News Releases
Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows among the speakers at this week's Techonomy Conference
August 5, 2010

August 4, 2010 – This week's Techonomy Conference (of which The Lemelson Foundation is a sponsor) is bringing some of the world's foremost thought leaders together to discuss how technology can and is driving economic growth. The first annual event, held in Lake Tahoe, started yesterday and concludes tomorrow.

Among the various presenters is a group of Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows who will be discussing – along with Ashoka founder Bill Drayton – the value of partnerships between businesses and citizen sector organizations to transform markets and meet critical needs.

This session, moderated by The Economist's Matthew Bishop, will be held from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on Friday, and features Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows Harish Hande, Albina Ruiz Rios and Bright Simons. In addition to speaking during the breakfast session on Friday, Bright Simons also participated in a healthcare discussion on Thursday.

Harish Hande is the Managing Director of SELCO-India, which he co-founded in 1995. SELCO-India is a social venture aiming to promote sustainable energy solutions and services to underserved households and businesses in rural India. The organization aims to empower its customer by providing a complete package of product, service and consumer financing through grameena banks, cooperative societies, commerical banks and micro-finance institutions. With its headquarters in Bangalore, SELCO has 25 branches in Karnataka and Gujarat. Today SELCO India has installed solar lighting systems in over 85,000 households in the rural areas of these states. For more information about SELCO-India, visit


Albina Ruiz Rios is the President and Founder of Healthy City (Ciudad Saludable), a community-managed system of waste collection for urban and rural communities around Peru. Healthy City facilitates micro-entrepreneurs from the community to take charge of collecting and processing the garbage. Their main goal is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the poorest population through efficient solid waste management which will not only result in cleaner cities but also the creation of jobs. The organization now oversees projects in 20 cities across Peru, employing more than 150 people and serves over 3 million residents. For more information, visit


Bright B. Simons is a Ghanaian technology innovator, Development Activist and Social Entrepreneur. As the Director of Development Research at the award-winning African think tank IMANI, and as the President of the mPedigree Network, he works to promote innovation as the best response to Africa’s various developmental challenges. The mPedigree platform is a system for large-scale supply chains that are now being deployed by pharmaceutical companies to protect their brands from counterfeiters and by consumers to instantly verify the genuineness of their medicines by means of a free text message. For more information, visit

About the Ashoka-Lemelson Partnership

Ashoka and the Lemelson Foundation believe that invention and social entrepreneurship can align in powerful ways to improve the world and enable people to be changemakers and problem-solvers. Our partnership, which began in 2006, aims to find, support, and celebrate social innovators whose technologies offer fresh, effective approaches to advancing social change, through the selection of a cohort of over 100 inventor-entrepreneurs.