After studying business and entrepreneurship at RMIT, Luke Barbagallo wanted to use his skills for wider social impact but wasn’t sure how.
“I wanted to set a pathway towards coming to work, enjoying what I was doing, and knowing that my output would contribute to a wider impact,” Barbagallo said.
“RMIT had given me so many opportunities and instilled in me an analytical viewpoint, critical thinking and management skills, and taught me to interrogate ‘normal’ and finds ways to innovate."
It was during a trip to India that he came across Pollinate Group, a social enterprise taking an innovative approach by building resilience in disadvantaged communities, and in 2016 jumped at the opportunity to take on the Partnership and Programs Manager role.
Pollinate Group recruits, trains and supports women from disadvantaged backgrounds in India and Nepal to sell life changing products such as solar lamps, water filters and larger solar home systems to power cookstoves, solar fans and even mobile phones.
Barbagallo drives Pollinate Group’s Fellowship Program (from Melbourne), providing executives, professionals and students with opportunities to conduct product testing and community trials, demographic research, and needs assessments, which also helps Pollinate to rapidly prototype solutions.
“I love that I get to inspire others to make a difference by sharing the impact of female empowerment and creating positive opportunities in underprivileged communities,” he said.
“The RMIT program taught us to identify the challenge to address with a product or service, and I’m able to apply this thinking to help disadvantaged communities,” he said.