Innovation and Safe Surgery

Impact Entrepreneur, Sustainable Development Consultant, Researcher, Entrepreneurship Consultant, Environmental Governance Practitioner

Saji Zagha

I am a social impact entrepreneur based in Basel. I hold degrees in business, economics and environmental governance from Birzeit University and The University of Freiburg. I am experienced in the fields of medical innovation, philanthropic fundraising, natural building, and climate neutral innovation. I am driven by my vision of a safer and fairer world, thus I provide mentorship and consultancy for entrepreneurs and development workers to help them achieve better outcomes.

Experiences that shaped me

Noor Medical

Cofounder & CEO August 2020 – November 2021

Cofounder & CTO December 2017 – July 2020

Freiburg, Germany

At Noor Medical I facilitated partnerships for technology development. I engaged deeply in multi-stakeholder frugal innovation. I also lead internal team development and external reporting.
Noor Medical seeks to provide critical medical instrument sterilization to rural areas in the developing world that suffer from electricity grid disruption, or which lack electricity entirely. Their innovative technology provides a hybrid solution that can be powered by a number of different sources, including the sun.

Women’s Hope International

Consultant: Field manager and trainer. January 2020 – March 2020

Switzerland and Chad

As a consultant for Women’s Hope international, I oversaw the construction of a maternity clinic in the Ouaddai region. I was also responsible for training local engineers and architects in design and construction management. My work also encompassed knowhow trasfer to ‘low skilled’ employees and volunteers.

The University of Freiburg

MSc. Environmental Governance. September 2016 – December 2019

Freiburg, Germany

My studies at Freiburg deepened my entrepreneurial spirit and allowed me to connect with many experts and leaders in the environmental domain. The university’s culture encouraged me to engage with startups and local initiatives. During my studies here, I launched two student-led initiatives, one of which became a Hult Prize UN Global finalist.

Birzeit University – Advancement Office

Alumni Outreach Coordinator. September 2015 – September 2016

Alumni Outreach Consultant. May – September 2015

Birzeit, Palestine

During my tenure at the advancement office, I contributed significantly to developing digital fundraising tools for both local and international use. I also spearheaded the digitalization and modernization of Alumni data tracking.

Consultation project for Adventist Health International

Construction management & staff training. March 2015 – April 2015

Abougoudam, Chad

Here I applied my experience in natural building to improve access to healthcare. As a result of building the hospital, the surrounding region has experienced economic growth, providing the locals sustainable employability. In this project, we involved all stakeholders, from the district governor to the villagers, to ensure that our project could bring sustainable development.

Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute- MAS

Intern Research assistant . December 2014 – March 2015

Ramallah, Palestine

During my work at MAS, I contributed to various publications about the mortgage sector in Palestine and the effects of foreign currency fluctuation on local labor markets.

Ka’Way Monti School for Sustainability

Natural Building instructor. June-Sepetember 2014

Huaraz, Peru

My research focused on improving the thermal insulation of structures built with natural materials. Our work served to develop a model house that is simple enough to build for the poor yet provides superior thermal performance.

Birzeit University

Bachelor of Business & Economics, Major: Economics. Sep. 2009 – June. 2014

Birzeit, Palestine

At Birzeit, I honed my analytical skills and developed a multidisciplinary understanding of economic development. I focused on health economics, public finance and ongoing debates of endogenous growth theories during my studies.

Cal-Earth Institute

Natural Building Apprentice. September – December 2012

Hesperia, CA, US

My education at Cal-Earth focused on natural constriction and design methods. I focused on developing my skills in insulation research, mass heaters applications, and cement reduction & replacement in construction.

Bilkent University

Study abroad. BSc. Economics 2011-2012

Ankara, Turkey

My year at Bilkent unleashed my creativity. The university’s unique teaching methods and Turkey’s diverse cultures sparked my interest in social entrepreneurship.

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