“Who says engineers can’t change the world?” Radwa Rostom’s Career
A women engineer from the global south revolutionizing housing and poverty crisis in her native Egypt. Radwa Rostom is an Ashoka Fellow, a Climate Fellow from Echoingreen; and nominated one of the most influential Arab women under 40 among other distinctions. Episode 1 of Season 4 (click on the the link to listen) tells the story of Radwa’s creation of her award-winning social enterprise Hand Over that utilizes sustainable construction for the sake of community development.
In this episode we discuss:
- Radwa’s earlier years she grew up in Katar but she is a native Egyptian
- How her family was a very progressive and Radwa was the “nerd” who was expected to do something related to math and science
- How Radwa and her sisters decided to return to her native Egypt to do a degree in engineer
- During her college she started volunteering and her sense for (social) responsibility started to grow
- Why she wanted to challenge the way charity is done
- With her engineering background she wondered how to make a unique contribution
- Upon graduation, Radwa was exploring how to merge her passion for helping with her professional skills
- How Radwa was an engineer for 2 years but felt something was missing
- How Radwa’s environmental passion started growing and how she changed jobs
- She moved to a corporate social responsibility firm but was missing her engineering skills
- How Radwa realized her “ideal” job didn’t exist so she created her own organization
- Radwa’s process of creating her own business and her aha! moment
- How she started a business without knowing HOW to create a business
- The pressures of “owning” your own enterprise
- On starting your own business while combining it with personal life
- The “money” tradeoff when starting your own enterprise
- An overview of Radwa’s enterprise “Hand-over”
- The three pillars of Hand-over and how it executes its projects
- Hand-Over business model via the for-profit tracks and the community development track is the non-profit track
- Radwa’s most useful skills that informs her everyday work
- On the importance of management and strategic planning
- Her area of growth is delegating to focus on strategic planning
- Radwa’s take on Fellowships (German Scholarship, Ashoka, Echoingreen- among others)
- Who would Radwa hire and what key skills she is looking for in people?
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This episode was brought thanks to the Rotary Peace Fellowship:
Are you an existing or emerging peace leader looking to take your career to the next level? You might be eligible to receive full funding to pursue a MA or professional certificate in peace & conflict studies. Learn more about Rotary Peace Fellowships at www.rotary.org/peace-fellowships
The MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at Brandeis University , where you gain the practical, hands on skills you need to become a peacebuilding professional in the U.S. and abroad.