December 18, 2020

Impact.Engineered Honors Five Thought Leaders Shaping the Future of Global Development

Impact.Engineered celebrates the innovators who are shaping global development, and this year we bestowed five well-deserved honors on the people and organizations making a difference. The first virtual version of the annual event drew more than 1700 registrants, 80 speakers and 17 nominees for five awards.

An international panel of judges awarded four thought leaders for their contributions toward technology that meets basic needs in underserved communities. And the online community chose one Rising Star. These are the award winners at Impact.Engineered.

Women Leading in Technology and Impact

Dyan Gibbons, Founder and CEO of Turnbull Unmanned

The description of the award to women leading in technology and impact states that someday it won’t be necessary to make this an awards category anymore, Jackie O’Brien, CEO of Engineers Without Boarders-USA said while introducing the winner.

“It is women like Dyan Gibbons that are shattering that glass ceiling and bringing us closer to that day. Dyan earned a BD in Civil Engineering from the USAF Academy and went on to earn an MBA and isa PhD candidate in Industrial Engineering and Management (OSU). Dyan is the Founder of Trumbull Unmanned which has been named a Forbes Top 25 Veteran-Founded company and highlighted by Entrepreneur within its 100 Brilliant Companies list.

“Dyan has served as the CEO for the past seven years. Dyan has also given back within the STEM area by creating a free Drone Camp iwith BP and Rice University, and partnered with Intel for Innovation Generation, a global STEM initiative. In 2018, Dyan founded to support digital ethics, human-centered AI, and STEM empowerment for underserved youth, young girls, children of military families at Yale, NASA JSC Space Center Houston and Workshop Houston,” Ms. O’Brien says.

Other Nominees: Nicola Dell, Cornell University | Jayshree Seth, 3M Company

Connecting the Unconnected

Digiduka, Digita and Financial services for small businesses in Africa

“In a constantly changing global and more virtual economy, this startup is one that provides a local effective e-commerce solution,” says Alexandra Machado, judge for the awards and Senior Manager of Red Hat’s Global Social Innovation Program.

“The platform boasts boundless scale potential and can be reproduced easily in other countries and regions. These financial solutions offer effective ways to invigorate small business and the economy. Merchants securely collect and process payments and can set up an online storefront easily with its intuitive route to adoption. Digiduka’s social impact and potential is significant as it bridges a gap to fight e-commerce giants and at the same time align with a global digital economy,” Ms. Machado says.

Other Nominees: Diversidad Rural | Mpost

Hardware Trailblazer

New Leaf Dynamic Technologies, creator of biomass-powered refrigeration systems and winner of ASME’s ISHOW 2015 in India.

“This award celebrates one venture on their journey to launching new hardware, recognizing excellence, passion, creativity, perseverance, and impact– progress at all stages of the product development cycle,” Shaun Stewart, CEO of New Lab said in his announcement of the Hardware Trailblazer award winner.

“We were thoroughly impressed with [New Leaf Dynamics’] technology and the innovation involved. They have the potential to greatly impact society by providing various technological solutions in the post-harvest management space, and creating better market linkages for farmers,” Mr. Stewart says.

Other Nominees: Neopenda | Rise Products | Wekebere

Industry Driving Social Impact

Black & Veatch Corporation

Black & Veatch has high potential for impact through its operations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and manage water resources effectively, Joe Speicher, Executive Director of Autodesk Foundation, said in his announcement of the winner of the Industry Driving Social Impact award.

“Moreover, it utilizes the unique value proposition of the company by embedding impact into its client projects overall – its biggest impact opportunity (while their Oil & Gas and Mining portfolio raises eyebrows, the overall intent of the company is to be an environmental steward). Finally, BV leverages its engineering chops to deliver on impact – creating impact via design & builds, from now and expectedly into the future. BV should be an inspiration to companies that want to embed impact work into their overall operations, and can help lead to transition in the engineering field that enables a sustainable, equitable future for everyone,” Mr. Speicher says.

Other Nominees: J&J Africa Innovation Challenge | JPMorgan Chase, Force for Good Program

Rising Star

Zahin Razeen, Hydroquo+, creator of hydrometric information systems for the water industry

The Rising Stars attracted a lot of attention as the only award that the event’s participants bestowed. Surmounting steep competition in online voting, Hydroquo+ won the award, announced by Heather Fleming, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Change Labs.

Other Nominees: Stephen-David Longe, Household Farming System | Sagun Saxena, KOKO Networks | Jasmine (Yiyuan) Qin, Re+Connect | Isaac Sesi, Sesi Technologies

See the awards ceremony in its entirety

For more on the award winners please see

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