Tag Archives: GCS

Young World Inventor Profiled on PBS Newshour!

Jodie Wu to Appear on “Agents for Change”

If you have been following Young World Inventors, you’re probably familiar with Jodie Wu, founder of Global Cycle Solutions (see video below!). Thus, we couldn’t be happier at camp YWI that the entrepreneur we’ve gotten to know so well over the past two years will soon appear on “Agents for Change,” a series to be broadcast on PBS NewsHour. “Agents for Change” traces the stories of motivated individuals who respond to entrenched social challenges like poverty, food security and access to basic amenities. These entrepreneurs come up with innovative solutions that go beyond short-term fixes to create sustainable solutions that change the system, improve the local economy and impact people’s daily lives.

Jodie, winner of the prestigious Echoing Green fellowship, is no stranger to tackling the social challenges of the developing world. At GCS, she’s gotten to know the struggles and successes of running her own social enterprise in Tanzania. What started as an idea at MIT’s D-Lab has quickly developed into a company that produces simple and effective products to make life easier for folks in Tanzania and beyond. “We are creating technologies that help smallholder farmers take their first step out of poverty, without any dependency on electricity or fuel,” noted Wu in a recent interview. In fact, items in the GCS inventory include adapters for bicycles that can be used to thresh corn, bike adapters that charge phones and solar-powered lanterns and chargers. Adds Wu, “Working in Tanzania and watching people’s faces light up at village (product) demonstrations only motivates me to spread the work of Global Cycle Solutions across the globe.”

[Read the full interview with Jodie here]

We’d like to congratulate Jodie on her profile on PBS and are excited to watch where she takes her ideas next!


On the Ground: Updates from Rwanda & Tanzania

I just left Kigali after a busy time videotaping HeHe Ltd, a mobile phone app provider team that started business just  nine months ago.  They told me about challenges like losing a major client and losing a team member.  They’ve been asked to talk about teamwork challenges to an international student group in Kigali organized by Cambridge University, U.K. They have riveting insights about how a team stays creative and bonded.

I also got to talk with a government agency in Kigali who are eager to take story episodes of this young HeHe team to inspire others in rural areas to start their own enterprises in high tech projects!  We will do some planning via Skpe in August and think about radio, web and live events to tell insider story segments about Clarisse, Amiri, Diane and Richard who competed at the Pivot25 mobile developer conference in June and had more twitter traffic than any of the other teams. It was Richard’s first trip out of Rwanda and he plans to be first in the next competition.

I also got to meet a Frenchman at the airport who’s doing development work in Sudan.  He thinks stories of young innovators should be easy to fund and wants to help!

Tomorrow I will follow Jodie Wu around Dar Es Salaam in meetings about funding, websites and advice for Global Cycle Solutions. Then we travel by bus to Morogoro to talk to sales reps for GCS.

Jodie is eager to get into the field to see how products are being received and she’s developing another side business in Arusha to provide affordable housing to visitors like me and the fellow who’s coming from the US to shoot a story about what makes an enterpreneur tick — for an ebook written by an educator at harvard. I’ll meet with him in August to learn more.