The Youth Innovation Lab (YI-Lab), established in 2016, is a social enterprise with a mission to challenge the TINA (There Is No Alternative) mentality. YI-Lab endeavors to create access to skills, knowledge, and tools for co-creating regenerative and inclusive innovation that cares for people and planet. YI-Lab is committed to solve the most pressing challenges of our society by equipping young people with cutting edge technology.  

The Co-Lab has three broad scopes of work: Education and Capacity building, Community building and Outreach and Professional Services. Through these areas of work, we aim to equip youth with proper experienced mentorship, good networking opportunities, and ample resource

Learn: Education and capability-building

YI-Lab creates a conducive learning environment for young people by providing opportunities to experiment inventive ideas through grassroots level engagement programs. YI-Lab further supports learning by providing access to countless publications, guidelines, researches, and workshop materials. YI-Lab’s flagship initiatives ‘Community Impact Hub’ and annual ‘Youth Innovation Challenge’ provide a space for capacity building, collaboration, and creation as well as a networked platform to help bring these ideas into fruition.

Connect: Outreach and community-building

YI-Lab brings together key stakeholders under one umbrella by creating a robust community of diverse members through its digital platform. This platform connects and promotes integrated solutions for inclusive development with a focus on building technological expertise. Through this initiative, YI-Lab leads way in Nepal’s attempt to digitize community-centric ideas and its implementation.

Serve: Professional Services

YI-Lab’s Portfolio of Professional Services is targeted to aid institutions in their development of a formalized process of functioning rules and guiding principles. YI-Lab’s services and solutions outlast the work of an individual and are designed to survive generational changes in leadership. Through these services, institutions will be equipped with the capabilities to solve complex institutional and leadership challenges and establish a collective formal memory through peer learning and guiding principles.


YI-Lab works to promote local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems through the spirit of volunteerism. It nurtures young talent into ambitious achievers, providing individuals with the tools and understanding to lead the aspirations of the community. In our multifaceted endeavors, the YI-Lab employs an asset and strength-based approach. Existing strengths of a person and assets of the community, particularly social relationships and informal networks are identified and enhanced through our services. We advocate for micro-level, place-based actions and connectivity to drive large-scale change and value creativity, evidence-based research, and diverse knowledge systems. We actively encourage the participation of young women and youths from marginalized groups in our programs to provide diverse and inclusive viewpoints. YI-Lab is flexible in its approach, based on the nature of the task or problem in hand.


YI-Lab uses technology to bridge the gap between societal problems and people. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN, Nepal still has a long way to go. However, even in urban areas, youth do not have decent platforms to work on ideas or channel creative energy in a productive way. The lack of such opportunities leaves many talents wasted and ideas unrealized. YI-Lab is a digital platform that gives Nepali youth an opportunity to come together to work on community-driven initiatives with like-minded people.

Facts & Research

Identifying opportunities to support emerging systems for creating social, economical, and environmental values.

Open Data & Technology

Develop digital tools and information infrastructures for the government, non-government and private sectors. Promote the use of open data.

Spirit of Volunteerism

Engaging young people in tackling challenges of our generation and inspire them to serve their community.

Strategic Innovation

Being committed to grassroots-driven study involving partners in every stage of a project, which involves analyzing, evaluation, monitoring and visualization.


Building capabilities, communities, and ecosystems for achieving regenerative, inclusive, and equitable outcomes.

YI-Lab Advisors
Dr. Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi
Dr. Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi is the former Chief Election Commissioner of India. Dr S Y Quraishi has held several key positions including that of Special Secretary in the Health Ministry, Director General of National AIDS Control Organisation and Director General of Doordarshan. He founded the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu and was its Director between 1993 and 1997.
He has authored numerous books like“An Undocumented Wonder: The Great Indian Election”and“Old Delhi: Living Traditions”. Through his regular writings and media appearance, Dr Quraishi continues to advocate for election reforms and promote democratic principles.
He is known for his special contributions in social sector reforms covering health, education, population, drug abuse, and civil society action. He has made contributions in the fields of Gender, Women & Child Development, HIV/AIDS, Youth and Adolescent issues.
Born in 1947, Dr S Y Quraishi is an IAS officer of the 1971 batch from Haryana cadre and has a Ph.D. in Communication and Social Marketing.
YI-Lab Team
Pradip Khatiwada
Executive Director
Pradip Khatiwada is the Founder and Executive Director at Youth Innovation Lab (YI-Lab)—a not-for-profit social enterprise. He is recognized for his leadership on anti-plastic bag movement and getting legislation on plastic bags ban and leading a Guinness world record attempt for the ‘largest tree hug’ event. His work has received extensive coverage on global media e.g. Daily Mail, The Telegraph, CBS News, ABC, Hindustan times, and Indian Express. He headed Government of Nepal, National Planning Commission and Himalayan Climate Initiatives’ jointly led initiative National Volunteering Program as the National Coordinator. Under his leadership he led a group of 5000 National Volunteers and built 700 resilient homes, distributed relief materials to 15,000+ people and 1000 scholarships in 2015 earthquake affected districts. The New York Times acknowledged his leadership in their special edition ‘The Nepal Catastrophe’, on the Nepal earthquake. 

Pradip earned his post graduation from Tata Institute of Social Sciences -Mumbai, India with focus on Disaster Management and Livelihood Recovery. Before starting YI-Lab, he worked as the researcher at National Science Foundation’s PEER Science project at Kathmandu Living Labs. He is the recipient of 2017 US Department of States’ International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
Sachi Poudyal
Project Manager
Sachi Poudyal is a National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore graduate. Through campus recruitment, she took up the position of a legal manager with ICICI Bank Limited in 2015 and worked as an in-house corporate lawyer for two years in Kolkata. At ICICI, she managed a wide portfolio and focused mainly on corporate lending, bank specific litigation and international banking. Shortly after working in Delhi as a matrimonial lawyer, she moved back to her hometown, Kathmandu to pursue her passion in social justice and academics. As one of the founding members of YI-Lab, she aims to contribute to skill building and access to information. Currently, she is also engaged as a legal researcher in the Supreme Court under Honourable Justice Sapana P. Malla. 
Kumar Paudel

Kumar Paudel is the co-founder at Youth Innovation Lab. He is an engineer with MBA and social science graduate degree. He is also recognized as a certified lead trainer to provide customized training. Kumar is a social entrepreneur, a business mentor and an angel investor with ample knowledge of grassroot level innovations. Leading by examples, he believes that farmers adopting appropriate technology can enhance the productivity and maximize the profitability. He has traveled to over 55 districts of Nepal to understand the potential of the country and unlock opportunities.
In the past, he was engaged in expanding wireless internet to rural villages of Nepal, for which he was awarded  as “Young Scientist for Innovation: Shaping the Future” at International Internet Festival of Young Scientists - 2011 held in Russia. He is also recipient of Silver Award at International Mondialogo Engineering Award – 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany. Kumar worked for the Government of Nepal under Ministry of Industry for two years from 2009-2011 and then quit his job to start his journey as an entrepreneur. He was selected in Rockstart Impact 2015-2016, a 100-day Business Accelerator Program and has traveled to different countries in Europe to pitch his business idea. Currently, he is actively involved in “Project Kailash” that promotes agriculture and tourism in a remote village of Makwanpur district.

Drishti Dahal
Legal Expert
Drishti Dahal is a co-founder of Youth Innovation Lab. She is working to create a legal aid platform for youth within Youth Innovation Lab. An ILS, Pune law graduate, Drishti is committed to provide the best possible legal service. A believer in social justice and legal activism, she is dedicated to the cause of empowerment through her works before the courts as well as in various social projects. Along with a legal perspective, she brings an outside the box problem solving view to the table. She hopes to continue to strive for legal excellence and access to justice. When she is not representing her clients before the court, she is often found creating magic in the kitchen. Passionate about cooking, she believes that little faith and good food can solve any problem in life.

Shaivya Poudyal
HR and Admin
Shaivya Poudyal is a co-founder of Youth Innovation Lab. She demonstrates her management skills as the administrative and finance lead. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Kathmandu University School of Management with a major in Human Resources. As a Psychology major from Fergusson College, Pune University, she is passionate to maximize the potential and understand the psychology of an organization’s most important asset– its people. Her work focuses on building sustainable and beneficial relationships for organizations and individuals. She sees a future in pursuing HR solutions for her clients by helping them build their HR infrastructure through technology, compliance and people, especially for early stage ventures and non-profit organizations. She enjoys taking long bubble baths and playing with her cats in her leisure time.
Sanchita Neupane
Sanchita Neupane’s qualification is an amalgam of engineering and social science with a focus on resilient infrastructure, community based disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, resilience to hazards, hydrological sciences, flood modeling and climate change adaptation. She has a background in civil engineering and is a Chevening scholar, foreign and common wealth, UK with Masters in Risk from Durham University. Professional competencies stem from working as both technical and business support resource person for private organisations, non-governmental organisations and academic institutions. She has the experience of working extensively in the sector of hydropower, housing and flood early warning system.
Ankita Shah
Ankita is currently pursuing her masters in Crisis Management from Tribhuvan University institute of Crisis Management. Having done her bachelors in Advertising and Public Relations from Stamford International University, Thailand, she has an experience of working in this field for two years. It has always been her aspiration to be able to contribute to the nation, be it an individual, a group or a community in any way possible and to make a positive change.

At YI-Lab, she is currently based in National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), for Disaster Information Management System. She jointly works with the officials in NEOC as a focal person for coordination and conduct meetings with sectoral ministries and departments for relevant data collection to be incorporated in the DIMS.

Having worked in a service sector, communication comes naturally to her. A positive person by nature, Ankita loves to learn new things every day. A hard-worker and multi-tasker, she is dedicated to her work and is always ready for new challenges in her professional as well as personal life. Her sole urge to give back to the society and determination to do so is what she offers to this organization. Besides work, she loves adventure, meeting new people, live-music, travelling and exploring her spiritual side.
Niroj Panta
Niroj is a humanitarian and development practitioner interested in the use of digital technologies and innovation to solve the complex environmental and humanitarian problems. Experienced in emergency response, disaster risk reduction, geospatial analysis, ICT4D and data4good initiatives, he thrives to bridge the existing divide between development and technology practitioners. His core competencies include Risk Assessment, Risk Management, Information Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, and Project Management. His technical expertise includes Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Mobile Technologies and ICTs, Open Data, Tableau, and R Programming. He earned his Master's degree in Risk, Disaster and Resilience from University College London (UCL), UK and bachelors in Geomatics Engineering from Kathmandu University, Nepal. He is recipient of prestigious UK Government funded 2017/18 Chevening Scholarship.  
Reena Bajracharya
DRR Officer

Reena Bajracharya is a professional in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. She has Master degree in Disaster Risk Management & Climate Change Adaptation from Lund University, Sweden and bachelor degree in Environmental Science from Kathmandu University, Nepal. She has working experience with different international humanitarian organizations in South Asia, specifically in Nepal and Bangladesh. In Nepal, she was extensively involved in the post disaster response and recovery after Nepal Earthquake 2015 whereas in Bangladesh, she worked with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in flood response 2017 and coastal disaster risk reduction. She also worked as expert consultant to different institutions in the field of disaster management. Her key expertise includes VCA (Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment), Emergency Response, Disaster Risk Reduction, Risk Assessment, Data management, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Project management.

Akshya Kumar Shrestha
Technical Coordinator

Akshya holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Islington College (London Metropolitan University). During his college years, he developed a great passion for turning concepts into reality through the use of code. Now his core skills include Python, Django, Java and Artificial Intelligence. Prior to joining YI lab, he has worked on notable Python/Django projects. His real-time experience with the IT world paired with his hard work has shaped the perfectionist in him. His portfolio showcases his expertise in AI and Machine learning as well. An IoT and Robotics enthusiast, Akshya has a penchant for embracing the techy life. He loves to get his hands dirty with all kinds of development and systems administration.


He is currently stationed as technical coordinator at the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) for Disaster Information Management System. As a technical coordinator, he enjoys ensuring that things run smoothly and creates operation strategies to keep his team on-track.


Akshya likes to stay connected to the virtual world and is an explorer of ever-changing technology landscapes. Privately, he is a calm geek with eclectic music taste. After hours, he loves sketching life-like portraits and honing his photography skills.

Eco Trends, Lead

Binaya Poudel leads Eco Trends, a socially responsible business accelerated by Youth Innovation Lab. 

She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from National College, Kathmandu University. Her current academic research interest is in the field of environment and economics. 

She is a passionate Entrepreneur; She is always busy thinking about developing sustainable businesses. She is also actively engaged with youth projects and likes to encourage young people on innovation. Having been a Toastmaster for the last 2 years she advocates on environmental issues and policy reform whenever she gets an opportunity. She visions of eradicating single-use plastics from Nepal. She is currently selling paper straws all over Nepal and planning to introduce other environment friendly products in the market. In her free time, she likes to travel and watch movies. 



The YI-Lab is a collaborative platform and experimental pop-up to catalyze and mobilize the creative energy of young people between 15-29 to co-create solutions for inclusive development.


Tukucha Marg, Gairidhara, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal


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