Announcing the Social Innovation Fellows Class of 2012

PopTech is delighted to announce the Social Innovation Fellows Class of 2012!

The members of this year’s class are addressing major global challenges by connecting health workers, bringing clean water to children, building farmers’ incomes, using unmanned aerial vehicles for remote deliveries of medical supplies, fighting for Internet privacy, and much more. Their work has impacted lives around the world, in places like Kenya, China, Ghana, Liberia and Haiti, as well as throughout the United States.

Meet this year’s inspiring Fellows:

  • Jamila Abass is CEO of MFarm, which uses mobile technology to help farmers increase their incomes.
  • Lukas Biewald is CEO and founder of CrowdFlower, a crowdsourcing internet company that breaks large digital projects into small microtasks and distributes them to workers around the world.
  • Rachel Brown founded Sisi ni Amani - Kenya to pioneer the use of mobile technology to get the right communication capacity into the hands of local peacebuilders, enabling communities to participate in democratic processes and prevent violence.
  • Bryan Doerries is the founder of Theater of War, a project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays to service members, veterans, caregivers and families to help them start talking about the challenges faced by military communities today.
  • Touré McCluskey is the founder of OkCopay, a unique search engine for medical procedures that helps Americans with inadequate insurance find affordable local health care.
  • Nicholas Merrill created the Calyx Institute to educate the public regarding the lack of privacy in telecommunications and to develop the infrastructure to implement secure mobile phone and Internet services in a way that has not been done before.
  • Jacobo Quintanilla works with Internews supporting local media in enabling people in the midst of disasters to access the information they need and to take an active role in their own survival and recovery.
  • Andreas Raptopoulos is the founder and CEO of Matternet, building a network of unmanned aerial vehicles to transport medicine and goods in places with poor road infrastructure.
  • Aishwarya Ratan is director of the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative at Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action, with a goal of ensuring that the financial products, services and tools available to the poor to manage and grow their money are affordable, efficient, secure and welfare-enhancing.
  • Eric Stowe believes that every child has a right to clean water; to act on that belief, he founded A Child’s Right (soon to be Splash), which cleans water for over 200,000 children in schools, orphanages, street shelters, hospitals, and rescue homes in Asia and East Africa.
  • Eric Woods is the CEO and founder of Switchboard, which uses mobile phones to create nationwide networks of health workers in developing countries.
  • Daniel Zoughbie created Microclinic International to leverage the power of social network relationships to spread healthy behaviors throughout under-resourced communities.


The Fellows will participate in an intensive five-day training just prior to this year’s Oct. 17-20 PopTech conference, and present their ideas on stage to conference participants and viewers of the worldwide webcast, helping them build new skills, contacts and visibility.

The Social Innovation Fellows program is generously supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and National Geographic.

We are delighted to have these extraordinary leaders joining the PopTech network, and look forward to accompanying them on their journey as the impact of their work grows and spreads.

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