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1 AND Getting Paid for It STEM Careers in Social Innovation and Global Sustainable Development EDITED BY Khanjan Mehta

2 Do you want to harness the power of science, technology, and innovation to change the world? Do you want to channel your passion and education to pursue a life-long career improving the human condition? Regardless of where you are along your career path, what should be your next step(s)? Sign up for Peace Corps? Pursue graduate school? Take on a corporate job? Join a nonprofit? Launch your own social enterprise? Should you focus on energy, health, or food security? Should you stay in New York or move to Nairobi? The number of choices is daunting! Solving Problems that Matter (and Getting Paid for It)... stitches together a mosaic of perspectives, experiences, and actionable insights to illuminate the smorgasbord of career pathways in social innovation and global sustainable development. 54 expert briefs penned by leaders from USAID, MIT, Peace Corps, Engineers Without Borders, FHI 360, and other organizations offer practical insights into a myriad of topics such as: How do different kinds of organizations work? How do you find your first impact-focused job? What are the pros and cons of PhD, MBA, MPH, and MPA degrees? How do salaries and benefits work when placed in a developing country? 100 STEM innovators from the World Bank, UNICEF, Gates Foundation, Google, and dozens of social ventures, government agencies, nonprofits, academia, and corporations share their career profiles with you. Turn to any page to read an enlightening and inspiring inside story of a social innovator s role and responsibilities, career trajectory, and lessons learned along the way. Read Solving Problems That Matter (and Getting Paid for It) and let 165 of today s most inspiring gamechangers help you find your passion, make informed career decisions, and propel you into the exciting world of social innovation and global sustainable development. Khanjan Mehta is the Founding Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program and Assistant Professor of Engineering Design at Penn State. Mehta has led technology-based social ventures related to food security and global health in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and other countries. Cover design by Peter Lusch

3 Solving Problems That Matter (And Getting Paid For It) STEM Careers in Social Innovation and Global Sustainable Development Copyright 2015 by Khanjan Mehta and the Contributors All rights reserved. Copyeditor: Sharon Honeycutt Cover Design: Peter Lusch Book Design: Divya Jyoti Darpan This book was self-published by Khanjan Mehta. No part of this book may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or any other future means of reproducing text, without the prior written permission of the editor. For permission requests, please contact the editor at Published in the United States of America Library of Congress Control Number: ISBN-10: ISBN-13: Printed by CreateSpace, An Amazon.com Company

4 All you aspiring game changers you dreamers, you workaholics you brave visionaries who can t sit still who strive through day and night armed with science, evidence, and design tempered by patience, perseverance and grit who sacrifice blood and sweat and tears to conquer nature to reduce human suffering to launch a million smiles to build organizations and systems that advance humanity that replace arrogance with insight trade indignity for equity and fell monolith for mosaic to build a fairer and friendlier world to set us free from poverty, ignorance, and disease and the shackles of corruption, dogma, and mediocrity for one and for all for close and for far for once and for ever this book is for you Go Make Stuff Up with empathy, rigor, and ethic Go Get Stuff Done NOW; life s too short Go Solve Problems That Matter whether, or not, you get paid for it The world is waiting; go make love iii

5 Table of Contents Index of Innovator Profiles Preface Acknowledgments ix xv xix Part 1 STEM for Social Innovation: The Time Is NOW! 2 1 Science and Technology for Societal Impact 4 Phil Weilerstein President and Executive Director, VentureWell 2 What Is STEM Anyways? 6 Peter Butler Professor and Associate Dean, Penn State 3 Why Science, Technology, and Innovation? 9 Sara E. Farley Cofounder and COO, Global Knowledge Initiative 4 Changing the Conversation about Engineering in K B.L. Ramakrishna Professor, Arizona State University 5 Are We There Yet? 13 Cathy Leslie Executive Director, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) USA 6 The Future of Technology in the Social Sector 15 Edward G. Happ Global CIO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 7 Now Is the Best Time to Work in Technology for Global Development 18 Rob Goodier Manager, Engineering for Change (E4C) 8 Go Now! 21 John Gershenson Professor, Michigan Technological University Cofounder, Baisikeli Ugunduzi Part 2 Organizations in the Social Innovation and 24 Sustainable Development Arena iv 1 Organizations in the Social Innovation and Sustainable 26 Development Arena: An Overview Editorial Team

6 Contents 2 To E, or not to E 37 Carl Hammerdorfer Chief of Party, Small Enterprise Assistance Fund 3 Why You Might Want to Work in Relief and Development 39 (and Why You Might Not) Nick Macdonald Relief and Development Professional, Mercy Corps 4 Ten Myths of Working in the Nonprofit Sector 41 Triparna Vasavada Associate Professor, Penn State 5 Five Reasons Not to Start Your Own NGO 43 (and the One Time You Can Consider It) Alanna Shaikh International Development Consultant 6 The Evolving Role of Large Corporations in Social Innovation 45 Renee Wittemyer Director of Social Innovation, Corporate Affairs Group, Intel Corporation 7 The Secret Life of Universities as Economic and Social Development Hubs 47 James K. Woodell Assistant Vice President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) 8 Academia: Base for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 50 Sven Bilén Professor, Penn State Gari Clifford Associate Professor, Emory University and Georgia Tech Part 3 Innovator Profiles 56 See Index of Innovator Profiles on Page ix Part 4 Professional Preparation Five Steps to Establishing Good Outcomes 260 Christina Garcia Senior Program Officer, James Irvine Foundation 2 Deciding Which Opportunities to Jump On 263 Editorial Team 3 Overview of Formal Degree Programs 266 Sarah Ritter Assistant Professor, Penn State Dustin Ritter Senior Scientist, BioMagnetic Solutions LLC 4 Essential Liberal Arts Competencies 269 Susan Knell Director, Career Enrichment Network, Penn State v

7 Contents 5 Graduate School: Launchpad for an Impactful Career 272 Kunal Parikh Grad Student and Entrepreneur, Johns Hopkins University 6 Should You Get a PhD? 274 Toby Cumberbatch Professor, Cooper Union Pritpal Singh Professor, Villanova University 7 How to Evaluate and Select a Graduate Program 277 Rachel Dzombak and Steve Suffian Grad Students, UC-Berkeley and Villanova University 8 Should You Get a Master s in Business Administration (MBA)? 281 Stuart Merkel Director of Corporate and Foundation Partnerships, Jhpiego Dave Lenze Director of Applied Professional Experience, Penn State Smeal College of Business 9 So You Are Thinking about Business School? 284 Jailan Adly Director, MBAs Without Borders PYXERA Global 10 Should You Get a Master s in Public Health (MPH)? 286 Anoop Jain Founding Director, Sanitation & Health Rights in India 11 Should You Get a Master s in Public Administration (MPA)? 289 Francisco Noguera Head of Social Innovation Lab, Compartamos con Colombia 12 Fulbright Scholar Program 291 Ruth Mendum Director of University Fellowships Office, Penn State Mike Henry, Shayne Bement Fulbright Scholars 13 Peace Corps 295 Eric Obeysekare and Liz Ewaskio Returned Peace Corps Volunteers 14 Teach For America 299 Holly Plank and Stephen Bell Teach For America Fellows 15 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship 302 Karelyn Cruz AAAS Science & Technology Policy Overseas Fellow, USAID Mozambique Part 5 Professional Competencies Building Your Personal Brand 308 Rose Cameron Director of Innovation, Outreach and Online Education, Penn State 2 Curiosity, Connections, Creating Value: An Entrepreneurial Mindset 310 Doug Melton Program Director, Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) vi

8 Contents 3 Eight Ways to Prepare Yourself for a Life of Entrepreneurship 313 Matt Brezina Cofounder, Sincerely Incorporated and Xobni 4 How Fieldwork and a Community-Centered Approach 315 Contribute to Project Success Esther Obonyo Associate Professor, Penn State 5 How Fieldwork Prepares You for a Career in Social Impact 317 Preeti Shroff-Mehta Former Dean, SIT Graduate Institute 6 Here Is How You Become a Better Storyteller! 319 Jeff Kirschner Founder, Litterati 7 Communicating Effectively across Cultures 321 Dennis Jett Professor, Penn State Former US Ambassador 8 Integrating Disparate Ways of Knowing 323 Audrey Maretzki Codirector of Inter-institutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK), Penn State 9 Five Reasons to Learn Multiple Languages 325 Sher Vogel Summit Coordinator for International Development Innovation Network (IDIN), MIT 10 Writing Well: The Master Key to Unlocking Opportunity 327 in Social Impact Careers Elizabeth Hoffecker Moreno Head of Research for International Development Innovation Network (IDIN), MIT Part 6 Finding Your Niche Finding and Working with Mentors 332 Pamela Roussos Head of Global Social Benefit Institute, Santa Clara University 2 Ten Tips for a Balanced Conference 334 Alexander J. Moseson AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, USAID Global Development Lab Ticora V. Jones Division Chief, USAID Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) 3 Finding Your First Job in the Social Sector 337 Christina Gilyutin Director, REDF Talent Management vii

9 Contents 4 How to Network Your Way into a New Job 340 Wayan Vota Senior Mobile Advisor, FHI360 Serial Entrepreneur 5 Deciding on a Career Switch from Industry to Mission-Driven Organizations 342 John Lyon President and CEO, World Hope International 6 Should You Engage alongside Your Job? 344 Harald Quintus-Bosz CTO, Cooper Perkins Visiting Lecturer, MIT 7 Deciding on a Career Switch from Mission-Driven Organizations 347 to Industry Rebecca A. Delaney Team Leader of Sustainable Engineering Studio, Skidmore Owings & Merrill 8 Prominent Career Advancement Resources 349 Editorial Team Part 7 Personal Considerations Salary and Compensation Practices 352 Robert Orndorff Senior Director of Career Services, Penn State Blair Ciccocioppo Account Executive, On Assignment 2 Understanding and Aligning with Work Culture 361 Choton Basu Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin Whitewater Carol Bäckman Programme Officer, Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA) 3 Considerations for LGBT Travel and Work Abroad 365 Bruce E. Smail Executive Director, The MOCHA Center 4 Logistical Issues while Pursuing Careers in Less Developed Countries 367 Jeffrey M. Erickson Professor and Director of International Sustainable Development Projects Law Clinic, Penn State 5 Beating Burnout 370 Lee Ann De Reus Associate Professor, Penn State Cofounder, Panzi Foundation Epilogue: Marching Orders for Professors and Universities 372 viii

10 Index of Innovator Profiles MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS 1 Rick Johnston Technical Officer, WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for 58 Water Supply and Sanitation, World Health Organization 2 Shomik Mehndiratta Lead Urban Transportation Specialist, World Bank 60 3 Jason Lee Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation 62 4 Mark Henderson Senior Specialist, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, UNICEF 64 5 Shruthi Baskaran Consultant, Boston Consulting Group and UN World Food Programme 66 6 Saurabh Mishra Economist, International Monetary Fund 68 GOVERNMENT AGENCIES 7 Jenn Gustetic Assistant Director for Open Innovation, White House Office 70 of Science and Technology Policy 8 Frances A. Colón Acting Science & Technology Adviser to Secretary of State, 72 US Department of State 9 John Doe (Anonymous) Electrical Engineering Manager, US Armed Services Jennifer Schmeltzle Project Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers Farah Husain Epidemiologist, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Ticora Jones Division Chief of Higher Education Solutions Network, US Agency 80 for International Development 13 Lara Allison Campbell Program Director, Office of International Science 82 & Engineering, National Science Foundation 14 Greg Lank Mechanical Engineer and Project Officer, Environmental Protection Agency Jay Goyal State Representative, Ohio Legislature Katherine Record Senior Manager for Behavioral Health Integration, 88 Massachusetts Health Policy Commission Health Food Security Education Emergency Response Energy Environment Multisector Infrastructure ix

11 Index of Innovator Profiles NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» INTERNATIONAL MULTI-SECTOR NGOS 17 Brinnon Garrett Mandel Director of Innovations, Jhpiego Bernhard H. Weigl Portfolio Leader of Diagnostics for Noncommunicable 92 Diseases, PATH 19 Steve DeSandis Cold Chain Technology and Innovation Analyst, 94 Clinton Health Access Initiative 20 Steve Dennis East Africa Coordinator, Corporate Social Responsibility Training Institute 96 Formerly with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International 21 Leslie Light Project Manager for Product Development, International 98 Development Enterprises (ide) 22 Sebastian Africano International Director, Trees, Water & People Timothy Carter Deputy Country Director for South Sudan, Samaritan s 102 Purse International Relief 24 Alison Padget Vice President of Programs, World Hope International 104 NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» GEOGRAPHICAL OR SECTORAL FOCUS 25 Mary (Thomas) Nicholas Director of Genomic Resources, Kaiser Permanente 106 Center for Health Research 26 Peggy M. Shepard Executive Director and Cofounder, WE ACT for 108 Environmental Justice 27 Jakub Felkl Assistant Director, Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities Divyesh Mehta Corporate Compliance Officer, The Recovery Center for Alcohol 112 & Drug Services of Central Oklahoma 29 Tara Chklovski Founder and CEO, Iridescent Learning Imran Babar Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Rare Genomics Institute Alyssa Grinberg Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, 118 Friends of the Arava Institute 32 Chris Ategeka Founder and CEO, Rides for Lives Arjav Chakravarti Associate Director, Dasra Vineeth Vijayaraghavan Director of Research & Outreach, Solarillion Foundation Willow Brugh Executive Director, Geeks Without Bounds Kate Chapman Executive Director, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team 128 x

12 NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» FOUNDATIONS Index of Innovator Profiles 37 Alexander Nicholas Program Officer, Lemelson Foundation Rebekah Neal Program Officer for Grand Challenges in Global Health, 132 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 39 Steve Downs Chief Technology and Information Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 134 NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» EDUCATION SYSTEM 40 Aydogan Ozcan Professor, University of California Los Angeles Nigam Shah Assistant Professor, Stanford University Bruce Krogh Professor and Director, Carnegie Mellon University Rwanda Doug Postels Associate Professor, Michigan State University Andy Vidan Associate Technology Officer, Lincoln Laboratory, 144 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 45 Lina Nilsson Innovation Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies, 146 University of California Berkeley 46 Meg Small Assistant Director and Research Associate, Prevention 148 Research Center, Penn State Chief Social Science Officer, Live It 47 Brian Bell Assistant Director of Acara Institute, University of Minnesota Blake Angelo Project Manager, Office of Community & Economic Development, 152 Colorado State University 49 Toral Zaveri Postdoctoral Scholar, Penn State Sintana E. Vergara Postdoctoral Scientist, University of California Berkeley Julia Wittig Silvasy External Relations Manager, Scholar Academies Sarah Peterson Teacher and Department Head, Nathan Hale High School 160 Tulsa Public Schools NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS 53 Alexander Dale Executive Director, Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) 162 Health Food Security Education Emergency Response Energy Environment Multisector Infrastructure xi

13 Index of Innovator Profiles 54 Aurora Sharrard Vice President of Innovation, Green Building Alliance Iana Aranda Senior Program Manager, Engineering for Global Development, 166 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 56 David Fields Program Director, All Resource Connect, 168 National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) 57 Saurabh Lall Research Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs 170 (ANDE), The Aspen Institute 58 Paul Belknap Investment Manager Health Portfolio, Villgro Innovations Foundation Ross Baird Executive Director, Village Capital Miguel Zamora President, Coffee Gente LLC 176 North America Business Developer, UTZ Certified FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» LARGE CORPORATIONS 61 Steve Garguilo Senior Manager of Creative Engagement and Curator 178 of TEDxJNJ, Johnson & Johnson 62 John Tran Procurement Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability Lead, 180 Campbell Soup Company 63 Sue Burriss Clinical Development Scientist, Major Pharmaceutical Company Joanna Sickler Scientific Affairs Lead for Point of Care, Roche Molecular Diagnostics Nigel Snoad Product Manager for Crisis Response and Civic Innovation, Google Janeen Uzzell Global Director of External Affairs & Technology Programs, 188 GE Global Research 67 Brendan Kissane Senior Director of Responsible Sourcing, Hershey Company Alakesh Chetia President, SunEdison Social Innovations Frank Bergh Director of Engineering Operations, SoCore Energy 194 FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES; STARTUPS 70 Andreina Parisi-Amon Course Success and Research Specialist, Coursera Mark Brill Business Development Engineer, Blue Oak Energy Stefano Concari Managing Director of Italian Branch & Overall Technical Chief, 200 Tropical Food Machinery 73 Adele Peters Staff Writer for Co.Exist, Fast Company 202 xii

14 Index of Innovator Profiles 74 Chris Hsiung Independent Owner, Hidden Story Productions Matt Verlinich General Manager, TechShop Pittsburgh Mark Randall Principal & Creative Director, Worldstudio Andrea Spillmann-Gajek Vice President of Customer Success, Captricity Peter Haas COO, XactSense 212 Former Executive Director, Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group 79 Matt Callaghan Cofounder and CMO, OneBreath 214 Physician, Stanford University 80 Riana Lynn CEO, FoodTrace Justin Kosoris Agriculture Practice Manager, Chemonics International Vishalini Lawrence Chief of Party for USAID s Somalia Initiative, 220 Development Alternatives Inc. FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS» CONSULTING FIRMS 83 Sally Atalla Senior Manager, Accenture Development Partnerships Global Programs Becky Fedak Sustainability Engineer, Brendle Group 224 Technical Director, Running Water International 85 Mahad Ibrahim Managing Partner, Gobee Group Srik Gopal Director, Foundation Strategy Group (FSG) Liesbet Peeters Managing Partner, D. Capital Partners Sarah Williamson Founder and Managing Director, Protect the People Andrew Means Cofounder, Impact Lab 234 Associate Director of Center for Data Science & Public Policy, University of Chicago 90 Tyler Valiquette Independent Designer and Social Impact Consultant 236 FOURTH SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS 91 Kosta Grammatis Founder and CEO, Oluvus Ghoncheh Jafarpisheh Head of Manufacturing and Operations, ZanaAfrica 240 Health Food Security Education Emergency Response Energy Environment Multisector Infrastructure xiii

15 Index of Innovator Profiles 93 Steven D. Grudda CEO, Africa Felix Juice Spud Marshall CEO and Chief Catalyst, co.space Roland Fomundam Founder and CEO, GreenHouse Ventures Ltd Lesley Marincola Founder and CEO, Angaza Design Jona Raphael Cofounder and Vice President of Product, Lumeter Networks Mike Lin Founder and CEO, Fenix International Dhairya Pujara Founder and CEO, YCenter Diana Jue Cofounder and COO, Essmart 256 xiv Health Food Security Education Emergency Response Energy Environment Multisector Infrastructure

16 Preface How did this book come about? There is growing interest worldwide in academic programs and cocurricular activities focused on social innovation and global sustainable development. While such programs and student clubs take on many different names and forms, they share a common goal of actively working with partners to develop and implement practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions to challenges faced by communities in the United States and abroad. Along those lines, my program in Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) at Penn State engages students and faculty from diverse disciplines in technology ventures for resource-constrained environments. HESE is one of many programs that provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students a transformative experience and develop the skills, competencies, and mindsets necessary to launch entrepreneurial ventures and pursue careers in sustainable development. Approximately half the students in HESE are STEM students; the rest come from every other college across campus. Irrespective of their major, these students share a common interest in harnessing the power of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and design to find practical and sustainable ways to improve the human condition. They value rigorous data-driven and evidence-based approaches to create and deliver new products and services that transform ways of thinking and doing. They value the primacy of trusted relationships and ethical reflection to ensure that the self-determination of all partners is never compromised. When graduation comes around, the big question facing students, faculty advisors, and parents is: what s next? After pursuing immersive and engaged experiences in academic settings, these passionate, hardworking students are not as excited about taking up well-paying but arguably monotonous jobs in large organizations. They want to directly see the impact of their work rather than designing a widget in a cubicle and becoming another cog in the corporate wheel. While an increasing number of students are starting their own ventures, there are many others who just cannot, or do not want to, start a new entrepreneurial venture and life. Moving to a developing country and jump-starting a social venture poses umpteen professional and personal challenges as compared to undertaking similar endeavors at home. The entrepreneurial pathway is even less attractive when there are student loans to be paid, family and romantic relationships to be respected, and attractive job offers in hand. The question is: what are the other career pathways for these students who want to change the world? While (social) entrepreneurship is the raison d être of some academic programs, development of an entrepreneurial mindset is emphasized by most of them. The rationale is that students take their entrepreneurial mindset to diverse professions and sectors, finding innovative solutions to compelling problems. While participating in entrepreneurial programs, some students might realize that entrepreneurship is not their cup of tea while others may be drawn to roles and functions in the larger innovation ecosystem. They might realize that, for the problems they care about most, an entrepreneurial venture is not the right approach. Rather, a large corporation, a United Nations agency, or being an elected legislator might afford them a stronger platform to influence change. Few students, and even fewer parents, faculty, and career counselors are familiar with career pathways in global sustainable development and social innovation. With the help of one hundred innovator profiles and fifty-four expert briefs on a wide range of relevant topics, Solving Problems That Matter (And Getting Paid For It) illuminates the smorgasbord of career pathways that prioritize social impact. It educates readers about the ins and outs of the various organizations participating in the broader social innovation ecosystem, and the academic, cocurricular, and professional competencies that help prepare individuals for impact-focused careers. Finally, it encourages readers to think through compensation, career advancement, and the personal implications of career choices. HESE has three goals: impact, impact, and impact. Impact happens through the entrepreneurial ventures related to food security and global health in several countries; through the research publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings; and, most importantly, through the students who spend a semester or four years working on HESE ventures. These students are HESE s most important export, and it is extremely important for me to propel them on their desired career path. With the intention of advising my students better, three years back I set out to understand career pathways in this arena. My initial goal was to speak to twenty-five to thirty professionals in wellknown organizations where many of my students aspire to work. I quickly learned that the more prestigious the organization, the harder it is to find people to connect with and to have a longer discussion about what they do and xv

17 xvi Preface how they got there. Over three years, and with the help of many supporters, I interacted with hundreds of innovators working on a wide range of development challenges across diverse sectors, organization types, and roles within them. I found most innovators to be open, down-to-earth people who were happy to share their work and journey. They graciously agreed to participate in this project and even connected me with their contemporaries. The two key takeaways across these conversations were (1) STEM professionals can be found across all kinds of impact-focused organizations and units (one just needs to look closer), and (2) every single innovator had a unique trajectory to arrive where they are now. The innovators profiled in this book either have a formal education in the STEM fields or work on challenges that call for STEM competencies. For example, Sebastian Africano has his formal education in business but works on improved cookstoves across Africa and Latin America. Every single innovator s work represents a valid, compelling career path for a STEM professional. This book takes a broader view of STEM and also includes the health sciences, life sciences, medicine, geosciences, and the agricultural sciences. The profiles capture each innovator s educational background, motivations, job functions, a day in their life, major inflection points in their careers, future outlook, and their advice for students. The innovators come from diverse organizations small and large for-profit corporations to various kinds of nonprofits, academia, consulting companies, governmental agencies, UN agencies, and newer forms of organizations that have recently come about to advance global sustainability. Professionals at various phases in their career are included to demonstrate how certain kinds of advances can come about in a few years while others require decades and centuries. Alongside the innovator profiles are fifty-four expert briefs, penned by highly experienced (and extremely busy) professionals, that provide candid, poignant insights into a wide range of relevant topics. The briefs in Part I: STEM for Social Innovation: The Time Is NOW! capture essential trends and the importance of the STEM fields in advancing the human condition. Part II: Organizations in the Social Innovation and Sustainable Development Arena educates readers about the various types of organizations, how they work, and their strengths and limitations. These practical insights deconstruct the glamour, myths, and misconceptions of organizations in order to help readers make informed career decisions. The Professional Preparation part discusses various undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional development programs, such as the Peace Corps and Fulbright Scholarships. The Professional Competencies part delves into the significance of communication skills, fieldwork, and other competencies to impact-focused careers and provides actionable insights into how readers can develop them. The Finding Your Niche part has a series of briefs on how to break into, transition into, and transition out of impactfocused careers. Finally, the Personal Considerations part takes a deep dive into salaries, benefits, work culture, legal logistics, and special considerations for the LGBTQA community. Solving Problems That Matter (And Getting Paid For It) seeks to accomplish three things. The first goal, of course, is to educate students, parents, faculty, and career counselors about career pathways and strategies in social innovation and sustainable development. The second objective is to elucidate the market pull the smorgasbord of opportunities available to students and young professionals who have engaged in intensive and immersive engaged scholarship and sustainable development programs. While many faculty members and administrators view programs like HESE as a mechanism to develop soft skills (and assist in program accreditation), that is not why the program exists. HESE strives to address global development challenges while preparing a cadre of social innovators and sustainable development professionals. These career profiles serve as a recruiting tool for academic, cocurricular, and professional development programs struggling to articulate their purpose and position themselves in the university. The objective is to collectively alter the perception of such efforts from a save-the-world mission with students going to poor countries to save people, to a rigorous, multidisciplinary, integrative discipline that inspires students and faculty to work shoulder to shoulder with communities to deliver impact. The third goal of this book is to help with recruiting and retaining women and underrepresented groups into the STEM fields. The work and stories of the innovators profiled in this book bring to life the relevance and importance of the STEM fields in making the world a better place. This outcome is perfectly aligned with NAE s Changing the Conversation mission of changing the perception of engineering (and by extension, STEM) to a caregiving profession vital to advancing the human condition. While this book chronicles a bewildering array of career paths, it certainly does not capture every possible job profile and trajectory. Neither does it capture how every organization works (or does not work). Such a book would take ten more years of research and have to be carried around in a wagon. It would also be obsolete by the time it was published. This book is not meant to be a how-to manual or an encyclopedia either. Rather, it is a diverse mosaic of perspectives, stories, and experiences that provides hundreds of insights into sustainable development careers. It provides a compelling starting point to finding yourself and determining the path forward, into the extremely exciting, somewhat intimidating, and rapidly evolving social innovation and global sustainable development ecosystem.

18 Why should you read this book? Preface Like millions of STEM students and professionals around the world, you want to channel your education, expertise, and energy into tangibly improving the human condition. You volunteered at the local food bank all the way through high school, did a mission trip to paint an orphanage in Guatemala, and spent two years in college designing a solar lantern for farmers in Africa. And now you are hooked. This is what you want to do for the rest of your life. But how do you change the world and get paid for it? Should you pick up your baggage, move to the lovely little town of Arusha in northern Tanzania, and look for opportunities with the aid agencies there? Should you start your own social venture or nonprofit? Should you go back to school, get a PhD in biomedical engineering, and find a position at the Gates Foundation? You do not know whom to ask or where to look for more information on impact-focused careers. This book will give you a comprehensive, compelling first look into the social innovation and sustainable development space. Here are the kinds of things you will learn, think about, and reflect on as you review the innovator profiles and digest the expert briefs. #1 The Sheer Diversity of Challenges Facing Our World Embrace the variety and complexity of sustainable development challenges in different parts of the world. Few, if any, challenges have singular silver-bullet solutions. The innovator profiles shed light on the specific problems that game changers are trying to solve in pursuit of the larger challenges. Their profiles illustrate how culture and context inform the way in which each problem is approached and each solution is designed and implemented. #2 The Different Levels of Abstraction for Development Innovations You can work on a challenge (say, global health) through the United Nations, the national government, a regional nonprofit, a private sector actor, or one-on-one with rural communities and every approach is equally valuable. Innovations at higher levels of abstraction can have a much larger impact but are harder to assess, iterate, and implement. You might not even know if the approach is actually working! On the other end of the spectrum, working directly with people can give you immediate feedback and a firsthand view of the human impact, but that impact is constrained to a smaller population. #3 The Multiplicity of Approaches to Addressing Global Problems You can address a challenge (say, rural electrification) through policy modifications, advocacy, activism, educational interventions, technological tools, or business operations. Some methods involve direct action while others take an indirect approach by influencing external stakeholders. Some approaches maintain the status quo, provide temporary solutions, or lead to incremental improvements while others are truly disruptive and transformative solving the problem once and for all. #4 The Variety of Sectors and Nexuses The social innovation and sustainable development space is often grouped into sectors such as water, energy, food security, health, education, and human rights. Despite this separation, challenges (and solutions) related to each sector are highly interconnected. Innovators are increasingly focusing on intersections (nexuses), such as the terrorism-trafficking nexus or the water-energy-food nexus. #5 The Range of Organization Types The world is full of a bewildering number of organizations interested in social development: government agencies, nonprofits, large corporations, rural startups, and a long list of emergent fourth sector organizations. These organizations offer different kinds of resources and pursue different opportunities and platforms to effect social change. They comply with different legal, operational, and tax regimes across different countries. Some have formal work environments with explicit dress codes while others encourage dogs in the office and offer free backrubs on Wednesdays. #6 The Different Roles within Organizations Organizations are composed of employees working together in a structured, collaborative manner but to many different extents on both fronts. Employees assume a variety of roles, from working directly with people in the field to doing back-office paperwork, to chasing grants and donations to keep the organization alive. There are executives, xvii

19 Preface technical experts, grant writers, managers, coordinators, and as many other jobs as necessary for the organization to accomplish its mission. Some roles afford considerable freedom to explore and define work individually while others are fairly specific with structured responsibilities and processes. The work, and working style, of a coordinator in one organization may be very different from her counterpart at another one. All organizations have a unique culture and style of getting things done. #7 The Diverse Motivations and Incentives for Engaging Why do people work in the social innovation space? For some, it is just a job; for others, maybe, it is a more lucrative job. Some love the challenge, some want to give back, while others are looking to save or rescue people. (Do not do this empower and cocreate with your partners.) Some may engage to satisfy their ego, to earn bragging rights, or to discover the thrill and adventure of problem solving in an exotic locale. And then, some believe in the Ubuntu philosophy, I am because we are (nudge, nudge). There are more reasons than there are people. This book helps you understand and articulate your own reasons; doing so can keep you grounded and help you make better career decisions. #8 Essential Personal and Professional Competencies, and How to Develop Them What personal and professional competencies do you need to be successful in this space? How can STEM students prepare for impact-focused careers? Different roles and organizations need different educational levels, expertise, and prior experience. Some organizations do not care about educational qualifications as long as you can get the job done while others have prescribed educational requirements for each role. Some positions may need specific competencies in research methods, engineering design, project management, conflict resolution, or team building with or without additional STEM skills. There are several graduate and professional degree programs, fieldwork experiences, and fellowship opportunities to cultivate essential competencies and gain relevant experience to help break into the field. One series of expert briefs shares personal experiences and poignant insights on these educational and professional development opportunities. #9 Compensation and Personal Considerations Some positions might be career-long, some for six years, and some for just six weeks. Some jobs may involve no travel while others may keep you traveling nonstop throughout the year. Travel might be paid for by the organization and include perks like business-class flights, or you might be expected to cover travel expenses from your own salary. For doing exactly the same kind of work, your annual salary might vary between $25,000 and $250,000! And then, there are benefits, retirement plans, and career advancement opportunities to think about. A dedicated brief deconstructs and demystifies how compensation and benefits work. It also clearly spells out the unknown unknowns, including the kinds of financial, logistical, and legal parameters to think about when negotiating any sort of gig in a developing country. #10 Inspiration Hundreds of Times Over There is not one divine or well-trodden path to a career in social innovation. That would be scary! While journeys share some commonalities, every single innovator profiled in this book carved their own unique path. Each expert brief sheds light on an important facet of working in this enormous, constantly evolving space. Your own personal and professional quest to improve the human condition is not a sprint on the running track; it is a marathon through the jungle. This book seeks to inspire you, share some nuggets of wisdom, and propel you into this exciting arena to solve problems that matter. On behalf of the innovators profiled, the expert brief contributors, and the editorial team, it is a distinct pleasure and honor to present this book. Let s get going! Khanjan Mehta State College, PA October 2015 xviii

20 Acknowledgments extend my deepest gratitude to Irena Gorski who helped develop and write up the innovator profiles and Siri I Maley who helped edit the expert briefs. Rachel Dzombak was there every step of the way. This book would never have come to fruition without their patience and persistence. Shannon Hutchinson, Kelli Herr, Jenny Dobson, Nick Frazette, and Krista Ligouri made up the rest of the editorial team. I am still astounded that we put this volume together. It seems a lifetime ago when I started working on this project. We Are! and we made it happen. Thank you team! About a couple hundred believers helped identify innovators, connect with them, and proofread the profiles and expert briefs. A few of them deserve special mention: Sarah Ritter, Steve Suffian, Laura Sampath, Jennifer Keller Jackson, Tyler Valiquette, Andy Vidan, Natalie Sisto Means, Sally Mouakkad, and John Lyon. Thanks to all of you for believing in this effort and supporting it. If there is one thing I have learned from this project, it is the importance of continuously building, nurturing, and growing your network. Networking is not a theoretical exercise or a burdensome chore but rather an empathetic mindset and a series of thoughtful actions to help others succeed by facilitating their journey. The innovators profiled in this book are all game changers, and I am truly grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to take their work to a broader audience. The expert briefs were contributed by incredibly busy people who wanted to give back and help develop the next generation of social innovators. Without their tireless efforts, over years and decades, this book would not exist. It is an honor to be associated with all of these humble world changers. Sharon Honeycutt copyedited the manuscript meticulously, and I am grateful to her for that. Peter Lusch patiently worked with my team on the cover design and the infographic. All funds for copyediting were generously bequeathed by the family of the late Nagendranath Maley who served the STEM community as an engineer, inventor, and Penn State doctoral alumnus. Divya Jyoti Darpan did the layout for the book and patiently worked with us through umpteen design revisions. The development and dissemination of this book was supported, in part, by a grant from VentureWell and support from the Council on Engaged Scholarship at Penn State. An impact investment from my daughter s college fund allowed for the production and publication of this book. My parents, Rashmi and Shaila Mehta; brother, Chanakya; and sister-in-law, Priyanka, firmly believe that everything I do is related to changing the world. They express their love for me and their confidence in my work by taking over all household chores and cooking up awesome meals that meet my exacting standards. My wife, Toral, enveloped me with unwavering love, constant encouragement, awesome food, free rides, and great sex. She puts up with my long workdays and nights, incessant new beeps, and perpetual travels, including a threemonth annual trip to the African continent. She is truly my significant other. My two-year-old daughter, Tashvi, inadvertently sacrificed hours and weeks and months and years of playtime with her daddy, just to see a fat book with little elephants in it. I hope that she will read this book someday and forgive me for the time I stole from her. xix

21 About the Editor Khanjan Mehta is the founding director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program and assistant professor of engineering design at Penn State. HESE is an integrated learning, research, and entrepreneurial engagement program focused on developing and commercializing technologybased solutions in resource-constrained settings. Mehta has led technology-based social ventures in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Mozambique, Zambia, Sierra Leone, and other countries. These ventures range from telemedicine systems and ruggedized biomedical devices to affordable greenhouses and solar food dryers. Mehta s research interests encompass affordable design; systems thinking; social entrepreneurship pedagogy; agricultural technologies and food value chains (FVCs); global health and telemedicine systems; cellphones, social networks, and trust; indigenous knowledge systems; development ethics and grassroots diplomacy; women in engineering and entrepreneurship; and informal lending systems for microenterprises. The objective of these research endeavors is to democratize knowledge and mainstream HESE as a valid, rigorous area of learning, research, and engagement. He has published over one hundred journal articles and refereed conference proceedings with about forty more in the pipeline. Mehta serves as an associate editor for the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and as a contributing editor for the Engineering 4 Change portal. Mehta publishes a daily cartoon series called Frame Changers that captures learning moments in HESE and sustainable development. Mehta has served on several university-wide and international committees and task forces. He has delivered invited talks and keynote speeches on technology innovation, social entrepreneurship, and global sustainability at several universities and international conferences. The HESE program was the recipient of the 2013 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award (Northeast Region) from APLU, 2011 Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program Award from the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), and was named by Popular Mechanics as one of thirty Awesome College Labs across America. While these are good accolades, Mehta s primary focus is on the HESE ventures that his students are striving to build up to multimillion smile enterprises. Mehta lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with his parents; wife, Toral; and daughter, Tashvi. xx

22 The Editorial Team Irena Gorski is an ecosystem manager for the Council on Engaged Scholarship at Penn State, designing and testing lean, scalable models to expand opportunities for engagement and engaged scholarship for students and faculty. Prior to working for Penn State, she graduated from the university s Schreyer Honors College with a BS in geoscience and worked for an environmental consulting company remediating contamination throughout the tri-state area. Irena was responsible for writing up the innovator profiles in collaboration with the participants and Khanjan Mehta as well as editing the other sections of the book and contributing to the layout design. She considers herself extremely lucky to have been brought into this project because each of those one hundred innovators have inspired her to forge a nontraditional career path of her own at the intersection of public health, nutrition, water resources, and food security. Siri Maley is a recent graduate of Penn State s Schreyer Honors College with BS degrees in mechanical engineering and political science. She was actively involved with HESE with work spanning from design and in-country construction to venture and curriculum development. Over the last several years, she has authored, presented, and edited numerous articles across HESE s wide range of global health and food security portfolio. She greatly enjoyed working on the book, including aggregating content for many of the expert briefs, editing several innovator profiles, and contributing to the layout design. Siri aspires to use her background in HESE design and development to pursue a career at the intersection of engineering design and change management. She is currently teaching high school science in rural Guyana as a WorldTeach corps member. Rachel Dzombak is a graduate student in the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to attending Berkeley, Rachel graduated from the Penn State Schreyer Honors College with a BS in biomedical engineering. While at Penn State, she actively participated in the HESE program for four years. Rachel s work is focused on integrating the knowledge and ideas of multidisciplinary stakeholders to build entrepreneurial ecosystems. Her research interests include manufacturing productivity in developing countries, social impacts of global supply chains, and mechanisms of eliminating waste from production cycles. Rachel identified and connected many potential participants from diverse circles and assisted in editing the final career profiles and expert briefs. Rachel aspires to teach entrepreneurship and design to undergraduate engineers. She is proud to be part of this book as it includes individuals that set incredible examples for the next STEM generation. xxi

23 The Editorial Team Jennifer Dobson is a junior honors student studying neuroscience at Penn State. As part of HESE, she develops low-cost screening tools for sub-saharan Africa. Jennifer was responsible for editing career profiles. Jenny feels lucky to have been a part of this project because it has exposed her to a range of role models and career paths. She plans to attend medical school and use her degree to advance her passions of neuroscience, women s rights, and global health. Nick Frazzette is currently pursuing a combined BS and MS program in biomedical engineering at Penn State through the Schreyer Honors College. As part of HESE, he is involved in low-cost screening tools. Nick edited several innovator profiles. He intends to attend medical school and ultimately combine expertise in biomedical engineering, design, and clinical research to bring new innovations in global health. Kelli Herr is an undergraduate student majoring in community, environment, and development at Penn State. Kelli is a part of the HESE Program and focuses her studies on indigenous knowledge and international development. Kelli was responsible for transcribing interviews and editing career profiles. She is grateful for the opportunity to work on this project because she feels like it has opened her eyes to some of the realities of the field she wishes to enter. Shannon Hutchinson is an ecosystem manager for the Council on Engaged Scholarship at Penn State, testing lean, scalable models to expand engaged scholarship opportunities for students. Shannon is grateful for the chance to work on this book and truly believes this will help students get the most out of their college experience and plan their paths ahead. She was responsible for aggregating content for the expert briefs. She aspires to continue working in higher education within the realm of athletics. Krista Liguori is a recent graduate of Penn State s Schreyer Honors College. Throughout her two years in HESE, Krista worked on a nutritious street food venture, conducted research in Kenya, and aided in teaching a social entrepreneurship course. She edited several profiles featured in this book. Krista begins her master s program in international health at Johns Hopkins this fall. She intends to work on epidemiological control in places with high human rights violations. xxii

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