SDG15

Making a Sustainable Difference, with Sasha Kramer, SOIL

SOIL is working in Haiti to design, test, and implement social business models to increase access to sanitation services. When the business model is right, anything can be a valuable asset, even human waste. SOIL uses a business model that provides sanitation services, improves soil fertility, and creates livelihoods in Haiti. SOIL collects human waste and transforms it into compost that can be safely used in agriculture. Ecologist Sasha Kramer of SOIL describes her work this way. “We are taking human waste, something that is one of the largest factors in public health issues in the world. And, we are transforming it into something that I, as ecologist thinks is…

Read More

Live Your Mission, with Tyler Gage, Co-Founder of Runa, and Author of Fully Alive

Tyler Gage, Co-Founder of Runa, has a new book, Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business and Life.   Tyler Gage was first introduced to Guayusa in his college years, during a soul-searching trip to the Amazon. “I was struggling with anxiety and depression,” he explains. Gage experienced “existential anxiety,” even after achieving his life-long goal of being recruited to play soccer at Brown University. Feeling lost, out of place and like there were deeper parts of himself that he could not understand, Gage embarked on an adventure to the Peruvian forest. He spent time with indigenous elders. He participated in fasting rituals…

Read More

Katrina Klett: Elevating Honey in China

Elevated Honey Co is dedicated to preserving traditional Himalayan beekeeping methods to produce the world’s purest honey.   Katrina Klett moved to China nearly a decade ago to study languages. While there, she found her true calling there as a beekeeper. She’s now turning that vision into a business as a social entrepreneur. Katrina is the CEO of Elevated Honey Co, a small honey company in southwest China that is passionate about helping farmers connect to better markets through supply chains. The company works with a rare native Asian honeybee species that produces a smaller amount of honey than bees in the U.S. As such, the honey is rare and…

Read More

A Bicycle-Based Beekeeping Business, with Kristy Lynn Allen, The Beez Kneez

The Beez Kneez is a Minneapolis-based honey production, education and advocacy organization. When Kristy Lynn Allen was in high school, her family moved to a new school district during the school year. As a result, her grades suffered. She needed a boost to be ready for college. So, she enrolled in a college connection program. While there, she met a teacher who was planning a trip to China. As a 19-year-old, Kristy took out a loan and went to China with her teacher. This wasn’t her last time to travel. She studied in England. She traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica. She traveled across Europe. She lived in Ecuador for…

Read More

115, Anushka Ratnayake, myAgro | How to Move Smallholder Farmers out of Poverty

Anushka Ratnayake of myAgro uses a combination of savings, inputs and training to increase the income of smallholder farmers. As a social entrepreneur, Anushka Ratnayake has seen startup challenges that are not common in other regions. For example, less than a year after launching myAgro, an armed conflict broke out in Mali. A group associated with Al-Qaeda set up a new state in Northern Mali. In response, the French military launched an operation and ousted the rebels. Anushka Ratnayake, the founder of myAgro was an early employee with Kiva. There she learned about the power of microfinance to impact poverty. She also worked with One Acre Fund where her job…

Read More

113, Yvette Ondachi, Ojay Greene | Connecting Smallholder Farmers to Markets

Yvette Ondachi uses technology to connect smallholder farmers to markets. Yvette Ondachi is a biochemist. She was a pharmaceutical product manager across several east African countries. “The problem I encountered was, most people couldn’t afford [medicine],” Yvette told me. Even after an experiment in which the company lowered the cost of medications by 75%, many people still could not get access to medicine. “One of the things that propelled me,” Yvette explained, “was watching mothers, helpless as their children suffered from preventable diseases.” She knew she had to do something to make a difference. “Something within me became very restless. I said, ‘I have to do something about this.’” Most…

Read More

112, Martin von Hildebrand, Gaia Amazonas | Promoting the Rights of Indigenous People and the Environment

Martin von Hildebrand has been working with indigenous people for the last 42 years to protect their rights and the environment. Martin lived with indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest from the 1972 through 1980. There, he witnessed rubber tappers exploiting the lands and missionaries converting the indigenous people from their traditional ways. By listening to the indigenous people, he was able to learn what they wanted, and to explore ways to secure their future. Martin realized that, the indigenous people needed to secure land rights, the right to self-governance, and environmental protections. Martin worked with the government to secure all of these rights. In Colombia, 26 million hectares were…

Read More