Judges

Member
David I. Levine

Trefethen Professor of Business Administration

Haas School of Business

University of California

David I. Levine is the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business Administration at the Haas School of Business at the University ofCalifornia, Berkeley. He is past chair of the University’s Center for Health Research, of the Advisory Board for Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and of the Haas School’s Economic Analysis and Policy Group.

Dr. Levine's current research examines both how to increase demand for health-promoting goods such as safer cookstoves and water filters, and how to change health-related behaviors such as handwashing with soap.

Levine was an undergraduate at Berkeley, and has taught at the Haas School since receiving his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1987. Levine has also had visiting positions at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Member
Karin Ireton

Director: Group Sustainability Management

Standard Bank

Karin has worked on sustainability issues for the past 20 years and has played a significant role in developing corporate responses to environmental and social risks. She led the sustainability program at Standard Bank from 2009-2014, driving the incorporation of sustainability principles and a sustainability strategy. Prior to joining the bank in 2009 she held a similar role at mining giant Anglo American. She has previously served as a sustainable energy advisor at Eskom and Manager of the then Industrial Environmental Forum. She serves on numerous sustainability advisory boards and was chair of the International Stakeholder Council for the Global Reporting Initiative from 2009-2013 as well as the Institute of Directors Sustainable Development Forum. Karin has travelled and worked extensively in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Member
Anand Shah

Founder

Sarvajal / Piramal Water Pvt Ltd

Founder of Sarvajal, one of Fast Company's 10 most innovative companies in India for 2013, and Indicorps, awarded the Gujarat Garima award by India's prime minister in 2003.

Known as a social innovator who has played a significant leadership role in India's modern public service / volunteerism movement, supporting India's social enterprise sector, encouraging the rise of several high-profile new university projects, and as an innovator in drinking water solutions for rural and urban communities. Broad experience in starting, building, and leading ventures with a fundamental commitment to significant social or environmental impact.

Holds several patents in drinking water distribution technologies.

Venture and personal coverage in Fast Company, the Economist, Forbes, Mint, Demand, inHabitat, India Abroad, India West, the Times of India, the Indian Express, Business India, SciDev, etc. Recognized public speaker on authentic leadership, social enterprise/innovation, education innovation, and bottom-of-the pyramid solutions. A TED Fellow, and a fellow of the Aspen Institute's Global Leadership Network.

Member
Paseka Lesolang

Managing Director

WHC (Water, Hygiene, Convenience)

Paseka is a young, energetic entrepreneur, innovator and environmentalist. He is the Founder & Managing Director of WHC {Water, Hygiene, Convenience}; a company that is focusing on products and services in the Green Economy. Paseka has collected multinational awards on behalf of WHC; most recently an award from the Global Cleantech Innovation Program (GCIP). Paseka believes that water is the most precious commodity, and preservation thereof is his priority.

Member
Kara Gerson

Executive Director

Voss Foundation

Kara Gerson is Executive Director of Voss Foundation, a charity founded in 2008 by the directors of VOSS Water as an independent 501(c)(3) providing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa and raising awareness of the ongoing need in that region. Originating her role, she has helped to shape and grow the organization from its offices in Oslo and New York, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the sub-continent. 

Kara has been profiled for her work with Voss Foundation in publications such as USA Today, Financial Times’ How To Spend It, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. In 2013, she received Applause Africa’s African Diaspora Award for being a Friend of Africa.  

Experts moderators

Member
Karen Page

Masters Student

Teachers College

Columbia University

Karen Page is a current masters student at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City where she has returned to being a student after 15 years of teaching and developing technology programs and curriculum. She is currently working on several research projects focused on strategies for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning. Karen’s passion lies at the intersection of creativity, communication, technology and education doing work in sub-Saharan Africa with students, teachers and schools in communities that do not have broad access to technology resources and/or teacher training.

Member
Stuart Woolley

Research Manager

Water Research Commission

South Africa

Stuart is a chemical engineering graduate with a BSc Eng (Chemical) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa. Stuart is currently completing his MSc Eng (Chemical) with the Pollution Research Group in the water and sanitation sector, also at UKZN.

Stuart is currently employed as a Research Manager at the Water Research Commission, a public service entity that manages water research, management and strategy in South Africa.

Member
Raebetswe Kgoraeadira

Head of Features Engineering

Standard Bank

Reabetswe Kgoroeadira was born on 15 June 1980 in Soweto.  She is currently the Head of Features Engineering at Standard Bank.  Before joining Standard Bank, she was an external examiner in the school of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand.  She was a member of the Presidential Youth Working Group, and founder of the Soweto Mentoring Project. She has been awarded a certificate of excellence in recognition of her contribution to education by the Department of Education.

She holds a PhD in Economics from Cranfield University, UK; an MBA from Kent University, UK and a BSc Electrical Engineering degree from The University of the Witwatersrand, SA, and is a recipient of the Chevening Scholarship from the British Council, 2008.

Member
Alexa LaPlante

Water Quality Project Manager

ICF International

Alexa La Plante is a Water Resources Specialist with thirteen years of professional experience in protecting hydrology and water quality resources throughout the U.S.. She is currently working for an environmental firm called, ICF International, in San Francisco, California. She has worked and volunteered internationally on surface water quality, community health, and groundwater issues throughout Central America and in West Bengal, India. She is an active volunteer for Water For People, is currently on the Board of Directors for the Water Education Foundation in Sacramento, California, and is the instructor for an annual University of California, Davis Extension course on Water Quality Regulations and Permitting. Ms. La Plante has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis. Her experience working for the governmental, non-profit, and private sectors has given her a unique perspective in her field.

Member
Anita Etale

Wits Carnegie Global Change PhD Fellow

School of Animal Plant & Environmental Sciences

University of the Witwatersrand

Growing up Kenya, Anita’s interest in water research was forged quite early as she experienced water scarcity and quality issues in both rural and urban regions of the country. She went on to pursue an undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Zoology and Botany at the University of Nairobi and in 2011 obtained an MSc in Environmental Science from the University of the Witwatersrand having studied the impact of industrially-contaminated water on the metal content of produce from urban farms in Kigali, Rwanda. Anita’s current research interests are in water-treatment, specifically, the use of nanomaterials in the clean-up of metal-contaminated water. She has also been involved in undergraduate research and teaching on the microbiology of water-borne diseases. She believes that nanotechnology holds great promise in the provision of clean water from contaminated sources, especially in developing countries where water infrastructure is often limited.

Member
Nirvashnee Seetal

Head of Water Technologies Demonstration Program 

South African Water Research Commission (WRC)

Nirvashnee Seetal holds a BSc (Environmental Biology and Environmental Management), BSc Honours (Geography and Environmental Management), MSc (Environmental Studies) and an MBA. She currently heads up the Water Technologies Demonstration Programme at the Water Research Commission (WRC). Prior to joining the WRC she started and ran her own innovation management consulting firm for four years. Nirvashnee has also worked for the Department of Science and Technology, first dealing with youth, gender and disability mainstreaming issues within the Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation sector and thereafter serving as a Director for the Cooperation Framework on Innovation Systems between Finland and South Africa. She has also previously held positions at the Innovation Fund and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.