NOTE: The participant biographies are currently in working progress. If you are curious have a look already, but please be patient until we have the final text and images together.

International Participants

Zachary Bleckner
Zachary Bleckner
Zach Bleckner was born and raised in New York City. He received his BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University and spent a semester abroad in Havana, Cuba. After working as a high school Spanish teacher in Philadelphia and interning as an editor/production assistant at the policy journal, Americas Quarterly, Zach moved to Belém as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Universidade Federal do Pará. While living in Belém, he played drums in Arraial do Pavulagem, made theater with his students, learned about Amazônia in all its wonder, and interned at Programa Municípios Verdes. He has a passion for languages, theater, music, food, anthropology, education, and politics. Before IDDS Amazon, Zach was an international resident at the Centro de Teatro do Oprimido (Rio de Janeiro). After IDDS, he will be attending Stanford Law School.
Agnes Pyrchla
Agnes Pyrchla
Agnes is a strategist at frog design in San Francisco, where she gets to work with a mix of organizations to create user-centered experiences, services, and products. Her favorite part of her job is the opportunity to get to know different types of people and advocate for their needs throughout the design process. Passionate about participatory design, Agnes looks forward to working on the permaculture projects side by side with the Boa Vista do Acara community, fellow IDDS participants, and facilitators.

Originally from New York City, Agnes first became aware of permaculture when she worked on a small farm in northern Thailand after graduating from college, where she studied business and arts administration. She was inspired to learn more about natural systems after spending a summer working for her sustainability professor, researching policies to reduce watershed pollution. Through IDDS, Agnes hopes to deepen her knowledge of permaculture so she can incorporate the principles into her client work, regardless of industry or context.

Jihyun Kim
Jihyun Kim
Ji-hyun Kim was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. He studied Biochemical Engineering and cultural anthropology in Yonsei University, Seoul. He is interested in design thinking and human centered approach to solve social problems. He have volunteering as a manager at Appropriate Technology Future Forum, which is working in various fields of activity. He loves to travel, meet new people, and learn about different cultures.
Felix Egle
Felix Egle
Felix is born July 1989 and grew up in southern germany. He traveled in Thailand and Sri Lanka at the age of 24 and went to school there. He also traveled all over Europe and later moved to eastern germany to study product-design in the year 2010 and changed later in 2011 to visual communications to receive a BFA at the Bauhaus University Weimar. He is currently living in Hamburg, Germany to further his path in problem oriented design solutions.
Chris Natt
Chris Natt
Chris is a British industrial designer interested in applying design thinking to find simple solutions to complex problems.

He is the founder of Blastproof, a R&D startup focused on scalable technologies for humanitarian landmine removal. He previously has worked with the HELIX Centre – a healthcare focused design studio embedded in a London Hospital and with Loowatt Ltd – a sanitation startup backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He believes in a human centred approaches to design and has spoken about his work on the BBC World Service as well as structured workshops on innovation.

Chris holds qualifications in Design and Engineering from the Royal College of Art, Imperial College London and Brunel University. In 2015 he took part in Singularity Universities Global Solutions Program and was selected by the British Design Council as one of 70 young designers who they believe represent the future of British design, His work has also been featured in Wired, New Scientist and exhibited with :INDEX during their 2007 world tour.

Isabel Lafuente
Isabel Lafuente
My name is Isabel Lafuente, I`m from Madrid (Spain) but I`ve been living in Sao Paolo (Brazil) for more than three years now. I`m doing a PhD in the field of anthropology, focused on collaborative models of innovation. I did my master´s thesis on the free software development model, and through my project was focused on the social side of it, spending so many time among software developers and engineers gave me a kind of bending over the techie world. Other than that, I like outdoor activities and working with my hands to build things. I am also paper lover, I like reading, writing, collecting it, but above all, what I most enjoy is folding it.
Frank Kweka
Frank Julias is born in 1988 at Arusha Town and grown up in Arusha. He started primary school in 1996 and completed the Shangarao Primary School in 2013. Since 2011 till now he is working as a workshop manager in an Organisation in Twende dealing with social innovation. He likes to ride, run and rugby.
Precious Phiri
Precious Phiri
Precious is a training and development specialist in regenerative environmental issues and community organizing. She recently founded an organization called EarthWisdom a network, which she formed immediately after her full time nine-year career with Savory hub in Zimbabwe. She was also recently nominated to be in the global steering committee of Regeneration International. Her vast experience in education and mobilizing communal populations and implementing institutions in Zimbabwe and Africa in restorative farming programs using Holistic Land and Livestock Management (HLLM) is the force behind her network. Her work currently focuses on training rural communities and collaborating with networks in Africa to reduce poverty, rebuild soils, and restore food and water security for people, livestock and wildlife.
Diego Nicolas
Diego Nicolas
I am Diego Nicolás, Agriculture Engineering from Chile, 29 years old. Viticulture and winemaking is my field of expertise, I also have studies of Ecology in Germany and biodynamics. On the other hand of my job as a winemaker I have a small organic vines and strawberries nursery, where I combine natural and organic production. I like to do sports, outdoor, travelling and have great experiences from places where I go. My family backgrounds come from the south of my country, there is very cold if you compare with Brazil, so I am looking for the hot and humite weather! Work in agriculture shows me the real life of the farmers, with the difficulties they have with the weather and low prices they got from the big markets, I understand how much effort they put in their jobs. I consider that natural resources are the key of having sustainable agriculture, so part of my effort is to keep in that way and have better results.
I am very anxious in to get to know all the people, share with them and understand the way of living, with this I think we may have nice results and develop a sustainable chain production.
Nahomy Hernández
Nahomy was born in Zacatecoluca, El Salvador. She is the third and last children in my family. She have a brother and a sister and them, together with my family, are my greatest inspiration for everything I do. Nahomy participated in several Math competitions representing my country and this allowed be to win a scholarship to study abroad. In 2010, she moved to Boston to study Aerospace Engineering at MIT.

Nahomy graduated from Aerospace Engineering, with a concentration in Political Science in 2014 and later worked for a year at an avionics company in Massachusetts.

Angelica Puentes
Meu nome é Angélica, sou colombiana, engenheira agrícola recém formada da universidad Nacional da Côlombia. Nasci na cidade de Bogotá, uma cidade grande afastada do campo no entanto eu me interessei por este assunto pela importancia que tem a produção de alimentos para humanidade. Estive em Brasil fazendo um semestre de intercambio na universidade estadual de Campinas e gosto muito desse pais, esse tempo tem me permitido criar uma independência e autonomia que eu aprecio bastante. há oito anos pratico o teatro como uma ferramenta de transformação. Gosto também da leitura, dos viagens e de conhecer das outras culturas. Sinto responsabilidade gigantezca com as mudanças na produção e desenvolvimento de nossa planeta.
Sebastian Muñoz
Sebastian Muñoz
I was born in Berkeley, California, in 1992, from Mexican parents, and lived there seven years until my family came back to Mexico, where I have lived since. I went to science-oriented middle and high schools, where the emphasis was on critical thinking. I am now in the second year of my Industrial Design bachelor’s in Mexico City. I have been also very interested in art, I took a semester off to focus on painting, drawing and acting.

I have devoted significant time to volunteering and visiting communities. My biggest interest is to apply the design process, art, and technology to help solve the serious problems Mexico and the world faces, such as poverty, violence and environmental issue. I believe nature inspires so I try to be in outdoors as much as I can, with family, friends and dogs, getting new ideas to flow. Hanging out with friends is what gives me energy, mostly when listening and dancing to tropical music.

Roberto Cevallos
Javier Bogado

National Participants

Amanda Carrara
Minha formação desde a infância foi construtivista, em ambientes que propiciavam a reflexão e a crítica. Cursei engenharia ambiental na universidade pois acreditava que nossos paradigmas de sociedade não nos permite ter relações saudáveis de bem-viver com as pessoas e com os seres-vivos e não vivos do planeta.

As atividades que ja desenvolvi em comunidades ribeirinhas, em assentamentos e com a Permacultura como ferramenta reflexiva e prática, me fazem hoje estar segura de que há caminhos para retornarmos a uma relação mais harmônica com nossos iguais e com a natureza. Acredito que os conhecimentos tradicionais, da prática cotidiana, junto a valores éticos, e o auxílio de técnicas e conhecimentos pautados em uma visão holística do espaço em que vivemos, podem promover o bem viver para todos.

Com essa visão sigo em frente e busco a prática!

Pedro Belasco
Bachelor’s degree on Social sciences at University of São Paulo. Professional programmer and linux admin for ~10 years. From 2000 – 2010. Activist on free knownledge and researcher on both technology development processes, and social processes.
Raquel Mattos
Nasci em Anápolis, no interior de Goiás . Cresci próxima a uma área rural, então o contato com a natureza marcou minha infância. Aos poucos tomei dimensão da importância de um mundo economicamente e ambientalmente sustentável. A autobiografia “Golda Meir – Minha Vida” redimensionou minhas perspectivas. Primeiro, por ela ter sido uma mulher que foi à luta pelo que acreditava. Segundo, por ter divulgado a possibilidade de cooperação tecnológica entre países do mundo todo para sanar problemas sociais. Na busca de ter conhecimento técnico suficiente para atuar na área, me dediquei para o ITA e concluo o meu primeiro ano na instituição que abriu muito minhas possibilidades de atuação profissional.
Samuel Gabanyi
Samuel Gabanyi
Samuel Gabanyi , Bacharel em Administração Pública pela EAESP-FGV, Mestre em Desenvolvimento Sustentável pela Macquarie University e permacultor pelo Ipema. Nos últimos 5 anos tem atuado como consultor socioambiental e já desenvolveu trabalhos no Brasil, Austrália, Espanha e República Dominicana em organizações como Greenpeace, Forum Social Mundial, Unicef, Edge Environment e Vitae Civilis dentre outras. É co-autor do livro “Agricultura em São Paulo – A importância do engajamento popular para transformação social e ambiental” e um dos fundadores do Movimento Urbano de Agroecologia de São Paulo (MUDA-SP).
Fissurado por surf, futebol e esportes em geral, Apaixonado pela natureza e louco por viagens. Atualmente está de mudança para Ubatuba no litoral de São Paulo.
Surian dos Santos
Surian dos Santos
Surian dos Santos Nasceu no Rio de Janeiro/Brasil. É Permacultor e Educador com especial interesse por comunicação, agricultura e tecnologias apropriadas. Estudou cozimento solar na Tamera Solar Village em Portugal, construção de bicimáquinas na BiciTec – escola de bicitecnologias apropriadas na Guatemala e comunicação social na UFRJ. Como educador, trabalha com hortas pedagógicas e realiza diversas oficinas voltadas para autonomia. Dedica-se também ao estudo e prática de música, danças circulares e Comunicação Não-violenta.
Alexandre Fernandes de Lima
Sou um jovem de 19 anos vindo de uma família paulista de baixa renda e que teve sua vida mudada após receber uma bolsa de estudos integral num dos melhores colégios do Brasil. Fui o primeiro familiar a ingressar no ensino superior, estou no primeiro ano de Engenharia Mecatrônica numa faculdade que busca inovar o conceito da Engenharia tradicional, somos a turma pioneira. Gosto bastante de aprender sobre liderança, fui um dos cinco jovens líderes selecionados para representar o Brasil em Massachusetts. Atualmente busco entender mais sobre inovação social, pois através do empreendedorismo consigo impactar a sociedade como um todo.
Fernanda Jordani
I was born and raised in Brazil, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design at FAAP in São Paulo. As part of my award-winning graduation thesis, I designed a portable and inclusive walking cane for elderly people, which is currently being patented.

Also at FAAP, I earned a Master’s degree in Interior Design with my research that focused on understanding how emotional, social, and environmental factors affect human behavior. Based on the concept that choices expose the user to the world, I explored how this knowledge should be used to improve the design process and its results to people of all abilities.

Currently, I am designer and consultant in Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston, and enrolled in a PhD research in Inclusive Design at UNIFESP in São Paulo, implementing the principles of universal design to improve health care system in low-income communities for people with visual impairment. I am also co-founded the multidisciplinary Lab Group MedHacker, using empathic and human-centered techniques to improve the healthcare environment.

Bárbara Bressan Rocha
Bárbara Bressan Rocha
Me chamo Bárbara Bressan Rocha, tenho 30 anos e sou brasileira natural de Brasília. Sou formada em Engenharia Elétrica e possuo um MBA em Gerenciamento de Projetos. Já trabalhei no setor privado, no setor público e hoje também atuo no terceiro setor – ainda como voluntária, mas, espero, que em breve me dedicando inteiramente aos projetos que acredito podem fazer alguma diferença na vida das pessoas.

O que realmente me enche de energia e criatividade é poder pensar em modelos ou sistemas alternativos e de baixo custo que possam oferecer maior autonomia às pessoas, além de uma vida mais digna. Meus amigos costumam dizer que eu sou muito prática, comunicativa e aprendo as coisas com facilidade. Mas eu sei que essas minhas qualidades só aparecem quando eu estou diante de um bom desafio. Sou uma pessoa muito enérgica e gosto de aprender fazendo, botar a mão na massa. Adoro esportes radicais e pratico yoga diariamente. Além disso, cresci na cozinha vendo minha mãe cozinhar, e hoje tenho paixão por cozinhar para os amigos. Estou aprendendo a tocar pandeiro, para poder viajar pelo mundo tocando músicas brasileiras.

Sou eternamente grata a todas as pessoas iluminadas e inspiradoras que conheci e às oportunidades de formação e educação que tive. Portanto, minha missão nessa vida é poder servir o mundo conectando pessoas, experiências, vivências e todo o conhecimento que absorvi e irei absorver mundo afora.

Ananda Casanova
Jose Neto
Jose Neto
José Neto was born and raised in in the countryside of Pará, Capanema, and when he was 15 he started his journey in the innovative universe by joining a boarding school in Rio de Janeiro. He has just graduated in Production Engineering at CESUPA (2016) and throughout his academic life he worked in different volunteer projects to develop the communities around Belém and also as Buyer Intern. José likes to learn and discuss about innovation, entrepreneurship, food, arts and cultures. During his exchange program at Illinois Tech he learned about Design Thinking and since then has been searching more about design principles and solutions, however, he is still confused about what will happen after college. He recently won a Hackathon held in Belém with the aim to reconnect nature and society.
WENDY SILVEIRA DE OLIVEIRA
WENDY SILVEIRA DE OLIVEIRA
Sou WENDY SILVEIRA DE OLIVEIRA, tenho 21 anos, nasci na cidade de Castanhal-PA, aos 17 anos me formei em técnica de segurança do trabalho e posteriormente ingressei na UFPA- Altamira, onde estou cursando o quarto ano da faculdade de engenharia florestal. Minha maior alegria na vida é conhecer pessoas, culturas, ritmos, sabores, crenças e costumes. Busco sempre por mudanças e conhecimentos. Tenho contato com pessoas das mais diversas nacionalidades e grupos étnicos. Minha maior realização na vida pessoal e profissional é poder ajudar mesmo que de forma mínima o bem estar, social, ambiental e econômico de pessoas mais necessitadas. Sou apaixonada pela área que venho atuando (comunidades e povos da floresta) e almejo no futuro continuar nesse caminho.

Solteira, sem filhos, sempre disposta a por a mão na massa, enfim, sou privilegiada pela liberdade de escolhas que posso fazer.

Rafael Yamagata
Paulo Duarte
Maria
Cidaires
Dona Beth
Josué
Darley
Débora Chagas
Luis Carlos Santiago
Manoel Edino Cardoso Carvalho