Community & International Development

  • Surya Karki led the Diyalo Foundation to provide earthquake relief, expand education and fund housing rebuilding in Nepal. He raised $3,000,000 to build roughly 2 dozen new schools.

  • Nafisa Mohammadi created Mending Walls to export  custom embroidered pieces from women in Afghanistan to markets abroad.
  • Saren Peetz expanded R Project, a collaborative organization focused on revitalizing the economy on Mount Desert Island through community scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. R Project is inspired by the initiatives undertaken in the carbon negative island of Samsø, Denmark.

  • Cayla Moore consulted for Island Housing Trust (IHT), a privately funded non-profit working to promote viable year-round communities by advancing affordable workforce housing on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Arts & Creative Economy

  • Artist Robin Owings merged the realms of science and art and explored multiple venues for making her art a career by presenting her work online, in local galleries, museums and other venues.

  • Luke Madden expanded his independent video and photography business, focusing on introducing his short film, Reasonable Doubt, to larger audiences.


  • Leland DeWalt created a wilderness adventure education program called Peak Pursuits  to counter outdoor deficit disorder in children. Peak Pursuits took students into Acadia National Park and other locations where its curriculum helped young people appreciate unplugged experiences in the outdoors.    

Food Systems

  • Matthew Doyle Olson created MDO Consulting to build community consensus around sustainable food systems and finding solutions to food sourcing issues.

  • Juan Olmedo founded La Coyotera, an organic agave farm and production facility in Mexico.

  • Evan Griffiths developed the concept for H-Bone Productions, a mobile slaughterhouse providing a more humane and cost-effective means of getting meat onto your table.

  • Stevie Przekora DuFresne explored a farm business model that helps young farmers overcome the obstacles of land ownership, high capital costs and the lack of support network associated with founding a farm.

Renewable Energy

  • Nick Harris established Gourmet Butanol, a venture that converts food waste to butanol, providing gasoline for cars and home heating oil.

  • Lisa Bjerke and Alex Pine consulted with Mount Desert Island Clean Energy Partners  and erected one of the first solar car charging station in Maine.

  • Jake Weisberg grew Vegmatics by designing and engineering key parts of a kit to convert diesel automobiles to run on used vegetable oil.

Sustainable Business

  • Jordan Motzkin founded Big Box Farms and sought patents for his disruptive urban agricultural technology.

  • Jose Merlo and Alan Fernald started Bike Revolution, a cycle-taxi business providing an alternative means of transportation in Bar Harbor, Maine during the peak tourist season.


  • Nathan Thanki strengthened [earth] (pronounced, “Earth in Brackets”), an active student organization covering and advocating in the areas of climate change and international environmental policy.
  • Noah Hodgetts developed the concept for MDI 2030: to bring together officials and planners from the four towns on the island and Acadia National Park for comprehensive and integrated sustainability planning.