Articles by Vanesha Manuturi
From the viral video of a diver swimming in a sea of plastic, to National Geographic’s major focus on the topic this year, there’s growing public attention on the problem of plastic waste. So there was plenty of excitement when a Dutch engineer’s do-it-yourself plastic recycling machines started gaining traction around the world. Could the devices empower a global army of small entrepreneurs to turn plastic waste into revenue-generating products? The solution sounds appealing, but when Bali-based social enterprise Kopernik assessed its effectiveness, they came across one small problem.
In 2016, Myanmar was a nation emerging from decades of conflict and isolation. Kopernik, the UNDP and Mercy Corps responded with a pilot program that utilized technology distribution as an avenue to strengthen social cohesion in the country's remote rural communities. Tomohiro Hamakawa and Vanesha Manuturi of Kopernik share development lessons learned from the program — lessons with the potential to benefit other emerging market communities making a comeback from histories of conflict.