For students

World-class training

Impact Lab Fellows receive training from Oxford Faculty, experienced guest speakers, and industry mentors. An interactive 17-week programme helps students to develop a deeper understanding of the SDGs and the skills needed to work collaboratively to advance them. It covers values-based leadership, research for impact, and essential practical skills needed to turn academic insight into real-world change in partnership with business.

Field Lab placement

The programme culminates in a four-week research project at a partner-specific Field Lab at the start of the summer vacation. Students work in teams, engaging with stakeholders and applying research methods to develop project proposals.

Pathway to impact

Students engage with business partners throughout the programme, receiving industry insight and business knowledge that will help to shape their proposals. Successful projects have a direct pathway to impact, leading to real change through partner organisations.

What’s involved

Fellows commit 4 hours per week during Hilary and Trinity terms, three full-day events, and usually five weeks at the start of the summer vacation. Fellows receive a stipend and significant investment in their education.

  • Weekly 2-hour Lab workshops during Hilary and Trinity terms
  • Leadership development centring on values, character, and purpose
  • Seminars from industry leaders and sustainable development experts
  • Individual mentoring
  • 4-week summer placement, or equivalent, at a partner-specific Field Lab

2021/22 Fellows

Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Bessie O'Dell

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Bessie O'Dell

Bessie is a DPhil student in the Oxford Precision Psychiatry Lab (OxPPL) and Neuroscience, Ethics and Society group (NEUROSEC), where her research examines the bioethics of using Artificial Intelligence for the treatment of mental health disorders. As well as neuroscience, she has studied degrees in law and criminology at UCL, Yale, and the University of Cambridge.

She also has a particular interest in policy, and works as a Seminar Leader for the Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme at the Blavatnik School of Government.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Beto (Albert) Wetter

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Beto (Albert) Wetter

Beto is from San Mateo, California and is pursuing an MPhil in History. Beto’s academic interests and professional aspirations stemmed from a longheld interest in environmental sustainability. After graduating from Bowdoin College with a BA in History with Honors, he witnessed the power of cross-collaboration between businesses and governments while helping with San Mateo County’s COVID19 testing and mass vaccination programs.

As an aspiring environmental policy professional interested in corporate-governmental relations, Beto anticipates the opportunities the Oxford SDG Impact Lab offers and cannot wait to collaborate with the other trailblazing Sustainability Leadership & Research Fellows in the inaugural cohort.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Christine Cavallo

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Christine Cavallo

Christine is a masters student in the new Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment program. Prior to Oxford, her work experience included think tank research on ecological security and fast-paced start ups, which has inspired her to find an intersection between the two by advancing environmental and ecological innovations in the private sector.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Christine has also competed for the U.S. National Rowing Team and pursued the 2020 Olympic team before attending Oxford

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Desmond Okumbor

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Desmond Okumbor

Desmond is an MSc student in Politics Research at Trinity College, Oxford. Funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC), Desmond examines how corruption undermines citizens support and satisfaction with democracy and elites’ interaction.

His previous research on corruption was presented at the 2021 PSA Annual Conference. Before joining the University of Oxford, Desmond studied at the University of Glasgow where he graduated with First-Class Honours in Politics.

Along with his studies, he worked as an analyst at Blackbaud, was a member of the European Youth Parliament and interned at the UK Civil Service

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Diego Arancibia

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Diego Arancibia

Diego was born in Bolivia. He studied engineering at Universidad Catolica Boliviana and energy systems at Northeastern University as a Fulbright Scholar. Diego is the cofounder and CEO of Tu Beca Bolivia (TBB), an NGO focused education and entrepreneurship. TBB has tutored over 4,500 young Bolivians, incubated over 100 ideas, and accelerated 20 startups.

Diego is also Investment Analyst at SC Ángeles, the first Angel Investment firm in Bolivia; and CEO of PasanaQ, a fintech focused on collaborative savings. Diego is studying a double degree (MPP+MBA) at Oxford as a Pershing Square Scholar.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Irene Mackie

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Irene Mackie

Irene holds an undergraduate degree in Art History and English from the University of St Andrews and is currently undertaking an MSt in World Literatures. She is especially passionate about using interdisciplinarity to find creative and impactful responses to the challenges set out by the SDGs and is excited by the opportunity to work from a variety of perspectives at the Lab. She has extensive experience taking part in community-based projects intended to tackle social inequalities and believes in the power of stories and interpersonal connection in the pursuit of a more equitable, peaceful, and climate conscious world.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Jasmine Bacchus

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Jasmine Bacchus

Jasmine is an MSc student at the Oxford Internet Institute pursuing a degree in Social Science of the Internet. Her research interests include luxury fashion, esports, and game theory.

Before Oxford, Jasmine received national recognition for her work diversifying the fashion industry, being named an inaugural Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholar and Gucci Changemaker. She is excited to bring her experiences from the fashion world to the travel industry! Outside of the classroom, you can find Jasmine working with Oxford Entrepreneurs on creating programming for female founders at Oxford. Jasmine also holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Brown University.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Laura Ballerini

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Laura Ballerini

Laura holds a BSc in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) from the Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam. She is currently reading for the MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford and she is a Dahrendorf Scholar at St Antony’s College. Her research focuses on entrepreneurship models of healthcare delivery in resource-constrained areas in Kenya.

Aside from her academic career, Laura has also worked as a business consultant, data analyst, teaching assistant, and journalist. Her dream is to become a foreign correspondent and researcher specialized in global health and conflicts in subSaharan Africa.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Mona Murad

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Mona Murad

Mona is currently studying for a masters in Public Policy at Oxford University. Before coming to Oxford Mona spent five years working as a British civil servant, most recently in the Cabinet Office. Mona co-founded the Cabinet Office Operation Blackbird, a social justice transition taskforce to embed public sector equality into governmental decision making. Mona holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations & History from the University of Leicester and has a level 6 in British Sign Language.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Puninda Thind

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Puninda Thind

Puninda is deeply committed to building a sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future. Currently, she is a graduate student in the MSc Sustainability, Enterprise, and Environment program at the University of Oxford. Puninda brings over seven years of experience working across the real estate investment, NGO, and sustainability consulting spaces. She has supported numerous organisations across various sectors with the development of sustainability programming and ESG disclosures.

Puninda is active in her local community as a Global Shaper, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. She is also a member of the board of directors of youth-led environmental organizations, Threading Change and Leading Change Canada.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Rachel Wibberley

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Rachel Wibberley

Rachel is an MSc candidate in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford and a youth advocate for gender equality, working on issues of climate change and digital diplomacy. She serves as a Trustee of the National Council of Women and has worked as a Policy Analyst and as a Communications Officer in the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence.

Rachel also serves as a Youth Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, where she prioritises the empowerment of women and girls in global environmental governance. Rachel holds a first class degree from King’s College London, where she produced the best overall undergraduate dissertation (2020), focussing on how surveillance practices impact real-word, behavioural change.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Rafael Suchy

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Rafael Suchy

Rafael is a DPhil student in Economics, researching topics within Behavioural Economics. He is particularly interested in the psychological foundations of individual decision-making and experimental methods, blending theoretical modelling with empirical validation.

Before joining the University of Oxford, Rafael studied at the University of Bonn and at the University of California, Berkeley. He is passionate about the interplay of behavioural change and technological innovation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, promoting a sustainable future, empowering society, and ensuring a prosperous, self-determined life for everyone.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Rosaria

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Rosaria

Rosaria is an interdisciplinary biologist passionate about achieving Zero Hunger SDG through research, development, and enterprise. She is trained in biotechnology and molecular medicine and is pursuing a doctoral degree at the Biology Department of the University of Oxford. Her thesis investigates the role of biodiversity in underpinning ecosystem services vital for human well-being to accomplish conservation alongside food security.

Her professional experiences include being an entrepreneurial fellow of Oxford Foundry, a business analyst of Oxford Cancer Analytics, a research assistant for Oxford SoGE’s project that equips academia to engage in biodiversity policy, and leading a multi-year partnership between the UK and Indonesia for a sustainable economy in Wallacea.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Ruby-Anne Birin

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Ruby-Anne Birin

Ruby-Anne Birin is a DPhil Archaeological Science student interested in how people move across space through time. Prior to Oxford, Ruby-Anne completed her Undergraduate degree in Geography and Archaeology at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Ruby-Anne’s experiences in university, on archaeological excavations and international travel have given her a unique perspective of how people
interact with heritage.

Ruby-Anne believes that it is through understanding the deep time and heritage associated with landscapes that we can develop an appreciation for a sustainable future. Ruby-Anne hopes to bring this appreciation, along with enthusiasm for experiential learning, to the SDG Impact Lab.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Ryleen Balawanth

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Ryleen Balawanth

Ryleen has an academic background in business and supply chain management and an interest in addressing complex social challenges through creative problem solving. Ryleen has managed various projects including improving rail-to-port supply chain efficiency in the private sector to implementing the national malaria elimination plan in South Africa.. Improving health, environment, and socio-economic challenges through system-wide efficiencies are career focuses, specifically in the global development sector which seeks to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Ryleen is currently pursuing a MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University and wishes to focus the next phase of her career addressing climate and environmental challenges facing the world today.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Sekoah Kwon-Salkin

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Sekoah Kwon-Salkin

Sekoah is an MPhil Candidate in Development Studies at the Oxford Department of International Development. Her thesis concerns the development of the tourism economy in the renowned travel destination of Bali, Indonesia. Utilizing the pandemic as a temporal moment that has placed the tourism-based economy of Bali at an almost complete standstill, Sekoah investigates how Bali became so deeply reliant on tourism and presents a diversity of stakeholder perspectives on the Balinese tourism industry. In her spare time, Sekoah is a passionate surfer, yoga facilitator, and enjoys traveling to new destinations.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Stephanie Cheung

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Stephanie Cheung

Stephanie believes in the power of community and has focused her career on community engagement and development in the urban environment. She joined the social enterprise Urban Discovery upon graduation and later co-founded the NGO iDiscover Asia. She facilitated community-led cultural mapping and storytelling projects in South East Asia, building stronger communities by boosting their cultural capital, amplifying local voice, and creating dialogues. Stephanie also worked on wider urban projects related to design thinking, social innovation, community engagement, public space, and age-friendly
community. Stephanie is pursuing the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Varun Shankar

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Varun Shankar

Varun is passionate about enabling the transition to a low carbon economy in the transportation sector. He is a Rhodes Scholar from Zambia and currently a DPhil candidate in the Department of Engineering Science. His work reviews the emissions legislation with a focus on the uptake of renewable fuels. He is excited to be a Fellow at the Impact Lab and focus on the implementation of the SDGs through working with an industry partner. He is keen to use the life cycle analysis approach to ensure any implementable action is sustainable in the short- and long-term. He is looking forward to being part of this fellowship and collectively work on showing the importance of sustainable tourism.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Victoria Shi

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Victoria Shi

Vicky began her career in New York at a brand strategy consultancy. After taking every opportunity to travel while working, she gave into her craving to experience the world beyond vacation days and left her job to backpack across Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Learning to travel slowly and observing the double-edged effects of tourism sparked her interest in ethical travel. Since then, Vicky has freelanced in brand and innovation consulting, including for travel clients that range from early-stage start-ups to Airbnb. She’s pursuing her MBA at Oxford to build a career at the intersection of social impact, tourism, and business – and turn her passion for travel into purposeful action.

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Oxford SDG Impact Lab |

Zoe Woods

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Zoe Woods

Zoe is a Brit born in Hong Kong, brought up in Bermuda, and currently calling Canada home. Her global adventures have cultivated a deep love for the amazing diversity on this planet and a determination to play a role in solving some of our biggest, shared challenges. Zoe believes that solutions cannot be found without collaboration between sectors and has come to Oxford to hopefully cultivate that bridge-building. Zoe spent the last seven years connecting the dots at Deloitte in a career that has spanned consulting, research, policy, and brand positioning.

Away from her laptop, you can find her adventuring outdoors, planning her next DIY project, or making another cup of tea.

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Apply to be a Fellow

Applications for 2022/23 will open in October. Fellows must generally be postgraduate students at the University of Oxford. Please get in touch if you would like to register your interest and receive information about our events.

Seminars this term

Our seminar series is open to all current students, but we do have other events that are open to all. Please click on the ‘Visit’ link below to see events you could join us for.

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