@kohar Garo Varjabedian: Egyptian, Armenian origin. Professor in the Faculty of Science in Cairo University. She’s here as an environmentalist. Lately she’s been doing a lot of awareness. She’s working on a project in the university, with biogas people, to convert organic waste to bio fuel methane. She’s piloting the project in the university with the goal of raising awareness to make it cleaner. She’s facing difficulty in implementing her project but she’s here to listen to everyone’s experience and learn from them. The single biggest problem she’s being faced with is what’s happening in university; demonstrations etc, bombing and people dying. The second challenge is students are more interested in other things which is politics, so lack of interest in environmentalism – but very optimistic.
Hany el khodary @matrikationFaculty of Commerce graduate. Not using his degree, he is interested in environmentalism and social development. He launched his own start up called Biogas People which aims to promote the use of bio gas in cities and rural areas. He is also working in an NGO called wa2feyet el maadi, rooftop gardening and development of cities and recycling. He is working with Dr Kohar in her project in Cairo University. Same problem as Kohar – when everything settles down they’ll begin working.
Mohamed Beheiry: electric engineer. Now he works as a testing engineer in the field of air conditioning. He has a dream of being a freelance scientist and he can use whatever help he can get.
Mostafa Hemdan @mostafahemdan– Student in telecommunication. Launched his own start up called recyklobekia, electronic waste recycling. He wants to expand his business in the Middle East. The problem he faces personally is self-confidence and trusting himself as well as problems with the government, university and military. He can’t travel for work because of military. There are problems with exportation policy and he’s been working on changing the law and he succeeded
@ericzoetmulder Dutch. His wife of 30 years is a daughter of the nile and that’s why he’s here. Hes a lawyer. But works as a freelance management consultant and a speaker at events. Personal interests is innovation and looks at social innovation and business model innovation; hes interested in entrepreneurship and recognition of core issues that the country faces which is pollution. More recently he has grown a great interest in economics and sustainable enterprises and those using alternative fuels. What he does for fun is mentoring start ups and young entrepreneurs. Challenges he sees are1. Hardwired refusal of all Egyptians to collaborate – conflict before people knew who they were – a guy wouldn’t tell people what he’s doing because everyone can be his rivals. 2. Persuade Egyptians to use sentences of less than 10 words, Egyptians go on forever. Happy to speak with anybody who has a green idea as long as it’s scalable.
Hossam Taher: Studying medicine. Launched his own start up Cairo sitters, a baby-sitting agency. He gas problems of meeting like-minded people who have same interests and ambitions. If he finds people that have same interests it will make him improve personally.
Mohamed abdel razek @Abdo: Founder of a company called ‘Gozoor’ which means roots in English. He is working in agricultural waste as there’s a large number of waste that is unused that could be converted into energy. They design machines to produce wood from the palm reeds. Finding knowledge about working with materials and refining them to produce furniture.
Abdelhalim @Abdukhalim : journalist. Studied tour guiding and civil journalism (citizen journalism). Currently writes for daily news egypt. He’s looking for collaboration with like-minded people. He used to believe in socialism but came to a personal realisation that “it’s a failure”. Interested in collaborating with people who believe in decentralisation rather than centralized change.
Mohamed Fayez @Fayez : interested in environment. Wants to look deeper in green economy and governance and development. It’s not just about energy, development is an interdisciplinary so need to find cross cutting solutions. Challenge is gaining field experience.
Farida Gueretly: she was working in an organization but just quit. Interested in experimental education particularly with younger children. Finding methods for alternative education outside the mainstream. She believes there’s a failure in current Egyptian education system. Don’t know how to solve this problem. Interested in learning from people in different fields and use everyone’s expertise to create a holistic approach to solving education issue.
Ulli @labanita: Is tired of living in a dirty city with people who just complain and don’t do much about it. Started a co-working space many years ago called Rashid 22 and wants to see more spaces and people to take action. She’s here to see who’s doing stuff that she hasn’t heard about yet. Looking forward to connecting with others. Biggest challenge is how can we get people to actively work on changing stuff they don’t like, and how to create the drive.
@atokali Amr Tokali: works on the social fund for development mainly in ICT projects. Problems people in ICT field face is that in technical skills they’re very good but they lack business skills. Wants to see new youth ideas and they can’t implement them so he wants to hear about them. Willing to share background with anyone here. Feels that young people need guidance in building the right business plan.
@dina designer in a design studio called reform studio. Re-using plastic bags and weave them to create new material and design their own furniture. As a startup – the major problem is that they’re only a team of three and she takes up a lot of responsibilities. Need to expand team and find right people for positions. She came here today to meet a lot of people that are doing green things, wants to collaborate.
@hajer engineer turned urban researcher. She works in tadamon, a project that deals with urban policies for the city. Her personal interest is urban problems and urban issues, how can we understand the problems that are on the ground and try to solve them. She can’t work on a small scale, need to work bigger and at a massive scale and need to change policies. How can she make a big impact and systematic change. The one big burning challenge is time management and finding information and data in Egypt and dealing with government.
Ahmed el Magdy @Ahmed M Rabie : He wants to build a small eco-friendly house in fayoum but he doesn’t have land or money. Looking for people who can help him. Used to work in development filmmaking and collecting stories. Now he feels more encouraged after hearing others ideas. Biggest challenge is that people don’t want to waste time in taking risks and learning new things that aren’t materialistic. Find people who are willing to share resources and to work together freely.
Adel allam: from faculty of commerce and administration. Doing masters now. He’s working as an HR professional. Project is career coaching, focusing on undergrad and junior professional and extend it to secondary and top management. Helping individuals identify skills etc and match them to current opportunities in market. Challenge is connect between skills and market opportunities.
@Mustapha Adel Works for save the children international in providing vocational training and soft skills training for blue collar . Trying to find what blue collars face and trying to promote artistic work. He really wants systematic change and for people to trust them and their services. Biggest obstacle is networking.
@ahmad abdelhamid mechanical engineer. Interested in global energy and environmental issues. Launched two startups one successful and one is failing. He came here to meet like-minded people and to learn from them and to see whats happening. Problems in business model, to learn from their expertise.
@2mavin: Armenian. He does freelance consulting and entrepreneur, he cofounded two startups one in car pooling and engezny a food platform. Faces challenges in spreading environmental awareness and people don’t trust each other so concept of carpooling wouldn’t work. Another challenges is getting companies and organizations to carpool.
Gazbee and Maria – challenge in getting people to trust organizaions, want to collaborate with individuals rather than them seeing a big structure for funding, change mind set to more risk taking and experimentation; change way of doing things.
@monarezk – Architect . She sees a lot of environmental problems in Egypt with pollution and urban planning. She joined an NGO because she’s very interested in recycling, rooftop gardening, landscaping, social development. Mona is involved in a project in torah– worked on social development in the area. One of difficulties she’s facing is there isn’t any funding; the Personal challenges in working in social development is that she’s responsible for putting all efforts in solving the problems and paying from her own pocket for expenses. Personally she wants to learn more about urban planning and what she faces is that in her education has no implementation of what they’re learning and she feels people are not helpful to your personal development.