Mitra Ardron

Natural Innovation.org

Supporting High Impact Clean-Tech Innovations

Byron Bay, Australia

mitra@mitra.biz

+61-491-082-515 voice, sms - Australia

+1(510)423-1767 sms, whatsapp, signal)



About Natural Innovation

supporting high impact innovation that sustainably addresses poverty or environmental challenges.
Mitra Ardron

Mitra is a serial social entrepreneur & innovator, working in the fields of technology for good, especially IT and renewable energy. Mitra co-founded the Association for Progressive Communications (apc.org), the peak body for internet human rights, with organizational members in 60 countries. He co-founded Lumeter, a leader in PAYGO technology for solar responsible for bringing light to 10’s of thousands of houses in Africa, and started Beyond Building Energy which was at one time the fastest growing solar company in Australia. He is passionate about mentoring others to do whatever it takes to achieve a scale that has meaningful impact.


History

Natural Innovation Pty Ltd was started in 2003 to support the development and scaling of clean technologies and had a number of successes including in community purchase of solar; green materials and urban agriculture.

Natural Innovation .org was started in 2009 after I realized how little support - neither financial, nor expertise - was available for innovations and innovators in the field of sustainable solutions for poverty. I spent several years traveling to work with innovators in their environment, which is very different from inviting that innovator to an incubator in the West.

Apart from supporting innovators ranging from water treatment to solar thermal, I developed a Pay-As-You-Go technoligy that evolved, in 2012, into Lumeter Networks so that it could raise impact investment. Lumeter's development and growth meant that Natural Innovation.org was put (mostly) on hold. We sold Lumeter to Mobisol in 2017 and it has resulted in more than 50,000 homes getting basic electricity.

Now that I am free of responsibilities to Lumeter, I can refocus on other people's innovation and am re-animating Natural Innovation.org.

In the meantime the world of innovation for sustainable solutions to poverty has also evolved, and there are several interesting organizations that have emerged. I am hoping that this site can also act as a bridge to help volunteers, projects and funders to find the best technologies and support organizations in the space.


Approach

Natural Innovation.org is a vehicle through which Mitra supports innovators and innovations working on sustainable, scalable solutions to poverty.

For innovators, this mostly takes the form of mentoring, joining the (advisory) board; or very occasionally investing.

Often, mentoring happens via organizations such as Engineers Without Borders (Australia); Engineering for Change; Tech2Impact or Mentor Capital Network who can bring other support resources to bear on problems.

For investors, this can involve due diligence, such as a review of the business plan, or technology