SDG09 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

These social entrepreneurs are working on Sustainable Development Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Eliminate Plastic from Your Oral Care, with Kathy Ku, Juni Essentials

Helping bamboo farmers and women in impoverished regions become self-reliant while eliminating plastic waste. If Kathy Ku’s name is familiar to you, you might have heard about her previous social venture in Uganda, Spouts of Water. I interviewed Kathy in December 2016. Kathy and her co-founder John Kye left Spouts of Water, but it continues to thrive. Around the same time that Kathy and John were in Uganda working on clean water, Dr. Noah Park was volunteering in low-income countries. “One of our Korean co-founders visited our production site in Uganda seven years ago or so, but we had never met each other,” Kathy explains. “He traveled to the less…

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An Ecosystem of Environmental Entrepreneurship, with Sebastian Sajoux, Arqlite

Sebastian Sajoux, Arqlite 93% of plastic is not recycled. Only seven to nine percent of the plastic that is generated on an annual basis is recycled. Sebastian Sajoux explains, “The plastics go to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF, pronounced “Murph”), and then go into a recycling system. Still, 50% of plastics that are manufactured are impossible to recycle with current technologies.   “The number that’s really scary is, by 2050 the amount of plastic used and discarded will double.”   “We are in this race to become more efficient in separation and recycling, but we are still manufacturing products that cannot be recycled.”  Why Some Plastic is Born Unrecyclable “Plastics are divided into categories,” Sebastian told me. “Usually,…

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E-Commerce for Everyone, with Isaac Hunja, Sky.Garden

Sky.Garden is a SaaS e-commerce platform built for retailers in Africa. People who work in the informal economy make up half to three-quarters of the non-agricultural labor force in many countries. In Kenya, the informal sector represents 82.7% of all employment. Many of the people involved in the informal economy also have a job in the formal economy. Isaac Hunja, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sky.Garden, comments, “Every Kenyan has a side-hustle.” One example of the informal economy is street vendors. They may have a kiosk in a marketplace or they may be selling goods from the back seat of their car. According to Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and…

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Pedro Domingos, Author of “Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Society”

If you want to talk about machine learning, Pedro Domigos is a good person to start with. When Pedro was growing up in Lisbon, he loved to read and to learn. In fact, when he was 13 years old, he decided that he wanted to learn everything that there is to know. It did not take him long to decide that it might be a little more useful to, instead of knowing everything, to become deeply knowledgeable about a few topics. His university studies led him to computer science in the 1980s, just as personal computers were beginning to catch on. Today, Pedro is a professor at the University of…

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