Columbia LOTEC Capstone Sustainability Management Final Presentation

Uploaded on


  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide
  • Opening:Good Evening.Welcome to the “living on the edge” final capstone briefing. My name is Henry Gordon-Smith and I’ll be presenting on behalf of my team.Our faculty advisor is Lynnette Widder. This is am image of the urban periphery of mexico city at night. We call this “living on the edge” ….. The edge of infrastructure, the edge of the norm Our project begins with 3 social entrepreneurs working in Mexico. Each working within the urban periphery (“the edge”)…(NEXT SLIDE)
  • …So what is “living on the edge”?The linkages between urban and rural are most intensely demonstrated on the urban-periphery. Here, an intermittent flux of people and resources creates communal uncertainty. People living on the edge cannot depend on urban and rural resource flows. ***This diagram shows what typically happens on the edge. For example, Ileana is a woman that lives far from the urban core of Mexico City, in the Ajuscomediodisctrict. Her access to sufficient water services is low. She must spend varying, unpredictable, amounts of time AND money throughout her life collecting water for use at home. Because water access is so uncertain, Ileana spends time and money (sometimes up to 20% of household annual income) on the circumstances of the urban-periphery.
  • The blue line on this diagram represents “the ideal”, where everyone living on the edge has equal access to services.
  • While life on the edge can present greater challenges, it can also present greater opportunities, especially for those who are able to draw simultaneously on the comparative advantage of urban and rural areas. The area in green offers an opportunity to “leap frog” decentralized alternative sustainable technologies. Our three clients are social entrepreneurs engaged in such technologies. (NEXT SLIDE)
  • I will now introduce our three clients, their locations, and their technologies.IU….designs and installs rainwater harvesting. They also train other “rainwater harvesters”. They are growing and have installed over 1,000 rainwater catchments already. SB…..Designs and installs methane-generating biodigestors for rural farmers. They also indirectly provide support through micro-financing. They too, are growing rapidly. YANSA….Is developing a community-owned wind farm in Ixtepec, Oaxaca. This region is known as the 2nd most wind-rich in the world. The revenue from the farm will go towards community development. They are about to grow. All three clients are poised for success, riding the sustainable development opportunities of the urban-periphery. However, they all have barriers that they must first overcome to achieve their respective goals.(NEXT SLIDE)
  • …….Each client has multiple barriers preventing them from effectively scaling up replicating their sustainable solution. We discovered that their biggest barriers could be solved through improved communications. Each client faces challenges in appropriately framing their message.For example, SB- Normalization IU- Government support for decentralized water infrastructure Yansa- Measuring the social impacts for a wind farm that has yet to be built.----All of our clients’ barriers could be circumvented through improvements upon their communications strategies.
  • ……When we started working with our three clients in January, we had little information about what they wanted, OR needed from us As a result, our capstones goal evolved. We concluded that developing dynamic communications strategies for each client was the most impactful way that we could strengthen the sustainable development that our clients are engaged in “on the edge.”We therefore devised a set of communications strategies to help them “leap frog”.Let’s take a look at the three strategies...
  • Isla Urbana aspires to make rainwater harvesting anaccepted decentralized technology to help supply MexicoCity’s domestic water needs. Currently, IU relies on customer-to-customer endorsement. As you can see from this image, they are doing a good job- Isla Urbana’s black rainwater cisterns are scattered across the rooftops of the ajuscomediodisctrict.However, they are struggling to garner government support from Mexico City.
  • To solve this problem…we have designed a dynamic layered map displaying demographic data & regional infrastructure. It is able to calculate and display data based on queries (ex: “How many private homes in Ajusco with connections to the grid lack water 4-6 months of the year?)Our mapping tool will allow Isla Urbana to- visualize their technology’s impactcalculate areas of highest need
  • The map facilitates:-water security-sustainable jobs-time and money savingsIt benefits our client by -Quantify impact in their focus district (Ajusco)-Project future water security scenarios-Builds a case to stakeholders--Government--Investors--UsersTHIS DIAGRAM SHOWS HOW OUR STRATEGIES ULTILIZE BOTH VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL COMMUNICATIONS. (NEXT SLIDE)
  • …..Our second client, SistemaBiobolsa, aspires to normalize their biodigester technology and expand globally. Currently, they rely on word-of-mouth and demo events. Their biggest communications challenge is convincing new users. This is an image of a demo event where SistemaBiobolsa is introducing the benefits of biodigesters to subsistence farmers.(Next Slide)
  • …We have designed an Integrated Communications Plan for SistemaBiobolsa. -This is a package of messaging strategies to help them normalize their technology.One such strategy is an informal payback tracking game, that allows illiterate to semi-literate users and whole families to visualize and track the savings created from a biogas system, and to see how long it takes to pay back their system, as well as how much has been saved in terms of other big purchases the farmer routinely makes.(Talk about stickers)- Farmers use the stickers to track the payback of the biogas system.
  • ….Our integrated communications strategy helps to:-Increase self-reliance-Reduce waste-And, increase both revenue and free-time for usersThe strategy helps SistemaBiobolsa to: -Reach a wider audience-Convey impacts through storytelling(next slide)
  • ….Our Third Client, Yansa, currently uses their website to describe their project. They have held a series of community meetings to gain trust where wind farms have traditionally come with big promise but little change. Yansahas also conducted some surveys and interviews in the community to begin to understand the areas of most need.We have identified their biggest Challenge as effectively communicating the potential impacts of their project that will create positive change in line with the community’s self-defined values.
  • We outlined a strategy for Yansa that involves continuously assessing residents’ needs, perceptions, and values. This is important because their needs will change over time. The strategy measures relevant impacts over appropriate and varying timelines. Data collection will be conducted directly with residents using quantitative, visual and oral methods. This ‘on-the-ground’ approach measures the most relevant impacts to the community. Utilizing multiple metrics also allows Yansa to selectively frame the message.Essentially, this is a social value measurement framework.(Next Slide)
  • This framework empowers the community to determine what areas of their life are affected by the programs implemented.  This makes them more resilient and self-reliant, ensuring individuals’ success within the community.Our client benefits from this dynamic framework because it measures impacts over different lengths of time, adapts to a changing community and varying stakeholder interests, and can be applied to other communities in future projects.  This allows Yansa to customize their message for each audience. (Next Slide)
  • The strategies that we have developed have cross-client valueThey are:FlexibleReplicable AdaptableExampleA variation of themapping tool that we developed for IU could be used by all of our clients to demonstrate the value of their technology to their stakeholders.Also! We are making all of the strategiespublicly accessibleonline through a “Living on the Edge” website. (Next Slide)
  • The LOTEC website allows visitors to explore our clientsAND our methodology for improving their communications.The transparency a website provides facilitates replication. As you can see from this screenshot of our website, visitors can explore both our clients and their respective strategies.We hope that sharing our strategies online will stimulate others to assist those who are developing the urban-periphery sustainably throughout the world.(Next Slide)
  • Thank you.Please follow us on Twitter @ThinkLOTEC and stay tuned for the launch of our wesbite.Followus on Twitter @ThinkLOTEC


  • 1. Living on the edgeFinal briefingFinal Briefing, April 30th, 2013M.S. Sustainability ManagementColumbia University in the City of New YorkLiving On The Edge CapstoneSaami Sabiti, Adriana Kliegman,Melissa Boo, Steve Burke, Melisa Pernalete, Esperanza Garcia,Derrek Clarke, Floren Poliseo, Joseph Persaud,Henry Gordon-Smith (PM), Challey Comer (DM)Faculty Advisor: Lynnette Widder
  • 5. Isla UrbanaLocation: Mexico CityNormative: Insufficientwater infrastructureAlternative: RainwaterharvestingSistema BiobolsaLocation: PueblaNormative: Syntheticfertilizers, deforestationAlternative: Biodigester toprovide methane andcompostThe Yansa GroupLocation: Ixtepec, OaxacaNormative:Subsistence, dispossessionAlternative: Communityowned wind farmAlternative Technologies on “The Edge”Context
  • 6. Removing BarriersSocial ValuationPolicy SupportNormalizationTheir ChallengesMetricsMappingMessagingOur StrategiesContext
  • 7. Strengthen three social entrepreneursthrough dynamic communications strategiesthat will empower them to leapfrog sustainablealternative technologies on the urban-peripheryContextCapstone Goal
  • 8. Current StateBiggest Communications Challenge:Garner government supportAttract institutional clientsCurrent communications:• Customer-to-customer endorsement• Lack clear template to presentcommunity impact to governmentContext
  • 9. Strategy SnapshotContext
  • 10. Strategy BenefitsCommunity Impacts:• Increased water security• Sustainable jobs and skills• Time and money savingsClient Benefits:• Quantify and visualize impact• Predict future need• Influence government policiesCUSTOMERSGOVERNMENT INVESTORSISLAURBANAContext
  • 11. Current StateCurrent communications:• Word of mouth• Demo events• Minimal online EffortsBiggest Communications Challenge:Convincing new usersContext
  • 12. Strategy SnapshotIntegrated Communications Strategy:1. Illustrated Guide2. Social Media3. Mobile Communications4. Online Community5. Payback Tracking6. Online Virtual Tour7. Future BusinessContext
  • 13. Strategy BenefitsCommunity Impacts:• Increased self-reliance• Less waste• Revenue, time, and quality oflife increase for usersClient Benefits:• Reach a wider audience• Convey impacts throughstorytellingCUSTOMERSGOVERNMENT INVESTORSSISTEMABIOBOLSAContext
  • 14. Current Communication:• Website• Community meetings• Surveys and interviewsBiggest Communications Challenge:Demonstrating value of a futurewind farm prior to revenue gainCurrent StateContext
  • 15. Strategy SnapshotAssessCommunityNeedsDefine Metricsand TargetsSet ImpactTimelineBaselineCommunityDataImplementProgramsQuantifyImprovementsContext
  • 16. Strategy BenefitsCommunity Impacts:• Empowerment• Resilience & Self-relianceClient Benefits:• Multiple communication platforms• Adaptable stakeholder messagingCOHORTSCUSTOMERSGOVERNMENTINVESTORSYANSAContext
  • 18. WebsiteContext
  • 19. Partners Toolbox WorkshopContext#LOTEC