Our Team

A multi-disciplinary collaboration

Ester Barinaga – Principal Investigator

Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Lund University, School of Economics and Management. She also holds a Professorship at the Copenhagen Business School. She is interested in concepts and strategies that may help us better design organizations aiming at building more inclusive cities. She has previously worked with microfinance and collective mural art as methods to empower communities and build the city from below. Her current work focuses on community currencies as a method to build more resilient communities and more inclusive cities.

Michael Oloko –Co Principal Investigator

Senior lecturer and researcher at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST). He has PhD. Agricultural Engineering (Egerton University), MSc.in Water Resources Engineering (University of Dar es Salaam) and BSc in Agricultural Engineering-Egerton University. His current research interests include; environmental engineering, integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Renewable Energy Technology, Urban Agriculture and Waste Management within Informal Settlements. He is a Co-Principal Researcher in the GFIIEG .

Maria José Zapata Campos

 Associate professor, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg


Maureen Achieng– Project Coordinator

 Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with a major in Sociology and minors in Anthropology and Information Technology. Maureen also holds a Diploma in Business Technical Education Program (BTEP) – Tourism Management option from the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) with vast experience in community development activities in Kenya and Somalia.


Will Ruddick

 Co-founder of Grassroots Economics a non-profit foundation that seeks to empower marginalized communities to take charge of their own livelihoods and economic future. We have implemented community currencies using blockchain technology in 11 locations across Kenya to enable more than 5,000 small businesses take an active role in their own economy and development. We are currently working to educate and scale these solutions together with humanitarian and technology partners worldwide. 

Richard Kiaka– Post Doctoral Reseacher

 He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology (Universität Hamburg), MSc. in International Development Studies (Wagenigen University) and BSc. in Environmental Studies and Community Development (Kenyatta University). He has interest in research that explores institutional dynamics in community resource governance. Richard is experienced in participatory research and learning. 

John Chweya Xavier–Field Officer

 BA in Journalism and Mass Media part-time student in Maseno University and  a multimedia storyteller with text, video and photographs.

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