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Anthropose eyewear: Building an effective after-use plastic economy, empowering single women, eye health and public school system.

Recycled eyewear manufactured by single women to eradicate cataract induced blindness and provide remedial education in Nepal.

Photo of Suraj Shrestha
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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional insights gathered from Beneficiary Feedback in this field

Please check the attachment section.

Why does the target community define this problem as urgent and/or a priority? How is the idea leveraging and empowering community assets to help create an environment for success? (1000 characters)

**Please find the result of the survey we conducted in the attachment section**
From the survey conducted it was reflective that the target community understands and is aware of the problems in hand and its global impact, its inter-relation and how it impacts them on an individual level. It is also apparent from answers that we received, that the target community is frustrated by the status quo and demands a better/new alternative to it. We deduced the urgency for pollution eradication was its impact on global scale and its visible signs and impact. As for other identified issues, the long dragging of inefficient and ineffective status quo in the public/government is the reason why people believe it needs to resolved urgently.
The project leverages the fact that in a heavily import based economy, providing economical locally produced goods can succeed and the current trend of promoting local brands among the consumers by creating a win-win situation for all the stakeholders.

How does the idea fit within the larger ecosystem that surrounds it? Urgent needs are usually a symptom of a larger issue that rests within multiple interrelated symptoms - share what you know about the context surrounding the problem you are aiming to solve. (500 characters)

The bigger issue that engulfs Nepal is locally powered sustainability. Weak education system fuels the lack of empowerment among the populations which acts as an catalyst to promote migration in search of unskilled labor opportunities, impacting the workforce available to Nepal impairing its growth and fuel its heavy dependence on imported goods and services causing trade deficit. Plastic - a valuable resource, on the other hand is discarded without proper disposal resulting in pollution.

How does the idea affect or change the fundamental nature of the larger ecosystem that surrounds it (as described above) in a new and/or far-reaching way? (500 characters)

Like the issues in hand are interrelated, the suggested idea too creates a wave of impact on each level of operation tackling each identified issue. The solution takes into account the inter-dependence & intra-dependence of the resources available to each entity in the solution chain where the social & monetary benefit outweigh the cost by creating employment opportunities, reducing pollution, introducing innovation, investing in the future by investing in education and boosting local production

What will be different within the target community as a result of implementing the idea? What is the scope and scale of that difference? How long will it take to see that difference and how will it be sustained beyond BridgeBuilder support? (500 characters)

We target to process 6 tonnes of plastic waste in the first year of operation producing eyewears, employ and empower 40 single women, provide 1,500 cataract surgeries and enroll 1,500 students into remedial education courses. Our estimated timeline is 24 months with +6 months as buffer period for unforeseen circumstances. We plan to sustain the impact through retained profit from the venture and expanding product portfolio, revenue streams and venturing out to B2B channels.

How has the idea evolved or responded to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase and any further insights provided if you participated in the Expert Feedback Phase? (1000 characters)

With already identified issues, one major hypotheses we assumed was "That single women would want to be financial independent than any aspect". Of all the hypotheses, we were bit skeptical this would come true. Upon conducting interviews with few single women, our hypotheses was confirmed. With live interviews, to surveys all of our major hypotheses have turned out positive, hence, the idea hasn't changed but definitely evolved in terms goal settings.

We look forward to the expert feedback phase.

What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years? (You can attach a timeline or GANTT chart in place of a written plan, if desired.) (1000 characters)

Please check the Gantt chart in the attachment section.

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (Feel free to share an organizational chart or visual description of your team). (500 characters)

This project will be lead by Suraj Shrestha. He is the CEO| Founder of Anthropose eyewear. His team of 9 will manage and execute the project in collaboration with Women's for Human Rights, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology and Changing Stories Nepal.
Please check the attached image for detailed delineation of roles and responsibilities.

What aspects of the idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (500 characters)

BridgeBuilder fund will primarily be focused in establishing the research unit, establishing manufacturing unit, hiring and training personnels, and executing communication programs.

In preparation for our Expert Feedback Phase: What are three unanswered questions or challenges that you could use support on in your project? These questions will be answered directly by experts matched specifically to your idea and needs.

1. What aspects or necessary outcomes am I overlooking that, in your opinion, would enhance the outcomes?
2. What advice would you recommend when conducting the first phase of my research to understand plastic behaviors?
3. Creating a friendly yet efficient workplace is my objective, however at times the ideas are at friction, in your personal experience what precise advice would you give to create such workplace?

Final Updates (*Please do not complete until we reach the Improve Phase*): How has the idea evolved or responded to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase and any further insights provided if you participated in the Expert Feedback Phase? (1000 characters)

1. Updated our working model to improve its scalability based on expert feedback.
2. Adjusted our targeted scope of impact and scope of work in accordance to the changes made to the model.
3. Conducted survey to establish product/market fit as it impacted our scope of work and impact.
4. Adjusted our go-to-market strategy considering point 2 and 3.
5. Identified strategic partners, as per the changes made to the project model.
6. Identified potential hires and team mates

During this Improve Phase, please use the space below to add any additional information to your proposal.

The improve phase and expert feedback sent us back to the drawing board. Our model evolved after the expert feedback. Our expert, Charles, raised his concern about the scope of our project, its impact and its scalability. This got us thinking about our scope of work and scope of impact. We were certain that we didn't want to reduce our scope of impact, thus, iterated our scope of work. Our model evolved by eliminating the waste collection unit and adding strategic partners to fulfill this unit of the project. This translated to resources being more focused towards processing the waste and expanding the market for the products. Upon doing a hypothetical scenario analysis, our scope of impact grew by 140% in plastic recycling and processing & 20% in cataract surgeries and providing remedial education in the first year. However, the scope of impact on employing single women dropped by approximately 33% which we are certain would come to par, as initially proposed, by 3rd year of operation.
**Please review the attached image for the final model for the proposed project.**
**After the iteration in the model, we have identified few organizations that specialize in waste collection with whom we intend to build strategic alliance to fulfill the first aspect of our supply chain.**
The 1st year project timeline has been updated accordingly on the attachment section below.

Note that you may also edit any of your previous answers within the proposal. Here is a great place to note any big final changes or iterations you have made to your proposal below:

We have updated our targeted scope of impact on the answer above& updated our project timeline in accordance to the iterations made to the project model.

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Anthropose proposes to build a scalable inclusive after-use plastic (circular) economy where discarded plastics will be recycled into fashionable eye wear crafted by single women who are discriminated against in the society, ultimately also contributing towards strengthening eye health and public school education.
The idea is to initially establish a pilot in Kathmandu, Nepal that can be scaled to rest of the world while empowering and strengthening respective local economy, environment and marginalized community.
So, what exactly is the problem?
PLASTICS. POVERTY. POOR EDUCATION.
Plastics, no doubt is one of the most loved builders’ material of the modern economy. So much so, that annually 311 million metric tonnes of it is produced globally. 78 million metric tonnes of it is one-time use plastic packaging material alone. According to the World Economic Forum, of the 78 million tonnes, only 14% make it to the recycling plants; 40% end up in landfills and 32% find its way to the natural ecosystem, primarily to the ocean.
Nepal is no different. 16% of the urban waste in Nepal is plastic or plastic packaging materials. Kathmandu valley alone produces 500 tonnes of plastic waste everyday, while still the trend to import virgin plastic pellets is on the rise.
At GDP per capita of $723.50, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. As per the data from the World Bank, 14.99% and 48.44% of the Nepalese population lived under $1.90 per day and $3.10 per day respectively.
Majority of the students enrolled in primary level don’t make it to the post secondary and/or tertiary level as they drop out school considering their level of proficiency in the fundamentals.
In synopsis, creating a circular economy with a vertically integrated system that begins with processing plastic waste, designing & manufacturing proprietary eyewear, empowering marginalized community and ultimately giving back to enhance eye health care and public school system

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are marginalized single women who have been widowed and their families, people from marginalized community who have lost or on the verge of losing their eyesight to cataract and cannot afford the surgery, students in grades 3-6 with weak fundamentals who are prone to dropping out of the school system in Kathmandu, Nepal.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Anthropose has been working in the eye wear industry, eye health care sector and education sector for the past 4 years. With a deep understanding of the manufacturing processes, skills required, experience of working with world class giving partners to create impact and already existing market for the products, we have materialized a significant portion of the plan till date. Hence, our approach is promising.
 
The idea of merging planet and prosperity requires ambitious projects to be undertaken. Clearly, isolating operational areas and field of work has been the status-quo, however, creating a vertically integrated circular economy creates efficiency, a controlled impact stream, trackable and transparent cost/operational centres, a closed loop operations and reduced wasteful production.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Anthropose is a for-profit social-good eyewear brand working towards eradicating cataract induced blindness in Nepal since 2014 and initiated funding remedial courses in rural Nepal supporting weakly performing students who without the support would be prone to dropping out of the school system starting 2018.
http://www.anthropose.com
http://www.intl.anthropose.com

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Anthropose germinated out of a personal dissatisfaction of how Nepal’s identity was only limited to Mt. Everest and Lord Buddha. How we were always “one of the poorest nations” in the world, despite having capable resources. Realization of not having an identity beyond what was given to us by nature and not worked for, misguided perception among the youth in regards to the opportunities in the country, high migration rate, social issues & helplessness amalgamated to inspire Anthropose.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

As per the data from the World Bank, 14.99% and 48.44% of the Nepalese population lived under $1.90 per day and $3.10 per day respectively.
Of the entire population above 15 years of age 7.83 million had no education; 4.67 million and 7.69 million completed primary and secondary level of education respectively and only 1.46 million had completed tertiary level of education.
16% of the urban waste in Nepal is plastic or plastic packaging materials. In 2012, Nepal produced 2.7 tonnes of plastic daily, that is 985.5 tonnes annually, while the trend to import virgin plastic pellets is on the rise.
By creating a solution based on principles of circular economy, our project touches bases with minimizing plastic pollution; economic prosperity for empowered single women by directly employing them, empowering the rest by providing vision and education which directly impacts economical prosperity of the individuals and creating a sustainable business that contributes to the economy.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We are already in partnership with Dr. Sanduk Ruit and his team at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal. Dr. Ruit, personally is responsible for more than 120,000 sight restoring cataract surgeries worldwide, which has been boon to Anthropose. For executing our remedial education, we are in partnership with the dynamic team of Changing Stories Nepal.

For the proposed action plan of employing single women, we intend to work with Women for Human Rights - an NGO that has been active more than two decades in empowering women through trainings and lobbying for pro legislations supporting single women. Post earthquake Anthropose and Women for Human Rights worked in tandem to provide support and relief, where our partnership fostered.

For the manufacturing aspect, our current partner who manufacture all of our current inventory would be brought in to partnership.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Nepal is a resilient country with even more resilient communities. People despite having lost heir eyesight, poor education or discriminated by the society have always stood their grounds for themselves. However, due to lack of platforms and opportunities the resilient often become hopeless. It's equally true that with a slight nudge and support system they quickly out grow their own strength and paving way for the ones behind them.

Geographic Focus

We target Nepal as our benefactor region.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Our estimated project timeline is 30 months which comprises of initial setup, training, human resources, prototyping and final production.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No
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Attachments (4)

Updated project timeline 1st year.xlsx

This is updated projected timeline after the improve phase.

User feedback (Responses) - Form Responses 1.pdf

User responses from the survey conducted

USER EXPERIENCE MAP.pdf

User experience map for identified users and beneficiaries

Plastic waste(1).png

This is a schematic of the proposed model.

32 comments

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Photo of Charles Zulanas
Team

This is a great idea of creating a circular economy through the use of plastics to drive societal change. You have considered many of the stakeholders in the process, though I am concerned that by expanding your scope to so many different areas that you may limit your future impact and scalability.
I'm confused by your question 2. What advice would you recommend when conducting the first phase of my research to understand plastic behaviors?
Are you asking for the types of plastic you would need to make your glasses or best practices in how to conduct a research project?
I really like your idea and wish for your success!

Photo of Suraj Shrestha
Team

Hello Charles Zulanas !
Thank you for the feedback and the concern. Please give me a chance to present my case.
Upon first glance, yes, the scope of impact may seem to have too many stakeholders. However, they are all a part of one single system. Although recycling plastic to manufacture end consumer goods in itself could be the entire scope of impact of the project, it is important to understand that there aren't many examples where recycled plastics are being used to manufacture end consumer products in Nepal. With successful implementation of the recycling aspect, we would have to train local workforce to execute and operate the plant. In doing so, since we have to train and empower the locals, we want to focus on providing the same training to single women who are marginalized in the community; eventually empowering them. As for our cataract surgeries and remedial education, with successful for-profit social-good model, this would become a direct result and beneficiary areas from the profit generated which we are already implementing at Anthropose.

The thought process here is to create impact on every level of operation by integrating and seeking possible beneficiaries where the investment would have to be made anyway. I believe this would create a efficient use of the fund. Please advise what you think of the thought process?

As for my question 2; I was interested in understanding what would an expert's approach be when initiating a research, how would you model the research? I hope I have clarified the confusion and hope to hear back from you.
Once again, I appreciate your time Charles Zulanas
Have an awesome day ahead!

Photo of Charles Zulanas
Team

Suraj Shrestha, I know that in any industry, it doesn't matter the industry, experts will always minimize their scope. What are the risks that you cannot control on this project? How can you minimize these risks?
In doing research in general, the format in academia is based on the scientific method: Introduction, Problem, Proposal (This is also known as a hypothesis. You tell the readers what may happen on the project, because you aren't sure yet. e.g. this project may create positive outcomes for single women in Nepal.), Methodology (steps you will take to measure your success and how you will conduct your research), Research (usually this will include your case study and what you did), Conclusion (summary and a statement on whether you proved your proposal), Recommendations. Most papers on Google Scholar can give you a pretty good indication as to the process: https://scholar.google.com/. Some of the articles are free and others you have to pay for. In my opinion, it is a shame when these groups are purely theoretical and don't have clearly established and measurable outcomes from their research. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Photo of Suraj Shrestha
Team

Hello Charles Zulanas !
Your questions have definitely boosted our risk management strategy for better. I really appreciate your feedback. I will keep in touch if any other queries may arise further. Thank you!!

Photo of Suraj Shrestha
Team

Charles Zulanas Hello! I just wanted to drop by and let you know your concern really made us think through the process and have made changes to our proposal accordingly. When you mentioned the scope of the project, we divided the scope into our scope our operations and scope of impact. We worked on maintaining our scope of impact while reducing of scope of operations. Thank you for your invaluable feedback!!

Photo of Charles Zulanas
Team

I'm glad to hear you are trying to minimize your scope to maximize your impact and value! Best of luck on your proposal!

Photo of Suraj Shrestha
Team

Thank you very much! :)

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