academic Director Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University
Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Located on the Atlantic Coast of the country, the Southern Autonomous Region (RAAS) of Nicaragua is plagued with the most severe poverty in the country and has very little infrastructure, including systems for the removal and treatment of solid waste. Garbage is commonly dumped in informal dumpsites, creeks, and rivers, or burned in yards behind homes, producing greenhouse gases and emitting environmental toxins that are a threat to public health. Previous attempts to initiate recycling programs in this region have been hampered by the high cost of transporting trash from remote RAAS municipalities to recycling brokers in Managua, located on the other side of the country.
This team is partnering with wastepickers, scrap metal collectors, and a local composting cooperative to develop economically feasible waste sector enterprises that simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create income for some of the region's most marginalized families. The team has a two-phased, three-year plan. Phase I focuses on the largest town in the region, Bluefield, where the team will work with locals to plan a recycling route and build a recycling enterprise, a composting cooperative, and a small scale biodigester that uses organic waste to create biogas. Phase II extends the project to two other towns in the region, El Rama and the Corn Islands.
Amy Smith Senior Lecturer D-Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Elizabeth McDonald Community Innovators Lab, DUSP, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Angela Hojnacki Undergraduate Student Mechanical Engineering and Irban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Transforming Arsenic Crisis into a Technology-based Economic Enterprise in South Asia
Over 200 million people in South and Southeast Asia are routinely exposed to arsenic poisoning by drinking naturally contaminated groundwater. For over ten years, Lehigh University has led an international team in developing, installing and monitoring hundreds of community-based arsenic removal systems in several Southeast Asian countries. Participating families pay a fee for arsenic-safe water, obtained by using a polymer-based arsenic-selective adsorbent currently manufactured in the US. But high cost, import duties and uncertainty in shipping due to bureaucratic formalities have surfaced as primary obstacles for further growth of the enterprise.
This team has developed an equally efficient, reusable, arsenic-selective adsorbent that will cost fifty percent less than the current product and will be able to be made in India as opposed to the US. An Indian company, Enhanced Water and Air Pollution Prevention Ltd., has agreed to invest in large-scale synthesis of the material with the goal of providing safe drinking water to high-rise buildings in semi-urban areas, a growing market in the developing world. The idea is that increased revenue from this new potential market will reduce the risk of serving more resource-poor people.
This grant will support the streamlining and scaling up of the synthesis process for the new material, and in obtaining the necessary certifications for entry into the marketplace.
Prakhar Prakash Lead Research Engineer Chevron Corporation
Interlocking Compressed Earth Block Buildings: Low-cost Earthquake Resistant Construction Using Indigenous Materials
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
The need for low cost housing in Southeast Asia is compelling for two reasons: the region's seismic activity and its large, dense populations of low-income purchasers. In order to meet the need for earthquake resistant, inexpensive housing, this team is partnering with a Thai NGO to promote interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) construction in the area. ICEBs are made by compressing soil with the right combination of fines (silt and clay) and sand with a small amount of water and cement so that they are stable enough to be handled right after pressing and do not erode when they come into contact with water. ICEBs are environmentally friendly and can be made locally by lower-skilled laborers with minimal training.
Specifically, with NCIIA support the Cal Poly team will develop manuals for ICEB construction and travel to Thailand and Indonesia to perform site visits and to build a prototype ICEB structure. The team's partner NGO, which has a business model that combines a revolving fund with income from training courses and sales of equipment, will continue development from there.
Daniel Jansen Associate Professor Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Peter Laursen Assistant Professor Department of Architectural Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Food waste and spoilage is a problem in developing countries, which often lack the infrastructure to preserve food: the State of the World 2011 report stated that more than 40% of food losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels. As an example, 70% of Cameroon's inhabitants are farmers, but the region lacks basic food preservation and processing infrastructure, so farmers either sell food once a week at the local marketplace or rely on foreign distributors. In either case, they end up purchasing products like canned tomatoes, bottled spices, chocolate, and coffee at exorbitant prices.
JolaVenture is developing the Solar Food Dryer (SFD) as an effective, low-cost solution to food spoilage in developing nations. Using solar energy to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and meats, the SFD extends the shelf lives of perishable food items, giving users a simple and cost-effective means of food preservation.
The team's goal is to create SFD packaging and distribution centers where produce would be bought, dried, packaged and sold to local markets.
William Tita Lecturer, Entrepreneurship and Innovation College of Business Administration, Northeastern University
Promoting Entrepreneurial Development and Sustainable Agribusinesses in Rural Western Kenya
University of Hartford
In Kenya, maize crops, the main food staple, are failing due to disease, climate change and droughts. Amaranth, a drought- and disease-resistant grain with high nutrient and immunity properties, was introduced to Kenya in 2005 and has shown higher marginal returns compared to other commodities, including maize.
This initiative builds on a partnership between US universities and Kenyan institutions to develop market-driven, affordable technology innovations that take advantage of amaranth grain as a cash crop in Western Kenya. The team has already performed fieldwork there, working with farming cooperatives to produce and market amaranth. With this grant, the team will work with farming groups to increase the quantity and quality of the grain, develop the infrastructure and local capacity for large-scale manufacturing of a mechanical seed planter and human-powered thresher, and implement a business strategy with farming cooperatives.
David Pines Assistant Professor and Chair College of Civil, Environmental, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Hartford
Marcia Hughes Assistant Director Center for Social Research, University of Hartford
Affordable Greenhouses: Means for Improved Livelihoods and Food Security
Pennsylvania State University
Food security issues are escalating in East Africa, where over 60% of the population is malnourished. There is broad agreement on the need to help small-scale farmers boost their agricultural productivity, reduce spoilage and provide market linkages. Greenhouses can help farmers increase yields, but the greenhouses currently sold in East Africa, designed for large commercial farms, are too expensive for small-scale farmers and generally do not meet their needs.
Over the last three years, this team has collaborated with Kenyan and Tanzanian entities to design, prototype, and field-test affordable greenhouses designed for small farmers. The greenhouses cost about $250 and can be assembled by two people in two days.
With this grant, the team will refine the product and disseminate it through a network of distributed micro-enterprises.
Khanjan Mehta Director, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program; Instructor, Engineering Design The Pennsylvania State University
Min Pack Undergraduate Student Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University
Shruthi Baskaran Undergraduate Student, Schreyer Honoros Scholar Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
Injerama: Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development in Ethiopia
Pennsylvania State University
Injera is a spongy sourdough flatbread made from the Ethiopian grain t'ef. It is a staple of Ethiopian meals, but is usually cooked over an open fire, resulting in severe deforestation and poor respiratory health.
This project addresses environmental sustainability and the health of women and children by eliminating the need to use wood for fuel to cook injera. Instead, it will be mass-manufactured in a centralized food processing facility in Addis Ababa using not only t'ef but lower cost grains like sorghum, millet and buckwheat. Mixed grain formulations will reduce the cost of injera while improving nutritional quality.
The team is partnered with the African Climate Exchange and the Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara.
Gregory Ziegler Professor Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University
John Anner has been President of EMW since 2002. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, he has worked in many sectors of international development and holds an MS in International Agricultural Development. Responsible for overall design, strategy, relationships and implementation for core programs at EMW, John has successfully developed and launched several large-scale international projects in clean water, education, disabilities and pediatric health. John is known as an innovative social entrepreneur; he has founded several successful businesses and non-profits over the past 20 years, and has worked on a number of large-scale public/private partnerships.
Paul Basil | Villgro Innovations
Paul Basil is founder and CEO of Villgro Innovations Foundation. Over the last decade, Mr. Basil has worked in discovering thousands of innovations and innovators, incubated around 50 rural businesses which have impacted over 400,000 house-holds in rural India with many of these innovations.
Mr. Basil co-founded the Lemelson Recognition and Mentoring Programme for Innovators in collaboration with India's leading technology institution, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Mr. Basil also co-founded Villgro Innovation Marketing Pvt Ltd, a unique retail chain for innovative products targeting the rural poor. Currently Basil is setting up the Villgro Innovation Fund, which will make early stage seed investments in innovative social enterprises.
Apart from the core of his mission, which is incubating early stage, innovative businesses, Paul also has contributed to building the social enterprise eco-system in India. Unconvention, India's leading conference on innovation and social entrepreneurship, Wantrapreneur, a social business plan competition, a Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship that focuses on research and education, Villgro fellowship that recruits global mid career professionals to experience social entrepreneurship, championing the ANDE Chapter (Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs) to grow intermediaries that can support small and growing businesses etc., are some of his achievements in building the eco-system in India.
Mr. Basil is a member of the Promotion Board of Technopreneur Promotion Programme, an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, invitee to the boards of DesiCrew (P) Ltd., a rural BPO, ROPE, a craft based company and many other investee companies.
Mr. Basil was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002 for his outstanding social entrepreneurship in setting up Villgro. He has also been conferred the Samaj Seva Bhushan Award and the Star Entrepreneur Award.
Paul was part of the initial marketing team at Kerala Horticulture Development Programme (a collaborative programme of the Govt of Kerala and the European Union) in developing farmers' markets. Over 100 farmers markets are now the hubs of commercial horticulture in Kerala. Initiated franchise retailing of fruits and vegetables. (1994-2000)
Paul started his career with National Tree Growers Cooperative Federation (subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board) an organization involved in waste-land rehabilitation.
Brian Cayce | Gray Ghost Ventures
Brian Cayce, Vice President of Gray Ghost Ventures, has been actively involved in establishing Gray Ghost's impact-oriented venture capital investing and currently leads the firm's analysis, evaluation, execution and governance of venture capital investment opportunities. Brian manages a varied portfolio and has sourced, executed and/or performed governance roles for the following investments: MicroPlace (2006 - eBay); RentBureau (2006 - Experian); paraLife (2006); United Villages (2007); CellBazaar (2007 - Telenor); d.light (2007); SourceTrace (2007); BEAM (2008), Emergence BioEnergy (2008), iSend (2009), Movirtu (2009), mDhil (2009), PharmaSecure (2009), bKash (2010) and M-Kopa (2011).
In addition to his corporate board service, Brian serves on the boards of local nonprofit organizations. Brian graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Georgia, and earned an MBA in Finance from Georgia State University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Brian resides in Decatur, Georgia, with his forgiving wife, lovely son and daughter, and unruly German Shepherd dog.
Molly Christiansen | Living Goods
Molly Christiansen, Director of Research and Development at Living Goods, leads its health practices, product development, monitoring and evaluation, and new market expansion. She brings over ten years of experience in public health, international development, and social enterprise to her work at Living Goods, including stints at Acumen Fund, Vision Spring, and Hindustan Unilever Limited. She earned an MBA and MPH from the University of Michigan where she focused on market-based solutions for poverty alleviation and global health. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brown University.
Living Goods is non-profit organization that empowers networks of 'Avon-like' women entrepreneurs who earn an income going door-to-door selling a wide range of life-saving and life-changing products at prices affordable for people living in poverty in East Africa.
Lee Davis | NESsT
Lee Davis is a social entrepreneur and designer with over 20 years of experience in the international development, philanthropy and social enterprise fields, and co-author of several books on social enterprise and venture philanthropy. He is currently co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) and served for 15 years as co-CEO of NESsT. With a team of 50 and operations in 11 countries across Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the USA, NESsT has pioneered the field of social enterprise in emerging markets, has supported over 2600 social enterprises solving critical social problems, and is a 2004 winner of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. As CIO, Lee is currently leading the Social Enterprise World Forum - Fãrum Mundial de Negãcios Sociais, the premiere global event focused on advancing the social enterprise movement worldwide, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in October 2012.
Lee is a Social Enterprise Fellow at the Yale School of Management, Program on Social Enterprise and a former Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he was a Professorial Lecturer in Social Change and Development. He holds an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, and a B.A., from Connecticut College, and was a recipient of the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowship.
Krista Donaldson | D-Rev: Design Revolution
Krista Donaldson is CEO of D-Rev: Design Revolution, a nonprofit that designs radically affordable products for people living on less than $4 per day. She has been working at the intersection of design and international development for over 12 years.
Prior to joining D-Rev in 2009, Krista worked on Iraq economic policy at the US Department of State, as a design engineer with KickStart in Nairobi, Kenya, and as a lecturer in appropriate technology at Kenyatta University and mechanical engineering at the University of Cape Town. A native of Nova Scotia, Krista holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Her doctoral work was among the first to focus on engineering and social entrepreneurship in less industrialized economies.
John Gershenson | Michigan Technological University
John Gershenson is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University, the director of MTU's Life-cycle Engineering Laboratory and heads up the Velovations bicycle design enterprise on campus. John performs design research in the area of product and process architecture and technology change. John's recent work to develop affordable upgrade kits to Kenyan bicycles and as co-director of the ME Peace Corps Masters International program has brought him into the world of Sustainable Development. A new take on a multidisciplinary graduate course called Discover.Design.Delight will be his focus in this workshop.
Cindy Gilbert | Minneapolis College of Art and Design | Sustainable Design Program
Cindy Gilbert (MS/Oregon State University, MEd/Griffith University (Australia), BSc/University of Guelph (Canada) is faculty, student advisor, and founding director for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's Sustainable Design Program. In this role, Cindy develops a culture of awareness and creativity through the evolution of this fully online program that fosters global innovation, collaborative problem-solving, and creative leadership. She was the founding director of the University of Montana's sustainability program and most recently served 3.5 years as the founding director of university education at The Biomimicry Institute where she developed and managed all higher education programs including: Biomimicry Student Design Challenges, the Biomimicry Professional Certification Program, Biomimicry Education Summits, and the Biomimicry Affiliate and Fellows Programs.
Miguel Granier | Invested Development
Miguel Granier is the Founder/Director of Invested Development, a Boston based impact seed-stage investment firm. Before founding Invested Development, he was the founding Investment Manager for First Light Ventures, a seed-stage social impact investment fund affiliated with Gray Ghost Ventures in Atlanta, Georgia.
Miguel began his career in social enterprise as a loan officer for ACCION New York in 2003 and continued that work as an independent consultant specializing in economic development and microfinance.
In addition to his work in microfinance and social enterprise, Miguel has worked for the insurance giant Fidelity National Financial in New York, and Delter Business Institute in Beijing, China. He holds a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.
Mark Henderson | Arizona State University
Mark Henderson is Professor of Engineering and Associate Dean of the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue. Although his early research was in geometric modeling, since 2005 he has published more on global design education, design thinking and curriculum development, especially around social entrepreneurship and product design for developing countries. He is a co-founder of GlobalResolve (http://globalresolve.asu.edu), a program to provide sustainable economic development to base of the pyramid communities primarily in Ghana, Cameroon, Mexico and Arizona. He is also a founding faculty member of the Department of Engineering at the Polytechnic campus and a co-founder of InnovationSpace (http://innovationspace.asu.edu), a multi-disciplinary, two-semester product development experience. Henderson is awed by this current generation's interest in service and altruism that gives incredible hope for the future.
Paul Hudnut | Global Innovation Center for Energy, Health & Environment @Colorado State University
Paul Hudnut is Co-Director of Colorado State University's Global Innovation Center for Energy, Health & Environment and an Instructor at the College of Business. He was instrumental in developing the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Program, which provides graduate students with the tools, experience and network to build and manage ventures which address global challenges. In 2010, he began to work with the Bohemian Foundation to build an impact investing program focused on poverty alleviation, public health and environmental protection and restoration. Paul was a co-founder and director of Envirofit International, Ltd., which was a TechAward laureate in 2005 and won a World Clean Energy Award in 2007. He served on the board of New Belgium Brewing Co. and Inviragen, and is a faculty council member of Accion's Center for Financial Inclusion. He has been involved in the International Development Design Summit since 2007, and brought the summit to CSU in 2010. He blogs about entrepreneurship, development and sustainability at 'What's a BOPreneur' and serves as an advisor to NextBillion. In 2010, he was honored with the Olympus Innovation Award for his work in technology innovation and entrepreneurship education.
Liz Kisenwether | Pennsylvania State University
Liz Kisenwether holds a B.S.E.E. from Penn State (1979), and M.S.E.E. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1981) and The Johns Hopkins University (1988). She worked in the defense industry for 11 years, then co-founded a high-tech startup (Paragon Technology). Since joining Penn State in 1999, Liz has taught design courses and was the founding director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship (E-SHIP) minor from 2001-2010. Liz is currently co-Director of the Lion Launch Pad, a student-centric business accelerator program and is also involved in NSF-funded research, supporting both PFI and IEECI grants. She is the Program Chair for the ASEE Entrepreneurship Division (2010-2011).
Robert Miros | 3rd Stone Design
Robert Miros is the CEO of 3rd Stone Design, a product design company focused on strategy, development, and scaling of high impact products. He has been active in the product development arena for 18 years both as consultant and in house product design leader. Previous to founding 3rd Stone Design, his roles included Vice President and Director positions with medical device, alternative energy, and consumer product companies.
Robert established 3rd Stone Design in 2004 so that dedicated efforts could be brought to bear on some of the globe's most challenging health and energy problems. Current projects include an infant resuscitator for use in resource poor settings, tracking photovoltaic power technologies, and sustainable housewares products.
Robert holds degrees from Stanford University in Product Design Engineering and International Relations with a specialization in Technology Transfer. He has lectured and served as Guest Faculty at Stanford University and Brown University.
Ricardo Ordóñez | RAMP Peru | NESsT
Ricardo Ordonez is the Country Director for Peru and is responsible for overseeing the Lima office and managing NESsT's technological innovation portfolio through the RAMP project. Prior to joining NESsT, Ricardo worked for many international organizations including SVN and CARE. He also worked in the private sector where he specialized in rural development.
Ricardo holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the Catholic University of Lima and a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from La Molina National Agrarian University.
Amish Parashar | Triple Ring Technologies | Singularity University
Amish Parashar's experience includes leading innovative teams, creating new products, teaching innovation, and advising inventors and entrepreneurs. He has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CONNECT (San Diego), is a founder of three start-ups, and a founder and board member of a global non-profit organization. His efforts have spanned four continents and include medical devices, safety products, and electric vehicles (all of which have been sold internationally).
Amish is a named inventor on several patents (granted and pending) and has published in cardiac surgery, aerospace, and business. He is a frequent lecturer and has held teaching appointments at Dartmouth College, UC San Diego, and Stanford University. He is currently Director of Innovation at Triple Ring Technologies (a private, 100 person R&D lab) and a faculty member on Innovation at Singularity University. Amish holds an BA in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College, a BE in Biomedical Engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and a MSc in Public Health (focus on Health Technology Evaluation) from the University of London.
Paul Polak | Windhorse International | D-Rev | IDE
Paul Polak is the founder of Windhorse International, a for-profit social venture with the mission of leading a revolution in how companies design, price, market and distribute products to benefit the 2.6 billion customers who live on less than $2 a day. The first division of Windhorse International, Spring Health, sells affordable safe drinking water to rural Indians through local kiosk owners, and aims to reach at least 100 million poor customers within ten years.
Prior to founding Windhorse in 2009, Paul founded D-Rev: Design for the other 90%, a non-profit development organization with the mission of creating a revolution in design to reach the 4 billion poor people bypassed by the current design process. In 1981, he founded International Development Enterprises (iDE), a non-profit organization that has brought 19 million of the world's poorest people out of poverty by making radically affordable irrigation technology available to farmers through local, small-scale entrepreneurs, and opening private sector access to markets for their crops.
Paul's book, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail, has become a renowned resource for practical solutions to global poverty.
Amy Smith | Massachusetts Institute of Technology | D-Lab
Amy Smith is a senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. She served in the US Peace Corps in Botswana and has also done field work in Senegal, South Africa, Nepal, Haiti, Honduras, Uganda, Ghana and Zambia. She won the BF Goodrich Collegiate Inventor's Award and the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for Invention for her work in creating technologies to improve the lives of people living in poverty.
In 2002, she began teaching D-Lab, a series of courses and field trips that focus on the development, design and dissemination of appropriate technologies for international development. She also founded the International Development Initiative at MIT, the Innovations in International Health program and the International Development Design Summit. She was selected as a 2004 MacArthur Fellow, recognizing her work in this area, and was recently named one of Time Magazines 100 most influential people for the work she is doing to promote local innovation and technology creation. Her current projects are in the areas of water testing, treatment and storage, agricultural processing and alternative energy.
Kevin Starr | Mulago Foundation
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.
Kevin'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 1990's. 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. He still practices medicine (very) part-time.
Jospeh Steig | NCIIA
Joseph Steig leads the Venture Well program for the NCIIA. He has twenty years experience as an advisor and CFO to entrepreneurial companies and non-profits. He also advises Long River Ventures, a regional venture capital firm, in the role of consulting CFO. He grew up in Vancouver, Canada and graduated with a BA from Hampshire College.
Tara Sulewski | Pennsylvania State University
Tara Sulewski completed both her B.S. Mechanical Engineering with Honors and Minor in Bio Engineering (May 2008), and her M.S. Mechanical Engineering (December 2010) at Penn State. She is currently an Instructor of Introduction to Engineering Design and will be starting her PhD in ME, specializing in mechatronics with application to sustainable design, appropriate technologies, and international development. She is involved in the Mashavu Networked Health Systems project as a member of the Systemic Assessment Team and earned the 2010 Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE). Tara traveled to Kenya with the Mashavu project in May-June 2010 and 2011.