Puerto Rico

Nine months after Hurricane Maria, recovery has been slower for Puerto Rico residents, and even more so for those in the outskirts. Many still do not have access to electricity. Locals we had the chance to speak with point to corruption as the culprit. I was wondering whether something more was amiss –  lack of proper disaster recovery and rehabilitation planning and coordination both on the part of the government and civil society, perhaps?

#SaturdaySessions: A How-To Guide

As I start wrapping up my fellowship, I would like to share the model (plus some tips) for organizing the Saturday Sessions. Our hope is that the fellows continue to nurture a learning community.

Type of Event: There is no specific type! You are free to organize whatever suits the topic and learning community. Explore what works – knowledge café, innovation sprint, hackathons, town halls, ignite talks! We try to keep it to 90 minutes on a Saturday, from 11 am- 12:30. There have been suggestions to do it on a Friday after work.

Developing Cross Sector Partnerships

Partnership is defined is an agreement or contract between two or more parties that is undergone to perform a set of tasks, activities, and projects to achieve desired goals and objectives that mutually benefits all the parties involved.

In today’s world, we have seen that partnership happens between the same as well as different sectors. When the partnership is between two sectors we call it bilateral partnership, when the partnership is among three sectors, we call it tri-sector partnership.

Typically, the triangle of partnership engages state, market, and civil society. By state, I mean the government,   by market I mean for profit organization, and civil societies are non-profit organization, mostly having community oriented goals.

#SmallBusinessWeek Hackathon from a participant perspective

I went there without any idea in mind. As being new to DC I didn’t know much about the market and especially the problems which small businesses face in the US. As this was my first hackathon in the US so I also had no idea how it’s going to go but it was pretty similar to what we have in Pakistan. People who had ideas started going on the stage and pitching their ideas. Some ideas, to be honest, were so high tech that I was unable to understand and most of them were related to something playing with data.

The Science of Climate Change

Climate is a complex and chaotic system, there is variability on many scales, but we can discern climate change because of measurable trends on many different variables such as temperature, water cycle, sea level rise.
Changes will continue, we can make projections, which help us determine impacts, which help us set mitigation and adaptation policies.

Clean Energy Finance: Innovation and Implementation

“Alternative” to what?
Over the last decade, solar has gone through de-risking as operating performance was proven, this has resulted in decline in financing costs from large banks.
Currently, wind is a $14.1 billion market, solar is about $30 billion.
Lessons learned over the past decades:
– Important to access mainstream capital to scale
– Investing in a clean energy projects with fixed PPA off-take from a utility company is almost like a bond – very safe now, low interest rate on project debt
– Challenge will be financing with floating price of merchant power

Fail forward-fail for the best to come

The concept of failure is not as the failure itself. It relates on how you deal with a failure. Everyone in his/her life has to deal with one or more failures in various fields. The point is not what happens, is what you do with what’s happened.
A New Frame for Failure
F: Failure
A: Always
I: Invites
L: Learning

A failure can be of different magnitude and intensity. It can be a catastrophe like the TITANIC or just forgetting your child birthday.

World Refugee Day 2018 and what you can do

Today is World Refugee Day, a day where  over 100 nations  honor the strength, courage and perseverance of  millions of people around the world who are displaced.Started by the UN Refugee Agency in 2001, World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20 to draw attention to the plight of refugees across the globe and now more than ever the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons deserves attention and action.

The theme for World Refugee Day 2018 is aptly: “Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees.” and we surely do; the United Nations revealed a record high of 68.5 million individuals have now been displaced worldwide due to war, poverty, persecution and other events.

Innovation, Impact and Inquiry – My great experience at InterAction Forum 2018

For the first time, thanks to Atlas Corps I had the opportunity to attend the InterAction Forum 2018.

I volunteered in InterAction Forum 2018 for 3 days, from 12th to 14th June 2018 at Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

But what did the volunteering consist you might be asking? 

Volunteers serve in different capacities including:

  • Helping InterAction staff with pre-conference or conference set-up and activities
  • Greeting conference attendees and directing traffic between workshops
  • Assisting participants in locating conference rooms and other sites
  • Registration at the conference site
  • Other miscellaneous support as needed