Poverty is the product of broken systems that prevent people from realizing their full potential. Beating poverty means making those systems work. EWB is doing exactly that. We invest in people—smart systems changers—and we incubate the systemic innovations that they create to accelerate rural African development. It’s not about projects. It’s not about technology. It’s about people working with people to create lasting, scalable change that unlocks human potential.
In Africa, EWB’s approach to development focuses exclusively on systemic innovations that impact the masses. So we don’t drill wells, we help to ensure that tens of thousands of wells are monitored and repaired. We don’t distribute seeds, we work with small businesses to help them provide the tools and information that farmers need to prosper.
EWB’s organizational Vision can be found here.
EWB’s Values & Beliefs
Our Bottom Line: We put Dorothy First.
She is our ultimate stakeholder: the impoverished woman who works hard to lift her family out of poverty, yet is stuck in a trap.
We strive to do what she would advise us to.
We help bring her voice into the rooms where she needs to be heard.
We stay independent to be able to stay true to her interests.
Address root causes for impact: We start by clearly defining the impact that we want to help bring about, and then think through the complexity of social change so that our actions target root causes.
Strive for Humility: We learn by being open – open to new ideas from anywhere and anyone, and open about our mistakes.
Invest in people: We know that true change will require a movement of socially-minded leaders. We support and invest in each other to help build this movement together.
Courageously Commit: All change begins within ourselves. We commit to personal growth through regular self-assessment and have the courage to ask for feedback.
Ask tough questions: We only improve when we ask tough questions about our past, present, and future work to determine if we are having the maximum impact for Dorothy.
Dream Big & Work Hard: We strive to make the impossible possible, through a combination imagination, hard work, innovation, passion and a willingness to take risks.
Injustice must be confronted, and dignity promoted: We believe that change happens when ordinary people stand up to the injustices they see in the world, and fight for the dignity of human beings who they may have never met before, because they are human beings.
Exceptional people, working together, catalyzing systemic change: We believe that by enabling leaders in multiple countries, organizations and roles, we will be able to amplify the impact of any individual.
Human development is messy, simple solutions are rare: We believe that the complexity of human development pushes us to work through ambiguity, balancing multiple tensions simultaneously and knowing that attribution will be difficult, if not impossible. This level of complexity requires more thought, energy, and commitment.
Socially minded engineers bring great value: We believe in an engineering profession that is better aware of its potential for positive impact on the world, and is better equipped to bring about that change.
All information above is taken from EWB Canada’s website.