Edwin is a Junior Research Scientist at RiskEcon® Lab and dedicates his time to developing open source communications solutions for emerging economies. He is also the founder of SayCel, a company that implements low-cost communications infrastructure in developing regions. SayCel currently operates a network on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, which won the 2015 Stern Berkeley Social Venture Award, and was funded as one of the initial investments in the inaugural 2016 UNICEF Innovation Fund cohort, and received the 2018 OpenCellular Grant.
Edwin is currently working with the Black Rock Forest Consortium, a biological field station in upstate New York, on a National Science Foundation-funded WiFi mesh and sensor network. He also works with Resilient Communities, a New America project to install Emergency Wifi Networks in the most hurricane at-risk areas of NYC. He presented some of his work at the inaugural InsurTech Science and Engineering Expo co-hosted by Numerati Partners and RiskEcon Lab in 2018.
In 2016, Edwin and his research collaborators conducted a hackathon, hosted by RiskEcon Lab at Courant Institute, for Open Source Cellular, and he is actively collaborating with Rhizomatica, a Mexico-based non-profit running twenty-one indigenous community networks, FreeRadio Brazil, LibreMesh from Argentina, and Osmocom from Germany. These collaborations have led to the development of WebPh.one, the first open source telephony app that bridges the gap between data and open source cellular networks. This app is scheduled to be implemented by Resilient Communities, a New America project which seeks to install five Community Mesh Networks in those NYC regions considered to be particularly at risk of hurricane damage.
Edwin is also designing and implementing a network workshop curriculum for the Resilient Communities Digital Stewards program. This Rise:NYC funded initiative takes local NYC residents and provides them with the technical and communication skills needed to manage and create self-sustainable community networks.
SayCel is also an active member in the Telecom Infra Project, a Facebook initiative that aims to reimagine the deployment of communications infrastructure which took him to their OpenCellular Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. The Saycel R&D project is part of the RiskEcon Lab CEcADA external partnership initiative. Visit the Github page for Saycel.
Edwin graduated with a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), and is now an adjunct professor, teaching ITP’s Towers of Power course, which combines hands-on skills in open source communications and sensor tools with business strategies for emerging markets. He has also served as a guest lecturer and collaborator at the Technology and Innovation Lab, School of Engineering at Universidad del Desarollo in Chile, and at the University of URRACAN in Bluefields, Nicaragua.