“Energy is a prerequisite for sustainable rural development” – UNESCO
Smart Villages pitches its vision for rural communities with the aim of developing villages primarily in the areas of education, enterprise and health. It promotes the use of off-grid energy, mainly powered by sustainable means, as an alternative to being isolated from the national grid. Development in villages means a greater quality of life; a rise in employment and quality of health care means people will finally have the option to stay in rural villages instead of being forced to find better services in cities.
Dr John Holmes – Project Co-leader (left)
Dr John Holmes commenced his career in technology assessment and research into the development of clean coal technologies. He was head of the Science Programme for the Environment Agency, the environmental regulator for England and Wales. He was also the Secretary to the EASAC Energy Programme. John is now a Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Policy at the University of Oxford.
Dr Bernie Jones – Project Co-leader (center)
Bernie was formerly Media Programme Director of the Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) project. He has extensive experience of working with international academies of science, as Head of International Policy at the Royal Society, Executive Director of EASAC, and interim Executive Director of the InterAcademy Panel and InterAcademy Medical Panel.
Dr Shailaja Fennell (right)
Shailaja is currently the Principal Investigator on a UGC-UKIERI grant with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, to identify the bottlenecks that limit internet access for agricultural production and the education and employment of rural youth. Her research expertise is in the sub-fields of rural institutional reform, gender and household dynamics and the provision of public goods through public private partnerships in Asia and Africa.