Executive Director, Natural Innovation .org

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About mitra

Serial Social Entrepreneur - now focused on mentoring, supporting and scaling, technology and innovation driven enterprises addressing one of the SDGs. Current mentees include for example Folia Water - affordable water treatment, starting in Bangladesh, using silver treated paper. Particularly interested in Energy; Water; Green materials; Circular economy; IoT; Regenerative agriculture; Climate; Previous projects included * co-founding, the peak body for internet human rights; * starting what, at the time was Australia's fastest growing solar company - pioneering community purchase of solar * founder and CEO of Lumeter Networks - developed pay-as-you-go (PAYG) technology licensed to other manufacturers, and supplying power to the underserved mostly in Africa.

mitra In 3 Questions

I am inspired by people who can see a new solution, or adapt an existing one to solve a hard problem. This includes out of the box thinkers - like Buckminster Fuller for example, but also young innovators nobody has heard of.

We know how to solve many problems in the rich (western) countries and capital cities, that we don't know how to solve in resource constrained environments. We don't need a specific technology as much as we need good design thinking that a: designs around the willingness and ability to pay of the under-served population; and b: thinks at the scale of the problem; c: thinks about the whole system the tech is embedded in - maintenance; politics; gender; existing systems of power and privilige etc This means - thinking both more broadly than most engineers are trained, AND being willing to think outside the constraints of western engineering. For example a perfectly engineered, safe water treatment system, may be so unaffordable, or unmaintainable that the village goes back to drinking untreated river water.

Real world experience that bridges developing a wide range of technologies; building businesses; and a variety of developing countries, and a love of helping other people solve problems. I have, what you could call, the superpower of seeing the problems in your solution that other people either miss, ignore, or pretend isn't there while telling you what you want to hear.

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