Abdulsamod Balogun is a communications and marketing professional with over six years of experience leading end-to-end content storytelling and digital marketing (search, social and email) campaigns in the nonprofit, financial services, venture capital and technology sectors in Africa. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, and is trained in product marketing and growth marketing by Product Marketing Alliance UK and CXL Institute US respectively. He is the director of partnerships at Vibrant Girls Development Initiative, a social enterprise that has empowered over 300 girls in semiurban areas of Lagos with soft and digital skills, and provided career mentorship to 90 girls. Previously, he was a communications and marketing fellow at VestedWorld, an impact-focused African VC, where he raised newsletter open rate to over 40% and executed content marketing strategies that grew Linkedin followership by 115%, engagement by 1100% and unique visitors by over 70%. He also led communications for Leonine, a financial services firm, where he helped over 20+ social entrepreneurs get investor-ready and raise external capital. He also executed tailored B2B and B2C content marketing strategies that helped increase the firm’s web traffic by 300%, Linkedin page followers by 70%, enterprise client pool by over 60%, training pool by over 150% and originated deals worth over $1million. He is one of 5 Agora Fellows trained in communications by Young Voices UK in 2019 and has coordinated marketing for LEAP Africa SIPA and SocialGood Summit Lagos. Through these experiences, he has developed strong skills in content, digital and event marketing. Abdulsamod enjoys launching initiatives and dissecting issues in youth development, entrepreneurship, gender, and education.
Dorothea Strüber is an Economist by training and graduated in International Economics and Development at the Complutense University of Madrid. She currently works for ClimateView, a climate tech company providing digital solutions for cities in their decarbonization journeys. Prior to joining ClimateView, she worked for six years at the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative to unite science for the Sustainable Development Goals. She has extensive knowledge in community building, stakeholder management and engagement, and is passionate about sustainable agriculture and gender equality. She speaks English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Fernando Lara is a youth empowerment advocate with over four years of experience in the non-profit sector. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering at UNIAG University in Nicaragua in 2012. Since then, he has focused on environmental development, guiding and supporting more than 200 young volunteers to create and implement environmental campaign strategies to mitigate deforestation, promote ecological farming practices, and raise awareness of climate change in local rural communities while also collaborating actively with project partners and community leaders. Since 2016, Fernando has volunteered as a Facilitator in different projects and lately as an Operations Officer in Raleigh Costa Rica, supporting international volunteers during their deployment to projects in communities, national parks, and a leadership trek, providing pastoral support to team leaders, establishing safety and safeguarding measures and monitoring project results. Through these experiences, he has developed skills in capacity building, leadership development, and project planning and implementation. Fernando strives to reduce the impacts of climate change by promoting positive environmental practices while empowering youth capacity development.
Frank Sarria is a native of Managua, Nicaragua. He is a lawyer by profession, with a Master’s degree in Corporate Law and almost a decade of experience at the management level in the areas of marketing and sales in transnational companies such as Pepsi and Colgate-Palmolive among others. He has been responsible for the planning and execution of distribution channel development plans as well as commercial investment projects. Since March 2022, he assumed the challenge as Country General Manager with the Swiss organization Buy Food with Plastic, responsible for cementing the operational foundations of the organization for Nicaragua and providing support to the global management team in the elaboration of its development plans for India and Ghana towards 2025. https://www.linkedin.com/in/frank-ivan-sarria-palacios/ https://www.facebook.com/frank.i.sarria
Gabriela Navarro is a Biotechnologist currently studying for a Master’s degree in Biodiversity. She has been working as a teacher at GoStudent Academy since 2020. She is passionate about the environment and social work, so she participated in two different volunteering programs in Poland and Italy in 2020 and 2021. She is interested in working with the local community to pursue a society that is more sustainable, respectful of the environment, and seeks equality to improve the quality of life for people.
Ian Serra has an undergraduate degree in Politics and an MSc in Sustainability and Management. He currently works for Andorra Research and Innovation, an entity in charge of generating and promoting knowledge, providing innovative solutions for sustainable development, and contributing to the economic diversification of Andorra. In this entity, he is involved in different projects involving the sustainability approaches of many stakeholders in the country. He is very interested in circular economy principles. These directly affect sustainability as a whole and can be used as drivers for social change. Similarly, he believes companies and society need to change their approach in many areas to be able to tackle climate change (energy, waste management, supply chains…).
Irene Vivas LalindeSpain & Colombia
Irene Vivas Lalinde is a climate activist and a storyteller. Irene has been involved in different capacities in the fight for climate justice in organizations such as the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) and Juventud Verde, as a delegate to COP 26 and COP 27, as a Feminist Climate Ambassador and as the co-founder of the initiative Proyecta Valencia – Hacia el 2030. Currently, she is a board member of Verdes EQUO, the Spanish green party, and works as a project officer at Eurocities. In the past few years, she has worked in European and international organizations such as EIT Climate KIC, the European Parliament, and Women’s Link Worldwide on climate innovation, citizen science, and human rights. She holds an MSc in Public Policy and Human Development (UNU Merit – Maastricht School of Governance) and a Bachelor’s in law. To disconnect, she enjoys the company of dear friends and family. She also loves meeting new people. Doing yoga and meditation has helped her keep her mental health balanced. In her free time, Irene enjoys reading, dancing, and writing. She regularly publishes in the online magazine Hyperbole. She believes in the power of stories to change people’s minds and create new imaginaries for a greener future.
Ivonne Gloria Casas HuancaBolivia
Ivonne Casas has more than five years of experience in the financial area, project management, and research in public and private institutions. She has a degree in Business Administration from the Higher University of San Andrés and also studied Public Accounting at the Salesian University of Bolivia. Ivonne has a Master’s degree in Management and Public Policies from the School of Production and Competitiveness at Catholic University Bolivian San Pablo. She completed diplomas related to Sustainable Development, Projects, Gender Equality, Human Rights, Climate Change, and Big Data, among others in Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, and the Philippines. She currently works as a Strategic Management Professional at the Bolivian Institute for Standardization and Quality and is a Researcher at the Climate Change Research Center of the Grothendieck Foundation. She’s an activist at several organizations at the national and international level where sustainable development and human rights are promoted. She holds coordination and leadership positions and was appointed Local Ambassador by the Global Institute for Youth Development of the Philippines, managing to obtain a lot of recognition for her work. She was selected as a young leader by the United Nations Generative Dialogue for Positive Peace program in Bolivia. She’s currently working at the “Network for Monitoring and Defense of Environmental Rights and Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Bolivian Peoples,” which is supported by the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Bolivia and civil society organizations. She is also the Coordinator of a Working Group for the development of an international standard for students at the International Standards Institute of Next Generation.
Maryangel Alemán is a fully trilingual professional with a strong academic background in Global Business and Innovation with more than three years of experience in the areas of research, team leadership, and entrepreneurship. She has a broad expertise and knowledge in managing, monitoring, and evaluating projects with social impact in Central and South America. Some of the organizations she has worked with are the Organization of American States (Peru), Techo Costa Rica, AIESEC Brazil, World Vision, Global Shapers, and Thrive Nicaragua. Through her professional experiences, she has been able to connect with social entrepreneurs, key partners, and donors from the United States and Europe. Furthermore, her strong educational background in business and professional experiences provided her with a broad knowledge in Project Management, Partnership Development, and Administration. Her postgraduate in Innovation gave her strong creativity skills and an excellent entrepreneurial mindset.
Megan McKinleyUnited States & Canada
Megan McKinley hails from Ohio, United States of America, and has been living internationally since 2013. For her Undergraduate studies, she attended Long Island University’s Global College where her education took her out of the classroom and into the field of ten countries across five continents. Additionally, she holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification through the world-leading Project Management Institute. Megan believes that the best education is through experience and thus has made it her mission to work in organizations which break down barriers and provide alternative education opportunities to marginalized communities. Professionally, she has worked at Global Leadership Adventures, Guild Education, and is currently serving as a Banyan Impact Fellow in Chennai, India where she partners with Playquity, an early-phase NGO which focuses on providing gender equity programming in rural areas. Throughout her professional career, Megan has worked as a Program Manager, Education Coach, Advisor, and Project Lead. Through these experiences, she has realized she works best in diverse environments where she has the opportunity to collaborate with others and contribute her adaptability and organization. Megan is a firm believer that through daily choices, individuals hold the power to change the world.
Sanaa MunjalIndia (American India Foundation Scholar)
Sanaa Munjal is serving as an American India Foundation (AIF) Banyan Impact Fellow with Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF) based out of Delhi-NCR, India, for a period of ten months. Hailing from Jaipur, Rajasthan, she completed her undergraduate degree in Economics from Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, in 2022. She is currently working around the area of mental health awareness, skilling, and education, and also a research survey to understand the climate of mental health in the communities TMF caters to, along with working on youth development and mentoring. She has experience working in diverse domains with organizations such as NITI Aayog and United Nations Global Compact Network India, which helped her gain policy and research-driven experience. She has also obtained a diploma from the Indian Institute of Governance and Leadership in International Relations and Diplomacy. She has co-authored a research paper that was further added to the virtual library and literature on COVID-19 by WHO. In the future, Sanaa hopes to work at the intersection of policy and development around education, women’s health, and youth development. She hopes to leverage this opportunity to understand the development sector and expand her learning horizon.
Sidharth HendreIndia (American India Foundation Scholar)
Sidharth Hendre hails from Pune, Maharashtra. He graduated in Political Science (Hons) from MIT-World Peace University, Pune. Holding a nuance in Political Science, he has interests in Public Policy and Human Rights advocacy. During the last year of his graduation, he did his dissertation on ‘Manual Scavenging in India: Caste not Law dictates the fate.’ Being an extremely active person outside of academics, he has completed two years of the National Cadet Corps, which included Army Attachment Camp and Combined Annual Training Camp, and secured an ‘A’ grade in the ‘B Certificate’ exam. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, he has been continuously volunteering for the betterment of sex workers and transgender communities in Pune City, by assisting them in providing appropriate support from the government authorities and by providing relief kits by the means of crowdfunding and raising awareness. Right after his graduation, he went on to do fellowship with Goonj in Delhi, Maharashtra, Chennai, and Chhattisgarh. He worked in various thematic areas of Education, Healthcare and Sanitation, and Urban and Rural Development. He also worked under the initiative of ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth,’ educating urban and rural masses about safe and hygienic menstrual practices, and worked on the positioning and visibility of the initiative. Apart from that, he also worked on Urban Operations in Goonj, Chennai. Throughout his travels, studies, and experiences in various parts of India, he has developed a diverse perspective on various socio-economic issues.