Our Team

Administrative Team


Eric Pires, Co-Founder, Communications and Partnerships Manager


My passion for innovation comes from my own personal experiences in life. Growing up surrounded by diverse cultures, the confluence of ideas helped me appreciate that there are few truths that apply broadly to life. Instead, the diversity of thought that exists in the world prepares us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our own actions and interventions. My time at the University of Toronto and my post-graduate studies affirmed my belief that international development work is the best medium through which to tackle the systemic issues that hold communities back from reaching their ambitions.

Innovate Development was created in the hopes of creating a forum through which we can all share the innovative solutions that impassioned people are exploring. I hope that you find this website useful and that you too contribute to the growing discussion on solutions to international development.


Eric Anderson, Co-Founder, Managing Editor


International development is a field that is so often dominated by bad news. This project highlights the positive side of the field through ideas developed by creative and specialized people from around the world. For me innovation is a creative and collaborative process, and I look forward to watching this community grow.

My career has included work in the publishing industry, teaching, non-profits, and the visual arts. I hold a BA from NSCAD University in Halifax, an MA from the University of Victoria, and a post-graduate certificate in international project management from the Humber Business School in Toronto.


Elizabeth DiCesare, Research Editor

Lizz DiCesaredicesare@innovatedevelopment.org

Innovative development means finding new, creative ways to help create sustainable livelihoods for people across the globe. Different cultures and societies have different needs, and through innovative ideas, all of these needs can be approached and tackled in new and unique ways. Innovate Development’s platform is an excellent opportunity to showcase unique, progressive and sustainable solutions that are having positive impacts worldwide, and is an essential tool is spreading positive stories of development, which is a much-needed escape from the negativity often portrayed in mainstream media.

I have an honours B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University in History and a post-graduate certificate in International Development and Project Management from the Humber Business School in Toronto.


Sarah Anstett, Resource Development Officer


sarah_anstettThis platform is about partnership, perseverance and progress. As the world around us changes and changes the way we live life, the way we approach development must also change. It is my opinion that common discourse that frames what development is and how to do it too often polarizes the efforts and capacities of the Global North and the Global South, and normative models of development still prevail. What intrigues me about this platform is that it affords the opportunity to showcase real-time challenges to these discourses by presenting projects and innovations that are topical, novel, and relevant to the world we live in now. Development is not an insular industry; it takes the experiences and efforts of a diverse variety of people, forces, and opportunities to succeed. I aim to spotlight new trends in development and innovations that arise from the Global South in particular.

I have a B.A in Philosophy, English and Peace Studies and an MA in Globalization, both from McMaster University. I am currently completing a post-graduate certificate in International Development & Project Management at the Humber Business School in Toronto, Ontario.


Regular Contributors


Valerie Buschvaleriebusch - profile

I believe that innovation in development is important because there is no single answer to solving problems in the developing world. New approaches, methodologies, and strategies are important to finding successful, sustainable solutions. In many cases, the most innovative and productive solutions come from the people who are directly impacted by development projects. The people who have to contend with development challenges every day are the ones who have the best ability to understand local context and culture and think in creative ways. This forum is one way that their ideas can be shared.

I have an Honours B.A. in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a postgraduate certificate in International Project Management from Humber Business School.


Rachel Pottphoto - Rachel

Too often, the coverage of international development issues is overwhelming and depressing, and leaves people feeling that their individual actions won’t make a tangible difference. This project is different. By focusing on positive, innovative developments and the creative, driven individuals that facilitate change, Innovate Development is showing people how much difference a change in perspective and awareness can make.

I have an Honours B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, with experience working in the human rights sector, freelance writing and education.


sarah gottshallSarah Gottshall

Innovate Development offers a refreshing break from the majority of the media concerning the developing world and the host of problems in existence. The pieces on this platform showcase individuals and organizations that have not only identified dilemmas in the world, but have taken steps towards solving them. I believe that promoting the positive innovations in existence will inspire others to utilize creative energy and develop even more solutions to the issues of our time.

I hold a B.A. in International Relations as well as a minor in Business Administration from West Virginia University.

Brendan O’Driscoll

BrendanOD-ImageInnovate Development is a depository for ideas worth sharing. It’s a platform for featuring the most exciting, creative, and innovate approaches to global problems, and acts as a source of positivity to audiences within the international development community and beyond. In a field as diverse and large as international development, I hope to contribute to the discussion and facilitate solutions for positive change.

I hold a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Masters Degree in History from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.



Courtney Mollenhauer


Creating effective, lasting change often requires finding new approaches to old problems. What excites me most about this platform is the opportunity to connect industry practitioners, celebrate successes and share lessons learned from innovative approaches and projects around the world.

I have a B.A. in International Development from the University of Guelph with a specialization in Gender and Development, and a post-graduate certificate in international project management from the Humber Business School in Toronto.



Maureen Littlejohn

maureen_bioI am an adventurous soul and seasoned journalist specializing in international development, gender issues, and health. I have also been a travel writer for many years and have contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications. Currently I live in Hanoi and am a communications/marketing advisor for Bac Thang Long College – a local partner of World University Services of Canada. Prior to Vietnam, I lived in Swaziland for a year working with the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse. When not traveling, my home base is Toronto, Canada. I have a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and graduated from the International Project Management Program at Humber College.


Interested in joining our team? Write us at info@innovatedevelopment.org for more information.

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