Hayat Sindi: inspiring change in Mideast through i2 insitute launch

Scientist, inventor, Harvard and Cambridge graduate, Saudi Arabian native and pioneer—Dr. Hayat Sindi is an inspiring woman, a powerful force in the advancement of science, social good and a sign towards the emerging cultural shift in the role of women in a conservative region.

Today at PopTech, Sindi launched her latest project, the Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity, (i2 institute) which focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship in the Arab community amidst an unemployment rate of over 40% and a rapidly growing youth population entering the workforce. The website states "Our mission is to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation for scientists, technologists and engineers in the Middle East and beyond." Wolff Olins and PopTech collaborated with Sindi to develop the brand and identity around her platform.

“I believe that we can put science and society hand in hand and we should customize science for the benefit of the developing world. Small people can achieve big dreams.” Sindi stated. She also hopes that “i2 will make stories like hers less exceptional and more possible for every young innovator.”

Raised in Saudi Arabia, Hayat convinced her family to let her study abroad in London in 1991 where she proceeded to excel in her field, becoming one of the world’s leading biotechnologists. She co-founded Diagnostics For All, a new medical diagnostic technique using small, affordable paper strips and a drop of blood or saliva to diagnose liver disease, and perhaps eventually AIDS. While the innovation is still in development, it has huge potential to save lives in the developing world.

"A true scientist should focus on affordable simple solutions to reach everyone in the world.” Sindi commented during a speaking event in Jeddah in 2008. In 2009 Hayat Sindi became the first Arab woman to become a PopTech fellow.

Learn more about i2 at i2insitute.org and follow @i2institute.

(Melissa Scott) @hello_melissa

i2 image courtesy of National Geographic, PopTech photos by Kris Krüg via Poptech. i2 web design: Wolff Olins + Ranger. Sources: Daily Beast and Hayat Sindi Blog

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