Nicole Andy Rapista

Education, Entrepreneurship, SDGs in Palo Alto, California

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Talent is universal, opportunity is not. Andy was born in the US but grew up around poverty in the Philippines where she was constantly disturbed by economic disparity and grappled with questions on privilege, ethics, morality, and human dignity. She considers herself a pragmatic idealist and is driven by a deep desire to create a world without poverty by leveraging entrepreneurship, education, and innovation.

Andy is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Watson Institute – Philippines*, an incubator program in Manila for student innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs aged 18-23. It includes short master courses from the world’s foremost leaders, entrepreneurs, and thinkers including a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and more; intensive mentorship; and training in the entrepreneurial skills of empathy, creativity, resilience, grit, bootstrapping, team building and fundraising. Watson helps students create solutions to the world’s toughest challenges.

*Watson Institute Philippines was the first satellite campus of Watson University, based in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

With 5 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, Andy has worked in the intersections of education, entrepreneurship, innovation, consulting, government, policy, and grassroots mobilization. She has worked for Ashoka and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and serves on the Executive Board of the International Youth Council as the Director of Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship. She was a youth delegate to the United Nations where she worked on the Sustainable Development Goals at Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

As an inspirational speaker and facilitator, Andy has spoken at the United Nations, Conference of World Affairs, and Startup Weekend Youth Boulder.

In 2015, she traveled thePhilippines with the Philippine Department of Science and Technology - Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) to facilitate workshops in Design Thinking and Innovation and Positive Psychology.

An inveterate traveler and insatiable learner, during her free time, you wont find her because she’ll likely be in the mountains or underwater.

Our work: Watson Institute Impact Report 2014-2015

  • #innovation
  • #sustainabledevelopmentgoals
  • #entrepreneurship
  • #highereducation
  • Work
    • Co-Founder and President, Watson Institute PH
  • Education
    • Essex County College
    • Georgetown University
    • Watson University
    • University of California, Davis