Nimesh Ghimire '15 Named 2014 Newman Civic Fellow

By Liz Casey '14
The Peace Innovation Lab in Sahilitar, a rural village in western Nepal.

Nimesh Ghimire '15, an economics and rural innovation special major from Kathmandu, Nepal, was recently named one of Campus Compact's 2014 Newman Civic Fellows.  

The Newman Civic Fellows Award, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated their investment in finding solutions to the challenges that face our communities throughout the country. Ghimire received the honor for his dedication to social innovation and entrepreneurship, both at Swarthmore's campus and abroad.  

Abroad, Ghimire has helped develop and promote local innovation ecosystems in his native Nepal, particularly with the creation of the Peace Innovation Lab (PIL) in Sahilitar, a rural village in Nepal. Recognizing that Nepal and many other countries need environments that build capacity and confidence among young people so that they actively think of themselves as problem-solvers and innovators, Ghimire created the Lab as a resource hub - a place where community members can have access to tools and services to solve their own problems. Peace Innovation Lab also received the Davis Project for Peace Award in 2013 to strengthen efforts towards sustaining and standardizing the model.

Since 2012, PIL has become a space for young people in rural Nepali communities to design, create prototypes, and implement projects that contribute to local innovation and community development. Ongoing projects include Leadership Talks and Innovation Camps focused on both science and the arts; a Rural Telemedicine Hub that connects 2,500 villagers in Nepal's top physicians; a mapping project that visualizes policy data to promote community innovation and civic participation; and a Digital Literacy Program for over 100 villagers. Recently, Ghimire also helped Global Minimum, an international non-profit focused on promoting youth innovation in Africa, set up inaugural Innovation Labs in Sierra Leone.

At Swarthmore, Ghimire was an organizer of TEDxSwarthmore and an influential voice in bringing entrepreneurs such as Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and 2014 Internet Hall of Fame inductee Mahabir Pun to campus. He is also the recipient of a Davis Project for Peace Award