Gaya Datar


Big Idea: 

Gaya has worked in international development for 10 years with prominent organizations like Dalberg Global Development Advisors, the World Bank, and the Government of Liberia. She loves getting things done in developing countries using data-driven strategies. It wasn't until her MBA from Stanford that she discovered the importance of the built environment in developing countries. During her time in Stanford's Design for Extreme Affordability class, Gaya and her team designed an earthen floor and proprietary sealing oil that could reduce health issues for families and children, and immediately set off to get it to the places that need it most.

Nearly 80% of Rwandans live on dirt floors, which have shown to be a major cause of infectious disease, respiratory illness, and malnutrition. Concrete flooring – the only other viable alternative – is prohibitively expensive for a standard 200 square foot home. This problem is not limited to Rwanda. EarthEnable provides an affordable alternative to dirt floors: locally sourced, earthen floors that are 75% cheaper than a concrete floor. EarthEnable enables developing countries to shift to proven, affordable, and green construction technologies while improving health.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows