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Mohammed Rezwan    

Innovator of Floating School

Architect Mohammed Rezwan is the founder of Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, a not-for-profit development organization in Bangladesh. Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha aims to transform the region’s waterways into pathways for education, information and technology – dealing with climate change induced flooding, protecting the environment and people’s rights, and also lifting people out of poverty. Drawing on his architectural expertise, Mohammed modifies, designs, and repurposes flat bottom river boats that successfully accommodate the needs of schools, libraries, and training and healthcare centers when these facilities are made unusable during Bangladesh’s monsoon season. He introduced the floating education system to ensure access to year round and quality education in flood-prone regions, and he has developed, expanded, and sustained the floating schools over 10 years.

Rezwan is also the inventor of the “Solar Water Farming” technique, as well as the “Bamboo, Bottle and Siren” flood warning system and the SuryaHurricane solar lantern. His floating schools and SuryaHurricane solar lantern designs were exhibited at the “Design with the Other 90%: CITIES” exhibition, organized by Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. An author of schoolbooks for children, articles, and research reports, he has been published both nationally and internationally. Mohammed’s work is also featured in two recent documentary films, “Easy Like Water”, supported by the Sundance Documentary Institute, as well as the German documentary, “Erlesene Welten” (Hungry Minds).

Mohammed regularly presents at global conferences and is featured in the media internationally on his innovations, climate change, green energy, and education. His work has received both national and international honors including, but not limited to; the UN Prize for Inspiring Environmental Action 2012, WISE Awards 2012, GFC Presidential Award 2010, UNEP Seed Gold Awards 2009, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award 2005.

Mohammed has been featured in international newspapers and magazines including Bergens Tidende, Politiken, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Independent UK, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His work has also received coverage on CNN International, Al Jazeera English, the National Geographic Channel, and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Speech Topics

Innovation, Climate Change, Resilience and Education


Floating schools bring classrooms to Stranded Students

International Herald Tribune (the global edition of The New York Times), July 01, 2013

Solar-powered floating schools

BBC News

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