For rising to the challenge of sustainability through making and building Maker institutions
Veerappan Swaminathan is a pioneer of the Maker Movement in Singapore, and is busy steering the movement in Asia towards enabling a sustainable future. To drive the movement forward, he’s less involved in the “making” per se and more involved in building maker institutions. To date, he’s started the Sustainable Living Lab (a social enterprise), OneMaker Group (an events company), Makedemy (a provider of maker education) and the Singapore Makers Association (a trade association for Makers). For his work in the movement, he’s received various awards and fellowships.
Veerappan has a keen interest in addressing sustainability challenges using systems thinking, community development and technology. Within this intersection and with these interests, he spends his time leading purpose-driven teams, designing educational programmes, running strategic thinking workshops, public speaking, activating communities, mobilising volunteers, creating learning communities, coaching individuals and organising events. Right now, he spends most of his time with Sustainable Living Lab (SL2), as the (founder and) director.
Established in Singapore, SL2 also operates in India and Indonesia. They work on the technology skills gap, sustainable business models, and zero waste, supporting innovation projects that address 3P (Public, Private and Personal) needs. They incorporate foresight, technology, and community development approaches into their work to advance economic, environmental and social sustainability. They’ve worked and consulted with institutions and businesses small and big, with notable ones including A*Star, Intel, AppliedMaterials, and Bosch.
Across all his work, he’s driven by his life goal: to leave things better than when he found them. Through SL2, he’s hoping to inspire companies and organisations to “view the act of being environmentally, socially and economically sustainable as a ‘need to have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’.”
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