Shiro (she/her) graduated with a degree in International Policy (MA ’23) with a focus on the environment and sustainability. Since graduating, Shiro has been back home in Nairobi, pursuing her passion for sustainable food and agriculture through Growing Acres. Prior to Stanford, Shiro worked at leading development organizations, GiveDirectly and One Acre Fund in a range of global strategy roles. At Stanford, she worked to marry her development experiences with operational and commercial skills through classes at the GSB, and work experiences with Amazon and a social impact VC fund. In the next chapter of her career, she is excited to help bring Africa’s greatest resource – her people – to addressing one of the region’s most pressing issues: food security in a warming world.
SIF-Eco Focus – Growing Acres
Growing Acres is a workforce development solution that aims to supply midsize farms in Africa, starting in Kenya, with the talent they need to become profitable and climate-smart businesses. In Kenya alone, 43% of agricultural employers report that they are not able to find the right skills to run their farms, and across Africa, agricultural labor productivity is less than half the global average yet 70% of Africans rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Our model starts by diagnosing farm-level barriers to productivity, and then developing performance goals in collaboration with the farmer client. We tailor a catalog of training that covers sustainable agronomy, business skills, and soft-skills competencies to meet the specific gaps identified on that farm. We believe that the path to food self-sufficiency in Africa starts with human capital.
Thilo is passionate about bringing new technologies to market to make life more connected and sustainable. Before coming to Stanford for an MBA and MS degree, Thilo was an early employee at Lilium, a leading electric aircraft startup. There he experienced the need for new energy storage technologies to decarbonize aviation first hand. Thilo holds a master in aerospace engineering from Imperial College and is an avid private pilot.
SIF-Eco Focus – And Battery Aero (ABA)
ABA is developing batteries to electrify and decarbonize aviation. Aviation accounts for 3.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and its share of emissions is growing rapidly. It is broadly counted as a hard-to-decarbonize sector. ABA’s battery systems will enable commercially viable electric flight by significantly increasing the energy density versus the state of the art. This paves a path to electrifying the majority of flights globally.
Kelly, along with her cofounder Gabriella Dweck, founded Oleo SPOS out of a shared passion for combating climate change and improving environmental justice within the palm oil industry. Kelly holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and has 5 years of experience as an environmental science and engineering officer in the U.S. Army; during this time, Kelly managed large-scale environmental health programs and projects across the Army’s Indo-Pacific area of operations, planned and executed operations from early concept phase through implementation, and led teams ranging from 2 to 76 individuals.
SIF-Eco Focus – Oleo Sustainable Palm Oil Solutions
Over the course of the SIF-Eco fellowship thus far, Kelly and her cofounder Gabriella have built out a lab to continue research and development, established product-market-fit, and connected with stakeholders across their supply chain, from the palm oil, biomass, and biofuels landscapes. They are currently working to optimize their technological process and design a pilot demonstration.
Sasankh is from Singapore and is deeply passionate about the intersection of tech and social impact. His past work spans three social impact domains: refugees, accessibility, and climate. He enjoys organizing in the tech for good space such as through leading CS+Social Good, serving on the Haas Center’s National Advisory Board, and the Board of TechShift.
SIF-Eco Focus – Terradot
Terradot is a high-integrity Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) platform to accelerate gigaton-scale earth-regenerating carbon removal, with a focus on the Global South.