Meet the yet2 Team – Megan Waldock
This is one in a series of blog posts where we highlight members of the global yet2 team. We recently spoke with Megan Waldock, a project leader currently in our Boston office. Megan has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Baylor University and a Masters in Sustainable Solutions from Arizona State University. She will be moving and establishing our Houston office within the next few months.
What technologies excite you right now?
I’m very interested in sustainability. In many ways it has become synonymous with environmentalism, but there’s much more to it. Sustainability is about balancing the outcomes of environmental, economic and social activities. How do you come up with solutions that balance all three? In my opinion, technology-based approaches are the only way we will come close to achieving a sustainable future. For those of us who work in the technology sector, it is very important to consider how technology can bring about a sustainable future.
Are there industries or markets that interest you?
I was in the Peace Corps in Africa during my graduate degree program. It gave me the opportunity to be in both Guinea and Senegal. Unfortunately, my stint in Guinea was cut short. I was there during the height of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. As a result, we were evacuated pretty quickly. My time in Africa gave me a greater awareness of the technological challenges in developing countries, and I like to keep my eye out for innovative solutions that could make an impact in developing countries.
I am really interested in how science, technology, and innovation systems function in a developing economy. Right now, we’re seeing African start-ups getting more funding – from VCs, governments, etc., in countries like Nigeria and Uganda. Developing countries are largely left out of the world economies. These companies are starting to become part of bigger ecosystems and that’s very cool. If you look at the list of top African startups to watch, you’ll see there is a lot of interest in and action around fintech and agriculture solutions – both of which address the unique conditions in Africa. There are also some emerging companies working on AI and healthcare innovations.
One of my favorite examples is the NeoNurture project from Design That Matters. I learned about it while reading Steven Johnson’s book, “Where Good Ideas Come From.” A doctor was visiting a developing country when he noticed several very expensive infant incubators just sitting in a corner. They had been donated from a developed country. When asked about them, the staff informed the doctor that they were broken or difficult to use. It turned out the instructions weren’t translated into their language, they had no access to replacement parts, and they rarely had consistent power to run them. Design That Matters created a new infant incubator made entirely of locally available car parts. The hospital now had incubators that were intentionally designed with their environment in mind.
What types of client projects do you enjoy the most?
I love technology scouting projects. I get to see what is in the market – or not yet in the market – that is pushing the limits of what technology can do and how we can use it. That leads to discussions with our clients about how they can play a role in expanding those limits. This often results in different types of partnerships, co-development, and more.
You are looking at moving soon and establishing yet2’s office in Houston. Tell us about that.
I’m originally from Texas. After two years of dealing with New England winters and trying to find good Tex-Mex food, it’s time to go home! Seriously, though, Houston is a strategic market for yet2. We have significant experience in the energy market, and Texas is the energy capital of the world. NASA, one of our clients, is also based in Houston.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I like taking walks and hanging out with my dog Rhett. My love of Rhett, and pets in general, has also led me to be interested in the developments in the emerging pet-technology market.
Keep up-to-date with Megan’s clients and projects by visiting our active projects page on the yet2 website.
Meet other members of the yet2 team: