Blog of Urs Riggenbach

Invitation to Guest Lecture at TAMK:
Direct Solar Energy - Theory and Practice

Posted Saturday 24 November 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

This Friday November 30th, Eerik Wissenz, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of our project has been invited to give a lecture at Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK). The lecture is following our previous collaboration with TAMK where we supported students’ thesis projects related to solar thermal energy. Eerik will cover the energy situation in the developing world and the interdisciplinary process of creating real world solutions.

 

Open Invitation:

This lecture is open to the public and visitors are welcome.

Time: 12:15-15:00

Classroom: B420

Campus: Kuntokatu 3, 33520 Tampere, Finland

 

About our Cooperation with TAMK:

Tampere University of Applied Sciences is a higher education institution oriented towards working life and RDI co-operation. Their strengths are multidisciplinary education, creativity, and a strong international dimension.

Our cooperation with TAMK is focused on advancing sustainable development through final theses projects, lecturing and co-creation projects.


Solar Forest - Evening Reception
November 27th, San Francisco

Posted Tuesday 20 November 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

GoSol.solar and Forest Trends are hosting an evening reception to celebrate our partnership to reduce deforestation and empower local communities with our innovative solar thermal solution. The event will bring together project supporters, impact investors, leaders from the environmental conservation community and friends of the Amazon.

Join us November 27th, 6PM in San Francisco

Solar Forest

An Evening Reception
Empowering Indigenous Communities in the Amazon

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
6 - 8 PM
26 Buena Vista Terrace
San Francisco, CA 94117

GoSol and Forest Trends would like to thank Z Woodman for generously opening her beautiful home to raise awareness for our critical work.

GoSol’s solar thermal solution is providing access to clean heat for farmers, entrepreneurs and SME’s in the developing world. With our SOL5 solar concentrator, entrepreneurs are baking, roasting and dehydrating food and boosting their income. Over the last two years we’ve empowered communities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Now we are bringing our positive impact to the Amazon.

Through the Communities Initiative, Forest Trends supports the Yawanawa and the Surui people of the Brazilian Amazon to conserve their forests and improve their livelihoods. Agricultural expansion for soy, cattle ranching and illegal logging and mining are rampant in the Amazon, but indigenous communities are fighting against the loss of their forests and cultures. Forest Trends works with local communities in securing their rights, livelihoods and culture.

Globally, indigenous people are at the frontlines, protecting 60-80% of our world’s biodiversity but at the same time have very limited access to the world’s resources. By enabling them to tap into the power of the sun, create local wealth and run value-adding food processing without burning wood but direct sunlight, we aim to prove a new and scalable pathway to support forest-based livelihoods.

We will watch a short presentation, showing how high tech and low tech is working hand in hand to empower people. The project started October 2018 in the state of Rondônia, Brazil, working with the Surui indigenous people. We would love you to join us at this celebratory event. There will be drinks and light refreshments, and maybe even some of our solar baked cookies!

We look forward to seeing you there!


GoSol.solar Showcase at SOCAP’18 San Francisco

Posted Thursday 1 November 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

Last week we got to showcase GoSol at the SOCAP conference in San Francisco, October 23rd to 27th, 2018. Autodesk Foundation hosted an evening reception at their Gallery on One Market, in collaboration with Acumen, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Village Capital.

For the showcase I prepared a table-top version of our solar concentrator, using the CNC laser-cutters at Autodesk’s Technology Center where we did a 4 month impact residency last year. It was great to be back for a short afternoon in this amazing CNC workshop and fabricate high-precision pieces based on the Fusion 360 CAD I prepared during my flight to the US.

The showcase was a great opportunity to connect to investors, NGOs and partners to scale our impact after completing the piloting phase earlier this year. In addition, SOCAP conference had over 3000 attendants and gave us a great overview over the who’s who of the social capital / and impact investing landscape globally.

I’m excited to follow up on the many connections made that will play a big role in scaling our impact. Stay tuned!

Images courtesy of Jenny Jiang, Autodesk Foundation.


Plan International’s Clip after a day of Educational Training

Posted Wednesday 5 September 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

Watch this very first video of entrepreneurs getting trained at Smartup Factory in Uganda to run solar bakeries with our SOL5!

It’s great to see the young participants of the educational training in Uganda getting boosted!

Video curtesy of Omalla Johnson, SmartUp Factory Uganda, Plan International Uganda.


Announcing Partnership with Plan International Finland and SmartUp Factory programme in Uganda

Posted Friday 13 July 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

In partnership with Plan International Finland and Plan International Uganda, we are starting a new cooperation in Uganda providing our SOL5 solar concentrators and educational trainings to the SmartUp Factory program.

SmartUp Factory is driven by the idea that "since the poor and marginalized youth experience the challenges in their community and society first hand they are in a crucial position to identify those challenges and come up with innovative solutions to them."

Every month, Plain International Uganda is welcoming 20-30 new youths to the
venue and they receive full access to the mentoring, trainings and equipment. The program is currently running in six locations in Uganda.

In this project, GoSol is providing SOL5 units, hands on trainings, theoretical lessons and support with the incubation of solar bakeries.

We are excited about this partnership and the potential to empower more and more entrepreneurs with our SOL5 through education.

Stay tuned for more updates by subscribing
to our newsletter:

 

SmartUp Factory has empowered over 3500 young people from Uganda with the skills needed for social entrepreneurship.


This was AU London 2018

Posted Friday 22 June 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

This week Eerik and I got to attend the Autodesk University conference and Impact Summit in London. Autodesk University brings together industry leaders in manufacturing and construction to learn about the trends and emerging technologies Autodesk enables with their software tools, and how we can use these tools to boost our impact.

In addition to the breath of courses and keynotes, Autodesk Foundation organized the fifth installment of their Impact Summit, which gave us the chance to connect face-to-face with some of the other social enterprises and impact-oriented organizations the Foundation is supporting. It was inspiring to meet changemakers in architecture, health, IoT and solar, and exchange in a series of workshops and presentations our learnings, challenges and best practices. It was great getting an overview on all the progress that is made to democratize access to basic needs, like energy. At the same time, much work remains.

AU London: Many interesting keynotes such as this one by Build Health International, an Autodesk Foundation grantee.
Connecting with Philippe Videau of the Autodesk Forge team.
Out and about with other Autodesk Foundation grantees.

 

Convergence of manufacturing and construction

The main theme at AU London was the convergence of the construction and manufacturing industries. The trend in construction is towards much more pre-fabricated, manufacturing-like deployments, while the fabrication industry is getting into much more unique, individualized production as seen in construction. In many ways both industries are converging which brings new possibilities.

 

Autodesk Forge

We also got to take full advantage of the many courses and workshops offered at AU. Very interesting for us was learning about Autodesk Forge, a tool that allows for cloud-based design adaptations, among other things. We are very excited about this new tool and where it’s going.

 

Education

It was also great learning about Autodesk’s commitment to foster education in Sub Saharan Africa, thinking about how we can expand our cooperation beyond Student Design Challenges like the one we did with UNHCR and Worldskills, and start to empower students directly with our solar technology.

 

Birmingham Tech Center

Last but not least we got to visit Autodesk’s Birmingham tech center, which is a cutting edge facility working with industry leaders to push what’s possible in digital fabrication. This is one of four tech centers Autodesk operates, last year we were at their San Francisco location, Pier 9. They are serious about CNC, additive and subtractive manufacturing, but we can’t resist to share this video of them using a robotic arm to machine a block of Choccolate to create an easter bunny. Must watch!


Back in San Francisco, Interviewing Near Future Summit
and Autodesk on Sustainability and Impact

Posted Monday 21 May 2018 by Urs Riggenbach.

Interview with Zem Joaquin, founder of Near Future Summit as she mentions her favourite quote by Bill McDonough: “We need to love all children of all species for all time.”

After a great showcase of the SOL5 at Near Future Summit, Will and I returned to San Francisco early last week. Apart from following up on the many conversations started at the conference, we had the pleasure to interview some of the inspiring people that are building the near future.

We got to interview Zem Joaquin, founder of Near Future Summit and learn about her inspiring approach to sustainability, as well as staff members of Autodesk Foundation that are supporting our work. This post covers some impressions from the interviews.

Joe Speicher, Executive Director at Autodesk Foundation, on how Autodesk Foundation is advancing design for impact.
Jean Shia, Head of Portfolio & Investment at Autodesk Foundation talking about how they supported our piloting phase.
Ryan Macpherson, Portfolio and Investment Manager at Autodesk Foundation talking about his first-hand experience visiting to our Kenya bakers.
Ben Thompson, Head of Employee Impact at Autodesk, talking about Autodesk's pro-bono programme for employees to support impact initiatives.

More to come. Stay tuned!


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8