Chris Edwards

Program Director, Mastercard Strive

"Digital technologies can disrupt existing practices, boost economies and transform lives. However, if we’re not careful, they can also exacerbate existing inequalities. I’m interested in the application of digital for development and how, through collective and sustained endeavour, we might unlock its potential to deliver scalable and inclusive social impact."

Chris is Program Director on Strive Community, a global initiative launched by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Caribou Digital to support the resilience and growth of five million small businesses around the world. He manages global innovation funds, identifies potential grantees and forges strategic partnerships that deliver impact for small businesses. Prior to joining Caribou Digital, Chris was a technology and innovation adviser at the UK’s Department for International Development (now FCDO). He designed and ran multi-million pound research and innovation partnerships with the GSMA and Unilever to test and scale new technologies and business models across the Global South. He also led initiatives to narrow the global digital divide, particularly the digital gender and disability gaps. Prior to DFID/FCDO, he led global marketing campaigns to boost UK exports, before which he worked in strategic sourcing and brand management roles at Mars. Chris combines this blended public-private background with experience in social innovation, digital and mobile technologies, financial inclusion and sectors including energy, agriculture, circular economy and humanitarian action. Chris holds a BA in Italian & Spanish from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of Sussex/Institute of Development Studies. He is currently based in the rolling hills of the Peak District, UK.

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