Session 3. MIT Alumni Scaling up Innovation 3:15-4:45 PM


Whether it’s applying resilient business models to scale up proven development interventions, offering affordable and accessible sanitation to underserved populations, or spearheading frugal innovation at one of the world’s largest industrial suppliers, MIT alumni around the world are at the forefront of impact-creating initiatives. This session will feature MIT alumni currently driving change within NGOs, social enterprises, and international corporations. 

Panelists will include Shayna Harris, (2011 - Sloan School of Management, Cocoa Sustainability Manager, Mars), Stephanie Dalquist, (2003 - M.Eng, Strategic Analyst, Air Liquide), Christina Riechers (2012 - Sloan School of Management, Director Business Development and Strategy, Evidence Action), and Vitor Pamplona (2012 UFRGS PhD Computer Science, Co-Founder and CTO EyeNetra). Moderated by Harald Quintus-Bosz (Chief Technology Officer, Cooper-Perkins).





SHAYNA HARRIS - Cocoa Sustainability Manager - MARS
MIT Sloan School of Management - MBA 2011

Bio: As Global Sustainability Manager for Mars, Shayna handles strategy and operations of the Mars cocoa sustainability program with a focus on impact and innovation in Cote d’Ivoire and Indonesia.  Her interest is in understanding and aligning the incentives for farmer adoption of game-changing technologies. Prior to joining Mars she managed Oxfam’s ethical coffee initiative, and in 2011 she completed her MBA at MIT with a focus on sustainability in agricultural value chains.  She’s consulted on sustainable sourcing programs for Stonyfield Farm, Unilever, and Divine Chocolate.  She is a Fulbright scholar and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Social impact: Mars has a number of major programs to improve socioeconomic impacts within specific areas in our value chain. These include the Sustainable Cocoa Initiative, support for the African Orphan Crops Consortium and our commitments to purchase 100% of cocoa, coffee, tea, palm oil and fish from certified or sustainable sources. 

Cocoa is a labor-intensive crop grown mostly in developing countries. Farmers struggle with aging trees, pests and disease, depleted soils and poor access to training and other resources. As a result, farmers produce small amounts of cocoa and often don't earn incomes above subsistence levels. This makes it difficult for individual farmers to invest in their farms, families and communities in ways that could help raise them out of poverty. To achieve meaningful change, we believe that farmer productivity needs to be the first priority. By doing this, we can help farmers produce better crops and make more money for their families. Ultimately, this will create a sustainable supply of quality cocoa as farmers are empowered to reinvest in their businesses and communities.



CHRISTINA RIECHERS - Director Business Development and Strategy, Evidence Action
MIT Sloan School of Management - MBA 2012

Bio: Having worked in an entrepreneurial capacity at d.light design in India, as a consultant for Bain & Company, and as an evaluator of microfinance programs in East Africa, Christina brings both her experience in the private sector and passion for innovative social change to the table. She received her MBA from MIT Sloan, MPA/International Development from Harvard Kennedy, and BA from Stanford.

Social impact: Evidence Action is assuming management and growth responsibility for two programs tested and incubated at Innovations for Poverty Action that are currently making a difference in the lives of millions of people in Africa and Asia: the Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water.Too often, the elbow grease and artistry that take a good idea and get it embedded in communities, markets or government institutions prove elusive. Evidence Action takes on this challenge with a laser focus. We begin from the premise that achieving scale across sectors and contexts is a solvable challenge that yields sustainable impact. 

Our principles include: Only scale interventions whose efficacy is backed by substantial rigorous evidence; target cost effective interventions that can improve the lives of millions; identify innovative, appropriate financing mechanisms; build best practice operational models; and voraciously self-evaluate, learn and improve our models for scaling.



STEPHANIE DALQUIST - Strategic Analyst Air Liquide
MIT Mechanical Engineering - SM 2003

Bio: Stephanie Dalquist is a strategic analyst at i-Lab, Air Liquide’s disruptive technology base. Stephanie works with new business models like frugal innovation and rapid prototyping. Her current work builds on experience at MIT, where she led projects in Brazil in technology and dissemination for emerging markets.  After MIT, she joined a manufacturing and infrastructure start-up in Ghana. Before joining i-Lab, she worked for Air Liquide in business development (France) and R&D (Japan). She is also active in the Air Liquide Foundation, supporting micro-initiatives for local capacity-building and scientific research. Stephanie graduated from MIT in Chemical Engineering, with a Master’s in Technology & Policy.

Social impact: Air Liquide’s commitment is to act as a good citizen where the group operates, by participating in the development of local economies, the protection of life and the environment and through a proactive dialogue with communities. Each Air Liquide unit is located in communities for which respect is at the heart of the concerns of the Group’s employees. They are aware that each decision, each action engages them vis-à-vis customers and partners but also vis-à-vis those individuals or firms that are affected by the Group’s activities. The consideration of these communities’ needs is necessary to guarantee the sustainability of the environment where the Group carries out its action. Moreover Air Liquide’s teams are very committed to taking part in the local economic life near the Group’s sites. This participation includes hiring employees in the area and developing close relations with training organizations and universities that can prepare people for the Group’s core businesses.

Finally, social and human commitment is an ongoing concern for Air Liquide. Since its very beginning, the Group has carried out philanthropic actions, especially in the preservation of life and the environment. Whether they are directly carried out by the Group’s subsidiaries or initiated by the Air Liquide Foundation, these corporate philanthropy actions represented nearly 2 million euros in 2012.



VITOR PAMPLONA - Co-Founder and CTO EyeNetra
UFRGS PhD Computer Science - 2012; former Visiting Graduate Student MIT Media Lab

Bio: Vitor is co-founder and CTO of EyeNetra Inc. During his PhD, Vitor created award-winning two-dollar smartphone snap-ons to measure refractive errors (NETRA) and map cataracts (CATRA), projects that would later be named as one of the biggest MIT achievements of 2010 by the Provost. He is a recipient of the Silver Thomas Edison Award 2012, NASA Health Innovation Award 2010 and the Vodafone Innovation Award 2011. In Brazil, Vitor is known for co-founding one of the largest collaboration platforms for software engineers reaching 50k portuguese-speaking developers in the early 2000s. He founded his first technology company when he was 15 years-old, worked full-time on the IT sector throughout his five years in college and has a penchant for open-source software.

Social impact: EyeNetra envisions a world where all people feel empowered to make informed decisions about their eye health. They are developing an easy to use low-cost eye care diagnostic device that measures for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism on a mobile phone with the same accuracy a clinician would have in his clinic. The technology, created at the MIT Media Lab, embodies breakthrough science, mobile tech, low cost point of care diagnostics, and simplified design to bring access to eye care for over 4 billion people across the globe that today require eyeglasses. EyeNetra's mobile network will connect people to a personalized eye testing experience, where individuals and their care providers can collaborate around accurate data and make better-informed choices. 


HARALD QUINTUS-BOSZ - Chief Technology Officer - Cooper-Perkins

Harald Quintus-Bosz is Cooper Perkins’ Chief Technology Officer. Harald has over 18 years of product development experience. Harald started his career designing medical X-ray imaging equipment at XRE later joining IDEO. After 6 years at IDEO, Harald joined Materials and Technologies, a semiconductor capital equipment start-up. Harald was the sole mechanical designer of the WaveEtch tool and was responsible for prototype development, production, publicity, market research, and business development. Harald holds 3 US patents and holds an SB degree from MIT and an MS degree from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering.

Scaling Development Ventures 2014 - February 8, 9-5 PM - Kirsch Auditorium, Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass