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Oliver Utne

Oliver Utne Headshot.jpg

Founder, Kara Solar

Oliver is the founder and general coordinator of Kara Solar, an electric river transportation system in the Ecuadorian Amazon that is powered by solar energy. He created Kara Solar together with Achuar communities and leaders as a strategy to help protect the environment and provide an alternative to further roadbuilding, which is the leading driver of deforestation in the Amazon. The transportation system now connects 1100 indigenous people along 67km of the Pastaza and Capahuari rivers to schools, clinics, and each other, and is operated by a locally-led community enterprise. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Oliver, 34, now lives in Quito, Ecuador with his wife and daughter. He hopes that Kara Solar serves as a new model of infrastructure and sustainable local economy that can be scaled across the Amazon basin.

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