SOIL Advisers: Supporting Capacity Development and Social Business Solutions
I am pleased to introduce you to SOIL’s new team: Ekip Konseye! The word konseye in Creole means advisors, and at SOIL, the Konseye position serves a key role in monitoring and evaluation, supporting operational activities, supporting SOIL’s Program Directors, and coordinating with external research partners. The long-term vision of Konseye is to support capacity development at SOIL and ensure that the solutions we’re developing can be sustainable, scale-able, and successful over the long term. But it gets better than that! The Konseye role is flexible and can be adapted to the key strengths and interests of the individual in the position. How great! Below is a quick introduction to the team with an explanation of who they are and how their quirks have led them to SOIL.
Shannon is the most senior of the Konseye – she’s been working at SOIL for almost 3 years! She’s held a range of positions as SOIL has grown and developed, including assistant to the Systems Director, which played to her strength of creating and implementing protocols with clear delineation of responsibilities. A few months ago, she took on the very challenging position of Konseye responsible for Marketing & Sales for the EkoLakay, EkoMobil, and Konpòs Lakay programs for both the Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince. It makes for a lot of work, but fortunately for SOIL, Shannon is a workhorse! And what’s more, Shannon’s passion is for capacity building, so she has already started to transition all the direct work she does for marketing and sales to the operational team through workshops and trainings, the refinement of sales tools, and clear and concise protocols. Shannon’s secret superpower that she reveals when she’s not working is that she plays the banjo, claw hammer style.
Claire (that’s me!) is the Konseye for the EkoLakay and EkoMobil programs in Cap-Haitien. I was first drawn to SOIL because of my passion for innovative business models that tackle pressing environmental and social problems. Over the past two years, my initial passion has zoomed out to encompass the hot topic of resource recovery from urban waste streams. I have applied to grad school starting in fall 2017, but my colleagues have told me that they’re hoping I don’t get in so I can continue working for SOIL. (And I think that sounds like a pretty great backup plan!) My focus areas at SOIL have included data management, process optimization, and research of all kinds. My big – and soon to be completed? – research project has been a detailed cost analysis of the EkoLakay household toilet service by activity and on a per household basis to identify opportunities for optimization and to inform business model development. You can find me getting distracted (in a good way!) by everything from hormones excreted in urine to health risk assessments to mapping collection routes.
Julie is the Konseye for the Agricultural and Composting programs in both Cap-Haitien and Port-au-Prince. When she’s not talking about how much she loves composting, she’s trying to get you to go out dancing with her! Her favorite dances are the salsa and bachata and she even taught dancing classes while she was getting her Masters in Waste Management from Cranfield University. Her training is in environmental health and safety, and SOIL is so pleased to have her keen eye and analysis skills as we work to establish the new composting site in Port-au-Prince and optimize waste treatment operations for both offices. Julie is also coordinating research with our partners at the University of Hawaii. Her latest claim to fame is that she dumped the inaugural bucket at the new composting site in Titanyen, Port-au-Prince.
Julian is an economist trained at the London School of Economics and SOAS, University of London, with experience advising the UK and Haitian governments on environmental, trade and industrial policy issues. He is consulting for SOIL on the transition to a financially sustainable social business – and enjoying collecting buckets of poop whenever possible! When asked what it has been like jumping into a business model created by chemists, ecologists, and anthropologists, Julian said, “Great job!” We’re glad he approves and we are already thrilled with the sharp analysis and recommendations that he brings to the table. Julian recently spent a relaxing Christmas in the Caribbean with his girlfriend.
Ivo is a binational (Swiss and Brazilian) environmental engineer with a masters degree from the Swiss Institute of Technology. In 2015, he worked with Antenna Technologies and Caritas in the south coastal area of Bangladesh for a drinking water project based on local chlorine production. When he is not working abroad, he is a voluntary fireman in is home-town and also engaged with the setting up of a social and environmental friendly building near Geneva. Ivo found in traveling with bicycle a perfect combination of what he likes: sport, nature and discovering cultures.