Friday Shoutouts 102408: An Architect of the Future and a Breakthrough Leader

Okay maybe this will be a regular feature after all. 🙂

Peter Haas, Executive Director, all spruced up and in Dirty Jobs mode
Peter Haas, Executive Director, all spruced up and in Dirty Jobs mode shoveling pig waste at a biodigester site in Guatemala

1. AIDG Executive Director, Peter Haas was named an Architect of the Future by the Waldzell Institute. The prestigious Austrian Institute honors young visionaries who work to realize a better world.

AIDG uses market mechanisms to get green technologies to people earning less than four US Dollars a day. AIDG combines product design, small enterprise incubation, and traditional outreach projects as a means to train the next generation of infrastructure service providers for poor communities.

AIDG provides their enterprises with $10,000-$100,000 in loans, training in technical and business skills, and access to engineering talent from top international universities. We also contract these SMEs to do a few traditional aid outreach projects as training and help them build a clientele among local villages and foreign NGOs.

A pilot enterprise, XelaTeco, in Guatemala is on track to earn $250,000 off a $55,000 loan from AIDG, installing hydroelectric, solar, biodiesel and stove systems in rural communities. To date XelaTeco has electrified four Guatemalan communities and provided renewable energy to a few thousand individuals. Currently, AIDG is in the process of securing funding partners to incubate 10 other enterprises like XelaTeco in Guatemala and Haiti over the next few years.

An interesting fact, you may not know about Pete:

Before founding AIDG, he worked both in the information technology field as a consultant in network topology and wireless and on a sustainable organic farm doing infrastructure improvement work.

Amy Smith and Shawn Frayne in Cap Haitien doing a sugarcane charcoal training in 2006
Amy Smith and Shawn Frayne in Cap Haitien doing a sugarcane charcoal training in 2006. More pics from that training session.

2. Appropriate design innovator Amy B. Smith (member of our advisory board) just won Popular Mechanics’ Leadership Award for 2008. One of her former students, Shawn Frayne won a Breakthrough Award from them last year.

http://www.brightcove.tv/playerswf
Duration: 8 min 10 sec

See Amy’s award acceptance speech [Popular Mechanics]
Video: Prof. Amy Smith on recent D-lab trip to Peru

Related posts:
Friday Shoutouts 10102008: SOIL/Rosemond Jolissaint and Heather Fleming
Video: Prof. Amy Smith on recent D-lab trip to Peru
What’s it like to live on $2 a day? [Class Assignment]
Audio: Peter Haas, AIDG’s ED interviewed on The New Entrepreneurs
The Reasoning Behind AIDG