Kian Bakhtiari

Country representing

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Languages

Persian
Kurdish

Education

  • University of Leicester
  • B.A in Sociology
  • PADI - Open Water Diver

Current organisation

Raw Bamboo

Current role

Founder

Skills and Expertise

Agriculture
Climate change
Food security
Human rights
Social entrepreneurship

Areas of interest

Business
Environment
Health
Human Rights
Sustainable Development

Website & Social Links

I am passionate about

My greatest passion in life is poverty alleviation. Eradicating poverty by any means necessary is the first thing I think of before brushing my teeth, and the final thought on my mind before I go to sleep. I truly believe that no man, woman or child should go hungry or thirsty in the 21st century. My personal childhood experiences have motivated me to provide others with some of the opportunities that I lacked as a child. Since I recognise the powerful impact a helping hand can have in transforming a person’s life. My passion for alleviating poverty is only matched by my desire to tackle the root causes of climate change. Climate change and environmental destruction are by far the two greatest challenges facing humanity today. In my own country Iran, we have witnessed devastating droughts and severe water shortages, leading to a loss of livelihood and the destruction of lakes, rivers and overall biodiversity. In my region, crop yields have almost halved in the last 10 years due to unsustainable farming methods, since 90% of all ground water is used for agricultural purposes. Water scarcity has subsequently resulted in an over reliance on livestock, which causes the overgrazing of pastures and further exacerbates the process of desertification. In my day to day life, I am fuelled by the desire to turn problems into opportunities by formulating innovative solutions. Currently this involves tackling the overlapping issues of climate change, poverty and inequality through the implementation of small scale, grassroots social and environmental projects.

Actions

My passion for social equality and environmental sustainability, has led me to create Raw Bamboo. Raw Bamboo is a social enterprise, providing a natural solution to bottled water and chemical "air fresheners". The business was born out of a commitment to social responsibility. Thus 50% of all proceeds go directly towards the implementation of biosand water filtration projects in India. The biosand water filter is a low-cost, scalable water filtration system which removes 98.5% of bacteria, 100% of parasites and reduces water turbidity (cloudiness) by 93%. A single biosand water filter produces enough clean water for an entire family. According to the WHO “every $1 invested in clean water can yield $4–$12 in economic returns”. So far, I have contributed to the provision of more than 10 Bio sand water units; generating over 360 litres of clean and accessible water every day, enough water for an entire village. Before this I worked as an Outreach Coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Tehran, Iran. I was personally responsible for raising awareness about road safety in the northern district of Tehran through engagement, communication and mediation. The World Health Organisation ranks Iran top in a chart of countries with the highest number of deaths caused by road accidents; resulting in 38,000 deaths every year. During my year with the Red Crescent I managed to lead a host of grassroots initiatives which provided the general public with leaflets, children’s comic books and free gifts in order to increase public awareness about road safety. Statistics from the Transport Police for the D1 district of Tehran, where I was located indicated a 5% reduction in total car accidents. More importantly, the number of fatalities was down from 89 people in 2011 to a total of 84 fatalities in the following year. All of this was done by simply promoting the use of seat belts, baby car seats and signal indication when driving.