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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.


Youth

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.

Youth

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.

Advocacy

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

Youth
YI-Lab Team
Dr. Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi
Advisor

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.

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).

Kumar Paudel
Director - Finance and Admin

Kumar Paudel is the co-founder at Youth Innovation Lab. He is an engineer, a MBA (Entrepreneurship) and social science graduate. Kumar is a social entrepreneur, a start-up business mentor and an angel investor with ample knowledge of grassroot level innovations. He is also a certified lead trainer to provide customized trainings. 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
Human Resource

Shaivya Poudyal is a co-founder of Youth Innovation Lab. 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.
 

Reena Bajracharya
Program Manager

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.

Arun Kumar Mandal
Tech Lead - Sr. Backend Developer

Arun has worked as a professional software developer at various startups and large organizations. He has strong skill sets to develop web technologies, mobile applications and API. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Purbanchal University School of Engineering and Technology, Biratnagar, Nepal.

He has also incorporated machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing technologies in numerous in-house and outsourced projects. He likes investing in research and development, and studying new technology.

Angela Tamrakar
DRR Research

Angela Tamrakar is a Civil-Structural Engineer by profession. She has a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Tongji University, Shanghai, China. She specializes in earthquakes and building structures. She has carried out various research works during her academic life and professional career, mostly themed around the principles of 'Build Back Better'. She has contributed to projects relating to the post-disaster response and recovery after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake while working in agencies like the UNESCO Kathmandu Office and the UN-Habitat Nepal. Throughout her professional career, she has worked together with various government stakeholders in the national and local levels, academic institutions as well as with the local people in the community.

Ankur Acharya
Sr. Frontend Web Developer

Ankur is a senior frontend developer with a master’s degree in systems and control from University of London. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering, from the University of East London, earning first class honor. He began his professional career in UK by working with iconic British brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Bentley and Rolls Royce. He also has the experience working with different Nepalese startups and IT consulting companies. He loves to face technical challenges and solve problems collaboratively with team spirit.

Besides being an IT professional, he is also fond of playing guitar, practicing yoga and spending time in nature. He finds his peace in promoting the welfare of others and creating a better world. He regularly volunteers for charities, fund-raising events and other support activities.

Alina Khatiwada
DRR Research and Communication

Alina Khatiwada is an environment professional and also has multiple years of experience as a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management professional. Disaster has always been her primary topic of interest and her keen interests are with research, policies and frameworks in DRRM.

She had her masters in Environmental Science with specialization in DRM & Mountain environment from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, and on her way to get her law degree from Nepal Law Campus, Kathmandu. Her experience spans projects for private institutions, government authorities and international organizations, with her key expertise in Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (VCA) & LDCRP, Survey design, Hazards and risk assessment. She is also a GIS enthusiast and creates beautiful and functional maps.

Alina is an avid traveler and an orophile. Her love towards the nature and compassion towards fellow human being has been a huge source of inspiration in working in the field of environment and DRRM.

Bijaya Sharma
Project Coordinator

Bijaya Sharma is project coordinator for Disaster Risk Reduction Young Leaders Fellowship project. She is an Environment graduates and holds experience in managing multiple pilot projects.  Ms. Sharma has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science specialization in Mountain environment from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has an experience working with various research-based institutions including like ICIMOD, Sustainable Infrastructure Development Foundation (SIDeF), Association for the Development of Environment and People in transition (Adapt-Nepal) and ENPHO. She has been involved in several research projects related to livelihood enhancement through community empowerment. She has prior experience working with the Government of Nepal and and other international funding agencies. She has presented paper in national has presented paper in various National and International conferences. She enjoy exploring new places and learning about the cultures there.

Nabanit Koirala
Web Developer

Nabanit is an Engineer with multiple years of experience in the telecom sector of Nepal. IT and telecommunication has always been his primary field of work while he is driven by keen interests in software development and network security. Nabanit is graduate in Bachelor in electronics and communication engineering from Purbanchal University School of Engineering and Technology, Biratnagar. He also has experience on health sector working as a Biomedical Engineer, and in his early career he also worked as a secondary level school teacher.

He has travelled more than 45 districts of Nepal. He has local knowledge of different parts of Nepal, especially eastern, western and central region.

Goma Karki
Fellowship Coordinator

Goma is an environmental and sustainability enthusiast who aspires to influence communities to move towards sustainability. She is not new to the concept of DRRM. With her work in environmental research, she has touched upon DRR issues, and she is looking forward to learning more.

Goma has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Mathematics from Hollins University, Virginia, USA. While completing her Bachelor's degree, she did a semester abroad in Cambodia where she lived with communities whose livelihoods were highly vulnerable to climate change. This experience ignited her interest in environmental research and sustainability and led her path to the Netherlands where she completed her Master's degree in Sustainability Science and Policy. This journey further extended to Uganda where she carried her thesis research exploring the sustainability initiative from the producing countries in the South through the case study of Uganda Coffee Platform.

Goma also has multiple years of experience in organizing events and managing them as a Resident assistant. What she loved about that position was the connection and understanding she was able to build with her residents. She is excited about her role as Fellowship Coordinator as it perfectly marries her interest in working with people to build resilient communities.

Biplav Adhikari
Backend Web Dveloper

Biplav is a professional backend developer. He achieved his bachelor's degree from Tribhuvan University. He has numbers of high performing software products under his belt and has experience of working in different industries and projects. Biplav’s notable experience include working with different Nepalese online medias like Ratopati, ThahaKhabar, Ujyalo and developing of Nepalese music app, Noodle.

He is a techie having great passion on music and is an advocator of lossless forms of music consumption. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar and composing new tunes, and finds his happiness in playing football and supporting Tottenham Hotspur.

Tshering Doma Sherpa
HR and Admin Associate

Tshering Doma Sherpa is an HR and Admin associate. She received Magna Cum Laude in MBA from Westcliff University, California having specialization in Human Resources Management. She completed her BBM degree from Bangalore University.

Apart from an HR professional, she has been involved in various national and international cultural and fashion events, receiving several achievements. Many of these were featured in daily Indian newspapers. As a college student in Bangalore, she won first prize in international fashion. And was included in advertising for a French brand.

She values being in nature, believes in the concept of sustainability and minimalism, and is intrigued by topics and practices that enhance her holistic health.

She is an old soul with young heart.

Binaya Poudel
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. 

 

YOUTH INNOVATION LAB

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.

CONTACT INFO

Banshidhar Marga, Bishalnagar, KMC-5, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal

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