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Silvia Emili

Research Assistant

Dr Silvia Emili is a researcher and consultant with a background in strategic design for sustainability, sustainable business model innovation, energy access, and with experience in several African countries.

Silvia holds a PhD from Brunel University London which focused on developing capabilities of companies and practitioners for designing sustainable energy solutions in low-income and developing contexts. She developed a strategic design toolkit (Sustainable Energy for All Design Toolkit, www.se4alldesigntoolkit.com) that includes tools for mapping, classifying and designing business models for energy access. These tools have been used with over 80 companies, practitioners and experts across several African countries. Her PhD research collects over 50 case studies of companies operating in emerging markets, as well as an extensive catalogue of critical factors and successful examples to support ventures entering in this field.

In parallel to her PhD, Silvia worked on EU-funded and EPSRC-funded projects in collaboration with European and African partners. She has extensive experience in carrying out workshops and training activities with companies and non-profits in Kenya, Botswana, Ghana and South Africa. With a strong background in design for sustainability, her previous work includes research on sustainable mobility for disadvantaged communities in Cape Town. She holds a Masters degree from Politecnico di Milano, Italy.



IBEKA: Community-owned and Managed Mini Grids in Indonesia

Institut Bisnis dan Ekonomi Kerakyatan (IBEKA), or People Centred Economic and Business Institute, supports rural electrification by installing small-scale hydro or wind mini grids and setting up village-based organisations to own, maintain and operate the systems. Elements that support...

5 May 2020


The RSA Citizens’ Economic Council: Citizen Contributions to Policy Making Highlights

The RSA’s Citizen Economic Council was a two-year programme (2016-2018) in which 59 citizens conducted their own enquiry into economic policy in the United Kingdom and worked and deliberated with policymakers to co-create economic policy recommendations. The four goals of the Citizen Economic...

3 April 2020


ASMARE: Informal Waste Workers Engaging in Municipal Policy-Making

ASMARE is an association of informal waste workers ( catadores ) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Founded in 1990, it was the first step of involving catadores as a part of the city’s waste collection scheme. With ASMARE, the catadores moved from working in the streets with no organisation to...

3 April 2020

Silvia Emili’s recent work