Meet the Team: Ian Robinson
Ian is BlueConduit’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Here’s a quick Q&A with Ian.
Why did you join BlueConduit?
I believe in the power of business to drive positive change for society. I chose educational and career opportunities, including my decision to join BlueConduit, based on that thesis. After obtaining my dual MBA and MS degree from the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, I completed a fellowship with Agora Partnerships, advising Latin American social enterprises on growth and strategy. Following that consulting opportunity, I was looking to be part of a scaling company committed to delivering impact. As a Michigander, I found BlueConduit’s origin story and commitment to impact in my home state to be extremely compelling. I joined the company just after its launch in the summer of 2019.
What professional experience and expertise do you bring to BlueConduit?
For more than 15 years, I scaled start-ups, increased the real-world impact of university research, and worked in community development. I started my career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. That experience reinforced my desire to support communities in their sustainable development and use business as a vehicle to advance those goals. I went to grad school at Michigan to better understand the crossroads between business and sustainability, exploring strategies to scale ideas and impact. After grad school, I worked with business incubators, doing start-up consulting, and impact investing. I bring the combination of these experiences to my work at BlueConduit.
What does a day in the life of BlueConduit’s President and COO look like?
On any given day, I engage in discussions with community organizers about water quality issues facing their cities, commenting on proposed environmental regulations, presenting about BlueConduit at state water conferences, and developing and managing our company’s financial model. In a dynamic, growth company like BlueConduit, there is no “typical” day. I’m energized by finding different ways to support my team and the organization as we grow.
What work accomplishments are you most proud of and what goals have you prioritized for this year?
I am so proud of BlueConduit’s accomplishments and contributions to all the communities we serve.
Since BlueConduit was founded in 2019, we have supported more than 50 communities with predictive models that have allowed them to accelerate the replacement of lead service lines. In the water industry at large, we have institutionalized best practices for using statistical modeling for lead service line predictions. I am deeply proud of securing funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, Google.org, and the Kresge Foundation to make BlueConduit solutions accessible to under-resourced communities.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Regardless of the season, I love being outdoors. I like cycling, berry-picking, and playing catch. And nothing beats dinners with family and friends and time spent with my nephews.