Elevating Impact Stories: Evan Thomas
Leading up to the Elevating Impact Summit on June 21, we’ve invited event speakers and panelists to engage in a storytelling project. We believe that storytelling is an essential part of effective social innovation. How can we tell stories in a way that generates interest and creates connections? How can we listen to the stories of others with the empathy needed to achieve true understanding? We hope that by sharing stories of failure, transformation and success, you’ll learn more about our speakers and the promise and challenges of social innovation.
Evan Thomas answers the question, “What lessons has your work taught you?” with advice on the importance of a multidisciplinary approach:
“I’ve found over and over again that the more willing people are to learn other expertise and be able to speak in the language of other experts, the more successful they are.”
Evan A. Thomas, Ph.D., P.E., is an Assistant Professor and Director of the SWEET (Sustainable Water, Energy and Environmental Technologies) Laboratory, and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Evan works at the interface of engineering, environmental health and social business, with professional experience working in government, industry, non-profits and academia. Evan holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Environmental Engineering in the State of Texas.
Evan is also a social business entrepreneur engaged in global health programs. Evan was a founding volunteer with Engineers Without Borders-USA in 2002, which led to co-founding Manna Energy Limited in 2007. Manna was acquired by DelAgua Health in 2013. In 2012, Evan co-founded SWEETSense Inc., an Oregon technology company co-owned by Portland State University and Manna. Evan is currently the Program Director for DelAgua Health, a social enterprise currently working with the Government of Rwanda Ministry of Health to develop a water treatment and improved cookstove program for 600,000 households.
Evan Thomas is a finalist for the Impact Entrepreneur Award. The winner will be announced at the Elevating Impact Summit on June 21.