Interviews - September 29, 2022
Our Experts are the major actors behind the attribution of the Efficient Solution Label to Solutions, contributing to the adoption of clean and profitable technologies worldwide. The Expert Community includes people from all around the world with extensive careers in science, engineering, and consulting.
Each month it is important for us to reward one of our Experts for their hard work, dedication, and excellence. We are thrilled to announce that the Expert of October is Ana Stoica. Since joining our Community in February 2021, Ana was nominated for the 2021 “Expert of the Year” award and stood out to us for her rigorous, analytical, and high-quality assessments.
In this article, we hear more about Ana's experiences and expertise.
Can you tell us about yourself and describe your background in brief?
I currently live in Bucharest, Romania, and have a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees with majors related to finance and management. I truly enjoy exploration and immensely value diversity and experimentation while working remotely.
What is your area of expertise and profession?
Since the pandemic started, I have been proudly serving tech founders and leaders from 15+ countries all over the world, exclusively online.
I work with tech companies that have registered different levels of growth and profitability and are looking for external finance in order to accelerate their growth. I coach and mentor founders and teams, providing them with a structured process to think through the various readiness dimensions including leadership team capability, product, market and financial strategy.
My expertise has been deeply nourished by 20+ years spent in business, management and entrepreneurship, multinationals and startups, through which I gained a profound understanding of the pressures and realities of high-performing startups and large corporations.
I am a life-long learner and continuously invest in myself, that’s why I pursue several professional pathways as Economist, Chartered Accountant and Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation.
You work for the European Commission as Expert Evaluator. Could you share a few details about your activity at the European Commission and how it’s linked to sustainability?
As an independent Expert Evaluator for the European Commission, I currently assess high-risk and high-impact innovations, which generate other positive societal, economic, environmental or climate impacts.
What led you to create your company Meliora in May 2020 empowering tech founders and teams to drive sustainable impact?
To drive exponential change at scale, we need businesses to accelerate impact. That led me to create Meliora and a tailored Growth Programme that consists of expert-led sessions, where I assess, together with tech founders, challenges and growth opportunities and assist them in their process of learning and reaching a solution faster to complex business issues. What makes this programme different is its focus on founders who are also committed to their personal growth and looking to develop growth mindsets in their organisations. I truly believe that driving sustainable impact must be rooted in people's practices that inspire and enable positive change.
What are some of the exciting projects or themes you have worked on?
I have been working with startups and scaleups from European innovation ecosystems and several emerging markets. A particular project that I enjoyed is mentoring a generation Z new entrepreneur from Thailand, who really demonstrated that with passion, effort and commitment it is possible to progress, in a relatively short time, from many and diverse ideas to co-developing a complex business model and a sustainable solution concept, driving innovation against plastic waste in South-East Asia.
From your consulting experience, how would you describe the relationship of companies with sustainability?
From my consulting work, I see more and more companies that are investing time and efforts to analyse just how sustainable their businesses can become and are redesigning their business models to generate economic, social and environmental returns. However, there is still a need to educate leaders about what a sustainable mindset really means – looking beyond the next three to five years, rethinking the vision and translating it into strategic areas of intervention, with goals and targets across economic, social, and environmental dimensions, creating a culture of sustainability in which people think and act with sustainability in mind.
Since joining the Expert’s Community in February 2021, what types of Solutions have you evaluated, and which stood out as the most impactful?
I evaluated Solutions focusing on SDG 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 12 Responsible Production and Consumption with applications in Logistics, Packaging and Solid waste management. Each Solution creates value in a different way and the world needs a wide range of solutions and disruptions to make progress towards a sustainable planet. Some examples are: a patented, innovative technology to repair reusable plastic goods from Spain; a low-cost process for creating biodegradable food packaging from Uganda; a collaborative solution to manage exchangeable pallets between multiple users from France.
What are your hopes for the Labeled Solutions, and the Solar Impulse Foundation more widely?
Achieving a significant impact in terms of sustainability is not easy for companies acting alone. I trust that Solar Impulse Foundation continues to expand its efforts to promote Labeled Solutions, orchestrating ecosystems where investors, governments and other relevant parties cooperate for a sustainable planet.
Anything else you would like to share?
I consider that implementing Labeled Solutions is a valuable opportunity for companies to go beyond compliance, differentiate themselves and show the business impact of being sustainable. I strongly encourage companies interested to discover more about Labeled Solutions, to search these through the 1000+ from the Solar Impulse search engine.
Interested in becoming an Expert with the Solar Impulse Foundation? Find out more here.