Corporate Responsibility, Energy, Sustainability

Hi, I’m Ly Galanos, a senior transport and traffic engineer from Adelaide (that’s me below in the middle!), and I’m here in Lucknow, India, helping Pollinate Energy expand into its fourth city with my AECOM colleagues, James McCafferty and Jeremy Hart.


If you haven’t heard about Pollinate Energy from participants in previous years, then you’ve been living under a rock! Pollinate Energy is a social enterprise founded by five young Australians that brings sustainable products to the urban poor in India. Pollinate Energy’s innovative business model aims to replace the need for kerosene through the sale of solar lights or other sustainable projects in the slum communities.

It was a crazy last week of work before the start of the program, and getting to Lucknow from Adelaide, South Australia, was not a simple journey. After 26 hours of transit time and three flights later, I arrived in the hot and humid, developing and lively city of Lucknow. The city is located in northern India, three hours from the Nepali border and is home to nearly 3 million beautiful and friendly people.

The best part of the journey was arriving to the warmest of welcomes from Pollinate city co-founders Marc and JJ and the rest of the program participants at “The Hive,” our home for the next two weeks.


The first couple of days here have been filled with millions of smiles, colourful dresses and lots of smells, from one extreme of beautiful spices to the not-so-wonderful smells of the streets. Let’s not forget the amazing food: various flat breads, curries, mimosas and interesting yoghurt drinks available! One thing I have noticed in the last two days is that my tolerance for spicy food has definitely increased.


The traffic here is chaos! The combination of cars, motorbikes and rickshaws all mixed in together is like a clumsy dance at a disco, with vehicles slowly pushing their way towards their destination. The traffic engineer in me is on high alert at the lack of rules, or more likely the lack of following them – basically it is fair game on the roads. I think I’ll need some time to come up with a solution to this chaos, and will keep you posted on this one!


In addition to my traffic solutions, over the coming two weeks we will start to gather data to assist Pollinate Energy with its expansion into this city. Bye for now and I look forward to giving you some progress updates along this exciting journey!

Originally published Sep 28, 2016

Author: Ly Galanos