What Works

Urban Innovations that work

WhatWorks is a series of dynamic presentations by pioneering urban innovators from around the world. Each one has six minutes to tell us about a project they are leading to tackle one of the great urban challenges of our time. Come and hear their stories and discover what works in cities.

Click here to read blogs from our WhatWorks community

Suraj Gudka, Co-founder, SokoText

Suraj comes from an entrepreneurial Indian family. He was born and brought up in Nairobi and has a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics.


Gamal Abinsaid, Founder, Garbage Clinical Insurance

Gamal Abinsaid is a young doctor who was inspired to set up the micro-insurance program which empowers people to take an active role in managing their waste and improving their sanitation.


Tomi Alakoski, Executive Director, Me & MyCity

Tomi Alakoski is the founder and Executive Director of the award-winning learning concept Me & MyCity. Mr. Alakoski has an academic background in pedagogics and education, with Master of Arts (Education) from the University of Tampere.


Emily Brooke, CEO & Founder, Blaze

Physicist - bicyclist - Designer - entrepreneur. Emily began reading Physics at Oxford University but left to pursue Design in Brighton and Milan, before winning an entrepreneurial scholarship in America.


Rose Broome, Co-founder & CEO, HandUp

Rose is the co-founder and CEO of HandUp, a crowdfunding site for homeless people and neighbors in need. 100% of donations on go toward basics like food, medical care, and housing through partnering social service organizations.


Nadiem Makarim, CEO, GO-JEK

Nadiem Makarim is the founder of GO-JEK, which he began in August of 2010 and formally launched in February of 2011. Nadiem holds a BA from Brown University (2006) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Prashant Mehra, Founder, I Got Garbage

Prashant is a Social Intrapreneur at Mindtree, working in the area of Livelihood. His chosen vehicles for change are waste management, small farmer agriculture, and community inclusion towards problem solving.


Jason Pomeroy, Founding Principal, Pomeroy Studio

Prof. Jason Pomeroy is an award-winning British registered architect, masterplanner and academic at the forefront of the sustainable built environment agenda. He graduated with distinction from the Canterbury School of Architecture and Cambridge University, and is the Founding Principal of Pomeroy Studio.


Jessica Ruas Quartara, Co-Creator, Air Huerta

Jessica Ruas is Marketing Director of UTEC (Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología), the most innovative university in Peru focused on engineering programs. Ms. Ruas has an important academic background in Social Communication and Marketing. She has worked for more than 10 years in education sector, expanding access to quality higher education.


Etienne Turpin, Co-Principal Investigator, PetaJakarta

Etienne Turpin is a philosopher studying, designing, curating, and writing about complex urban systems, political economies of data and infrastructure, aesthetics and visual culture, and Southeast Asia colonial-scientific history.


Marion Waller, Lead Advisor, Reinventing Paris

Marion works as an advisor to the Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of urban planning, architecture, attractiveness and the Greater Paris projects. She also advises the Deputy Mayor on the recently launched "Reinventing Paris" initiative.