Bashar Humeid: Freedom is a greenhouse on your rooftop

Bashar Humeid: Freedom is a greenhouse on your rooftop

What’s on the roof of your house? How about on the rooftop of the building where you work or go to school?

If you’re like me (and much of the world), your answer is “nothing”. Your rooftop is largely unutilized space. But what if your rooftop heated and cooled your house? What if it did that for free, and collected your water and produced healthy, organic food for you and your family? In Jordan, buildings are steadily adopting a simple greenhouse unit that can do all of that, and more.

Bashar Humeid is the founder of Meezan, a nonprofit social enterprise in Amman using affordable technological innovations to address a lack of energy and water in Jordan.

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Thomas Vaassen: Unlocking the value of land for Ghanaian farmers

Thomas Vaassen: Unlocking the value of land for Ghanaian farmers

Land is a precious commodity, and land ownership holds significant value in all parts of the world. In Ghana, land is not only viewed as a monetary asset. Land holds more personal value and Ghanaians view it as part of their heritage and culture. They feel that their land is a piece of them, something they will pass down from generation to generation. With this strong attachment to land, land rights are a very sensitive and pertinent issue. But in Ghana, owning land and having proof of land ownership do not necessarily go hand in hand. This is where Thomas and his company Landmapp offer a unique service: mapping land and providing official land tenure documentation to smallholder farmers.

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Bagoré Bathily: Enhancing Food Access Without Traditional Aid

Bagoré Bathily: Enhancing Food Access Without Traditional Aid

From halfway across the globe, Bagoré Bathily, founder of La Laiterie du Berger, told me about an interesting paradox: In Senegal, a country that lies along the coast of West Africa, the rural half of the population survives largely on the produce of their cattle. Despite the abundance of locally produced milk, the urban half of the country is consuming yogurt—a staple in the Senegalese diet—made almost exclusively from imported, powdered milk. From Bagoré’s perspective, this was a nagging contradiction. It led him to build a company that is now providing locally produced, nutritious yogurt for the population while simultaneously increasing quality of life for cattle breeders who depend upon agriculture to survive.

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Michelangelo Cestari: Empowering a nation with food 

Michelangelo Cestari: Empowering a nation with food 
“You go to some cities in Latin America and the people there say the best restaurants are Italian, Spanish or French. Why is that? It’s evidence of a lack of confidence, but now 100% Bolivian products are trendy. That generates something that money cannot buy. It is an intangible asset—pride.”

Located in La Paz, Bolivia, Gustu (Quechua for “flavor”) is a fine dining restaurant with a twist. The restaurant was started by Melting Pot Bolivia, a nonprofit organization established to promote Bolivia’s biological diversity and cultural heritage. Its aim is to leverage gastronomy to grow national development and pride for Bolivian people. The CEO of Gustu, Michelangelo Cestari, is committed to this mission and has grown Gustu to include a variety of programs that impact the entire gastronomic sector in Bolivia, from development of the workforce to supply chain strengthening.

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Victoria Alonsopérez: Uniting aerospace technology and social entrepreneurship for improved agriculture

Victoria Alonsopérez: Uniting aerospace technology and social entrepreneurship for improved agriculture
“You have to reach for the stars. For me, it’s kind of literal because I want to have a company in aerospace. People need to invest in technologies that will make the world better. Many entrepreneurs have their eyes set on being an impact business. I would like to see more dreamers like that.”

In 2001, there was an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) amongst livestock in Uruguay. By the time the outbreak was controlled, Uruguay had suffered millions of dollars in economic losses and thousands of animals had died. Given that cattle products make up Uruguay’s largest export, this was particularly devastating for the country. At the time, Victoria Alonsopérez was in her early teens and living in Uruguay.

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