Pooran Desai

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Industry Expert

 Pooran Desai

Pooran Desai

CEO , One Planet

Pooran studied at Oxford and Cambridge Universities before becoming a serial social entrepreneur, real estate developer and sustainability advisor.  He is CEO of Oneplanet.com which is providing tools for cities, companies and community groups to create, share and connect plans for building a sustainable future. He remains an Associate of Bioregional, the international environmental organisation which he co-founder in 1994 and where he led on the creation of One Planet Living®.

After studying at Oxford and Cambridge universities, Pooran co-founded international environmental organisation, Bioregional Development Group in 1994 with his wife, Sue Riddlestone.  Whilst working at Bioregional he set up enterprises in sustainable farming, forestry, recycling & eco-housing.  In 1998, he drew together the partnership to construct Beddington Zero (fossil) Energy Development (BedZED), the UK’s foremost eco-village development where he lives and works.

In 2002, Pooran coined the term ‘One Planet Living’ and subsequently led teams creating sustainability plans for over $30 billion of mixed-use projects in Europe, North America, Middle East, China and Australia.  

Pooran has been a real estate developer, for example putting together and developing the 172 unit Zero Carbon One Brighton project in the UK – the UK’s largest car-free development. He ran the development’s community Energy Services Company which supplies 100% renewable energy to its residents and tenants at a 30% cost saving.  

Pooran has lectured widely including at the following universities: Cambridge University, London School of Economics, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Curtin University and the University of Kwa Zulu Natal.  He has authored or co-authored three books, the last being ‘One Planet Communities’ published by John Wiley in 2009.  He has been made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. In 2011 with his wife, he was named Schwab Foundation World Economic Forum ‘European Social Entrepreneur of the Year’.

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