TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Jodie Wu

Jodie Wu

Appropriate technologist

Fellows Class:
Jodie Wu

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Founder and CEO

Current Organizations:

Global Cycle Solutions, AISE Initiative (Accelerating Innovations and Social Entrepreneurship), MIT D-Lab, MIT IDDS, TEDGlobal, Echoing Green, Twende Tanzania


Photos

Uploaded Photos

Videos

Global Cycle Solutions 1min Spot

GCS creates bicycle powered innovation in Tanzania. See youngworldinventors.com for more stories of innovation in East Africa

View video on Youtube »



Projects

Global Cycle Solutions
02/01/2008 – present
Global Cycle Solutions is a social enterprise working to disseminate affordable, quality technology for villagers around the world. Its core team works on the ground in East Africa visiting villagers to understand their lives and needs. Where there is a need and a solution, GCS brings that product to these villagers. Where there is a need and no solution, GCS develops these technologies in-house to cultivate creative capacity in the local communities. In 2009, Global Cycle Solutions opened its offices in Tanzania. The company began as a technology company, developing and selling bicycle add-ons to improve the lives of smallholder farmers. However, GCS soon realized that it was not enough to just sell products in stores. It had to go to the village. In the villages, GCS learned that there were more challenges than just the hardship of smallholder farming. Many villagers lacked basic luxuries like light at night and electricity to charge their phones. And thus, in 2011, GCS shifted gears from just selling bicycle products to selling a portfolio of products to improve village life. Its focus became about empowerment–empowering promising youth with an opportunity to become GCS entrepreneurs, providing GCS product services in the deepest of villages and selling GCS products to create a ripple of impact at the village level. Today, it’s not only about transforming the bicycle into a vehicle of innovation, but it’s about improving village life with affordable, quality products.
Project Website »


Biography

Founder of Global Cycle Solutions, an organization developing and selling appropriate tech in the form of bicycle add-ons. Jodie Wu is founder and CEO of Global Cycle Solutions and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Before GCS, Jodie worked with Parsons and GE and spent eight years working in a family business. In 2008, she made her first trip to Tanzania where she soon realized that she could play a larger role in development through the creation of simple, appropriate technologies. She led the product design team that designed GCS’ first prototype of the Bicycle Maize Sheller in 2008, and in 2009, she led GCS to win the Development Track of the MIT 100K Business Plan Competition. Jodie moved to work full-time in Tanzania in 2009, and today she continues to lead the GCS team, both in US and Tanzania. She was named Bloomberg BusinessWeek's America's Most Promising Entrepreneurs in 2010 and Forbes' 30 under 30 in Science and Technology in 2011. She is also a 2011 TEDGlobal Fellow. Jodie enjoys playing soccer, camping out in the villages, and seeing her customers' faces light up when they realize that technology is just within their reach.


Fun facts

Favorite meal:
Chinese pot stickers!


Vital Stats

Fellows Class
TEDGlobal 2011
Languages
English
Swahili
Living in
Arusha, Tanzania
Working in
Arusha, Tanzania
Born in
Atlanta, United States
Gender
Female

Contact

Twitter
-
Websites
www.gcstz.com
Blog
gcstz.com/blog-2

My Tags

Recent Blog Posts

View Jodie's blog »