Energy Diary

InVento Lab empowers students to become leaders in solving fuel poverty

Giulia Detomati , InVento Lab

Giulia Detomati, InVento Lab

InVento Lab’s mission is to help young people experience how they can have positive impacts on society by creating projects that make a difference in their own communities—including by tackling fuel poverty.

In Italy, up to 4 million households face serious difficulties in accessing enough energy for heating and cooling, lighting or other household needs. At almost 15%, the rate of fuel poverty in Italy is well above the EU average of 11%; some argue that energy is becoming a ‘luxury’ item only for the rich. 

InVento Lab believes a first step towards addressing social issues is changing the mindsets of the next generation—who will be future leaders. Recognizing that a major challenge is the cross-cutting nature of such issues, InVento Lab helps participants better understand links between economic, social and environmental factors, and expands traditional ‘sustainability’ training to include development of ‘eco-entrepreneurial’ skills. 

Established in 2014, InVento Lab has worked with more than 5 000 students in Italy; to date, 30% of projects have focused on fuel poverty. InVento Lab helps students see how fuel poverty involves other factors such as energy prices, the energy efficiency of buildings, greenhouse gas emissions and even global warming.

Two examples of student projects help people reduce energy consumption. Cream developed an application that monitors energy, methane and water use to help families manage their consumption. Ecoven produces solar ovens that can be used at home, saving on electricity for cooking. Vorago developed a device that produces electricity (hydropower) from discharge water in houses. All three examples reduce household energy bills.

InVento Lab is the first B Corp and social enterprise active in the field of education of entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability. In June 2018, it launched the first international B Corp School in Oxford and is now ready to expand into other EU countries.

Giulia Detomati, CEO at InVento Lab, is among 15 finalists in the Tackle Fuel Poverty Initiative launched by the Schneider Electric Foundation, the Ashoka Foundation, and Enel Group. Check out her video interview to learn more.

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