Dr Lara Allen has worked extensively in international development and in academia. As well as being the Executive Director of CGE, Lara is the Director of Implementation & Impact at Cambridge Global Challenges Strategic Research Initiative, and an Affiliated Lecturer: Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge. She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and was an Associate Professor at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2007, she co-founded Tshulu Trust, which links rural communities in the Venda region of South Africa with universities around the world. The Trust enhances the livelihoods and well being of local communities through
knowledge sharing, capacity building and the creation of income generating opportunities. Lara ran Tshulu Trust for eight years. She then spent two years with the Irish NGO Misean Cara, as Head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Capacity building and Communications. Lara became the Director of the CGE (then the Humanitarian Centre) in October 2014.
Mike completed his PhD in photochemistry at the University of Cambridge in 2017. The focus of his PhD was the application of new-generation photocatalytic materials for solar water purification. This academic work, and Mike’s experience in product development within the water industry, lead to the conception of Majico – an impact lead initiative that uses the photocatalytic technology in a development context.
Becky is studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. She believes technology, when designed with people as the focus, is the best way to combat poverty and improve quality of life. This makes her very excited about Blue Tap. Becky has been awarded a BP STEM Scholarship and has helped set up 17 social enterprises in Tanzania as part of the Cambridge Development Initiative.
Samer was introduced to the Majico team in May 2017 via the Development i-Teams programme – a bi-annual programme facilitated by the Centre for Global Equality at the Institute for Manufacturing. Samer’s interests lie in understanding the cultural barriers hindering technological breakthroughs in the developing world, and designing Majico’s sustainable business model with these barriers in mind. Samer is presently completing his PhD in Materials Science at the University of Cambridge.
Sylvia Lu, FRSA
- Principle 5G Technical Lead, u-blox UK, Member of Advisory Board, UK5G
A multi-award-winning engineer and inventor, a non-executive director, advisor, start-up mentor and ambassador, Sylvia has over a decade of experience in the Telecom industry for four mobile generations and was recently recognised as UK's Top 50 Women in Engineering.
She offers guidance on impact of emerging technologies on products and strategy, as well as major inter-sector, multi-country projects. She also provides industry-focused, independent advice to the government and policy panels on future plans for 5G development.
Sylvia is an elected Board Director of CW (Cambridge Wireless) and was appointed to the Advisory Board of UK5G in 2018. She was appointed as Vice-chair of UK5G International Working Group in 2019, co-leading development of UK proposition and engagement plan with overseas government and industry bodies. She has initiated and signed an MoU with 5G-ACIA on behalf of UK5G to accelerate the development of 5G in the UK’s manufacturing sector. Sylvia also serves on the IET Digital Policy Panel, helps to raise awareness of societal impacts of emerging technologies and resilience of cross-sector infrastructure.
Sylvia was handpicked as an Ambassador of the Women of the Future programme; inspires and empowers female engineers and future leaders as a role model and through appearances and talks at schools and universities. Sylvia promotes diversity and inclusion, winning several special recognitions for work on empowering future female trailblazers. Sylvia is also an amateur artist.
Sophie is the Business and Operations Manager at the Centre for Global Equality. In 2014 following a brief spell in Doha working on Qatar Science Festival, an international capacity building event for children, Sophie co-founded the First Steps Project, a Brighton-based non-for-profit that ran workshops and training programs for young people living in areas of deprivation. After the successful delivery of a number of programmes, Sophie spent two years working and volunteering in developing countries, predominantly in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Working abroad was an opportunity for Sophie to experience different working environments in different cultures. Seeing first-hand the social, environmental and political challenges faced by the developing world has enhanced Sophie’s perspective on social and economic responsibility, inspiring her to pursue a career in international sustainable development.
Abhi has a long heritage with CW having previously founded the CW Handset Special Interest Group (SIG) in 2008, now called Future Devices. Prior to CW, Abhi studied Electronics and Electrical Engineering, has a MBA in International Marketing and, interestingly, was approached by Cambridge University Press (alongside a colleague at the time) to write a book on Mobile Handset Design which was successfully launched in New Delhi. Abhi was the CEO and Founder of Zone V a Cambridge start up backed by Qualcomm and ARM focused on empowering people with aging eyes and visually impaired through inclusively designed smartphones. He held senior management roles at Powermat and Silicon Valley mobile touchscreen technology provider, Synaptics and advisory roles for Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake in the area of mobile user interface technologies. Abhi created and is leading the CW Unplugged programmes in alignment with the UN SDG’s goals of creating Impact Innovators and the ‘Hive’ programmes a new form of co creating and co innovation in digital connectivity with some largest global brands in the world. Abhi is a senior advisor to an autonomous vehicle mobility and smart city infrastructure scale up Conigital and Industry Partner for Arjun Infrastructure Partners AIP with 2 Billion Euros of assets under management for Infrastructure Investment.
Alex is a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow, and Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellow in Jeremy Baumberg’s lab in the department of physics, at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on developing low-cost methods of identifying bacterial contamination for use in low-resource settings. Alex is also the CEO of WaterScope, a not-for-profit company through which his research has a clear route to impact. To date, WaterScope has raised over £130,000 and completed their first field trial in one of the largest refugee camps in the modern world.
As a technology consultant, Jeroen has worked with large multinational organisations to leverage emerging technologies. He works extensively in the Cambridge start-up ecosystem, supporting new ventures to create global impact. Over the last 3 years, Jeroen’s focus has been sustainable development, particularly the potential impact of his work around photocatalytic water purification and the development of the Majico technology.