Aurora Chiste- Bio
Aurora is a serial social entrepreneur who has focused on achieving global sustainability through innovation and empowerment. She is the founder of Maakola and Ray Power Africa, using fashion to shine a spotlight on female fortitude through a modern concept of luxury, and solar power to make energy accessible and affordable.
Her career spans the tech world from Silicon Valley to innovative energy and economic solutions across the world. In addition to her work in Ghana and Washington D.C. For the past five years, Aurora has been recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences from Università di Bologna. She is Italian but moved to Silicon Valley during her first year of undergraduate study, and her experience in San Francisco is what led her to discover a passion for technology and change at scale, going on to found her first venture, Hack for Big Choices, in 2012 to bridge the innovation gap by educating younger generations regarding how to solve key issues that stifle their countries’ development through entrepreneurship.
“I founded Maakola to challenge the concept of beauty. It’s not just about how we look, but about how we feel, too. I want women to feel good about the clothes they wear through beautiful design, ethical production and conscious consumption, without compromise.”
In 2015, with no fashion or retail experience, but a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Aurora relied on her passion for aesthetically beautiful and high-quality products to launch Maakola. Growing up in Italy, Aurora has always had a great sense of style that is reflected in all aspects of her life. Maakola was born to redefine beauty through creativity, culture and sustainability. This means building a brand that is transparent about its business practice; a brand that celebrates collective progress, honors talent through the supply chain, and keeps improving its environmental footprint.
Ray Power Africa
Aurora’s vision is for a brighter future driven by a sense of urgency to anticipate the radical changes induced by globalization, digitalization, and demographic shifts. She sees an opportunity for the African continent to leapfrog the fossil-intensive energy regime, and also create a platform for enabling education and digital jobs for its rising billion people. As a result, the region can bypass the conventional path of energy development and skip directly into the use of solar power through distributed networks of solar home systems that are efficient and environmentally friendly. Aurora’s assessment that tapping into the demographic boom expected in Africa, can lead to greater advancement worldwide with Ghana serving as an international hub for breakthrough innovation, human capital, and cultural preservation rather than a long forgotten proposition.
- “How can we build tomorrow’s workforce when our younger generations aren’t equipped for the digital economy?”
- “How can electricity boost businesses in rural areas and enable deeper engagement between institutions, private sectors, and the informal sector?”
- “How can we support SMEs, as the main driver of sub-Saharan Africa’s economy?”
Aurora is leading Ray Power Africa trying to find solutions to these questions. The energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa needs to provide for 600 million people who still lack access to electricity; however, access can’t be the only parameter we look at because even more can’t count on reliable energy; the region also has the lowest per-capita energy consumption level. Aurora believes that energy is a driver of change for the development, economic growth, and environmental improvement of the region.