Silvia Emili

Specialist areas

  • Energy access and renewable energy
  • Social development
  • Business model design
  • System analysis
  • Gender


  • PhD in Design, Brunel University London
  • MSc in Product-Service System Design, Politecnico di Milano
  • BSc in Industrial Design, La Sapienza University of Rome

Silvia Emili

In a nutshell, tell us about yourself.

I am passionate about social and sustainable development and I have a background in alternative and sustainable business models, energy access and designing solutions that address social inequalities and environmental sustainability.

I’ve lived and worked in several countries in Africa and Europe and I’m always keen to learn from different cultures. Before joining E Co., I worked as a researcher on off-grid renewable energy, agricultural commercialisation, alternative economic models and women’s empowerment.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud to be the person to rely on in difficult moments, both in my personal and professional life.

I’m also proud of slowly changing habits of my friends and family about recycling, using less plastic and buying less stuff!

What drives you to do this kind of work?

The fact that I’m continuously learning new things, and the idea that I can have an impact on someone less privileged than me.

What makes you laugh? 

I love animals in general, and my cat and dog are a guaranteed source of laughs.

When are you happiest?

When I make lasagne that impresses my Italian grandmother.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Working with a talented multi-disciplinary team, on projects from all over the world.

Which book has changed your life?

“Small is beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered” by E.F. Schumacher. Written in 1973, this book astonishes me for how relevant and revolutionary it is in the current global scenario.