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Do you know how many people in the world are physically isolated from their basic needs? In this episode, I sit with Avery Bang and Devin Connell from Bridges to Prosperity to learn how they are connecting millions of people by building pedestrian bridges in some of the most remote areas of Africa and South America.
Avery and Devin are doing some amazing work with these communities with Bridges to Prosperity, and they shared interesting stories on how they are building all of these bridges. Some fascinating facts from our conversation include the use of manual labor to build the bridges (as opposed to using big equipment like we normally use in the US), the procurement of material and how they recycle steel cables for their bridges, and the impact a single bridge has on these communities.
I have volunteered a lot of my time with Engineers Without Borders in the past and have made two trips to Bolivia and one to Puerto Rico to help those communities with their water management and distributing problems, so I value tremendously the work Bridges to Prosperity is doing to help connect communities. I have been following the work that Bridges to Prosperity does for a little while now, and it is tremendously important for our society. In my own experience, working with these small communities has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever.
I hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Engineers Week!
Avery Bang is the President and CEO of Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), a social enterprise that provides isolated communities with access to essential health care, education, and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers. Under her leadership, B2P has connected over one million people around the world, while being recognized as one of the top 10 social enterprises in the world by Classy. Avery was named one of ENR’s Newsmakers, was selected as one of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) top ten engineers under 30, and later received the prestigious ASCE President’s Medal. She was featured in the IMAX film Dream Big and has spoken on stages ranging from TED to the UN. She has been recognized with the coveted Mulago Foundation Rainer Arnhold Fellowship and the GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group) Social Impact Fellowship and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Aspen chapter. Avery is a Distinguished Alumni of The University of Iowa, where she completed degrees in Studio Art and Civil Engineering, and The University of Colorado at Boulder, where she completed a MSc in Geotechnical Engineering. She earned an MBA from The University of Oxford, where she was nominated by her peers as a graduation speaker, and she received an honorary doctorate degree from Clarkson University.
Devin Connell oversees the Corporate Partnership Program at B2P. Devin is passionate about connecting the engineering and construction industry with infrastructure work in international development. He currently manages over 40 partnerships with AEC companies that support B2P’s mission both financially and in-kind. Devin joined Bridges to Prosperity in 2015 as the Panama Program Manager and has since overseen operations and partnerships in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Uganda, and Rwanda. He has a degree in Civil Engineering from Portland State University. Devin currently lives in Denver, Colorado and spends his spare time biking, climbing, and skiing the mountains around the state.
In this episode you will learn
Connect with Avery, Devin, & Bridges to Prosperity
Music by Jack Winders
Intro: Midwest Folks
Outro: Southern Skies
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