Modeling & Rationalizing Socially Responsible Infrastructure with Rajesh Chandran

Does a lack of imagination slow down peace innovation and technologies? 

Rajesh Chandran is an entrepreneur and CEO of Actual, a green infrastructure and urban planning platform inspired by the DIY world of decision making that is SimCity. Actual helps to justify, model and rationalize tech-related projects, investments and their impact.

So, instead of us being in the service of technology, how can we get technology to be in service of a community and society?

Sustainable peace is positive peace. If we want to create solutions and make investments that promote long-lasting peace, we need to be able to model and rationalize them and their social and environmental impact. Rajesh explains that the factors of social and environmental impact are crucial in making and investment and in developing intuition.

The principles and intersectionality of peace innovation are extremely valuable in socially responsible decision making and investment, as you factor in the disciplines of not only peace engineering, but also peace finance and peace data. 

Post-colonial thinking is one of the steps in creating a more socially conscious narrative that reminds us of the legacy of single dimensional thinking, and pushes us towards multidimensional thinking. For example, Margarita touches on the detrimental legacy of redlining in certain communities and how this legacy creates a limiting narrative that those communities are not investible. Rajesh also proposes the project of bringing broadband to all of Kenya, where the superficial belief is that there is not a viable market for this sort of project. Contrarily, the population of Kenya is relatively young and Actual can be used to show that there is actually a demand for this type of commercial activity in those areas.

Creating models and multidimensional narratives of these projects to rationalize potential investments highlights the blindspot that many organizations and entrepreneurs have when it comes to imagining new, sustainable solutions. 

Tune in to this episode to hear more about:

  • Progression and reality of ROI possibilities
  • Elite projection and the Silicon Valley savior complex
  • Margarita’s entrepreneurial and networking experiences
  • The phenomena of food deserts


Sponsored by Game Design Thinking

Margarita’s LinkedIn

Rajesh’s LinkedIn

Rajesh’s startup, Actual HQ

Johan Galtung’s Negative and Positive Peace

Other resources you might like