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Robert Dowling




Robert is the Founder of the Penn Diplomacy and Policy Council (  He worked with a number of startups in Boston and Philadelphia before launching his current enterprise, rePurpose (, a tech platform that doubles the income of those living in refugee camps and dense urban slums by better connecting trash pickers to the recycling companies that demand their product.  rePurpose made it to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, the national finals of the Recess Pitch Competition, was featured on the Wharton Social Impact Initiative "Dollars and Change" Sirius XM radio show, and won the Pivot Environmental Prize.


Robert developed a concept for business incubation in refugee camps during the Global Innovation Forum at The World Bank. He serves on the Wharton – World Bank Ideas for Action Incubator, which develops social enterprises pitched to The World Bank, and as a judge and board member for the Power African Youth Entrepreneur Drive, a pitch competition sponsored by the African Union to bring entrepreneurs of the diaspora back to the continent.


Robert is on the Disaster Action Team with the American Red Cross and an International Disaster Response Operator with Team Rubicon. He is a StartingBloc Social Innovation Fellow and a Management and Technology Fellow who is taking a year off from Penn to build economies and incubate business enterprises run by orphaned youth in the Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. He also holds a standing invitation to Renaissance Weekend, the world's leading ideas festival that draws an eclectic group of Nobel Laureates, Heads of States, and preeminent authorities in every field from military to fashion.  Robert studying electrical engineering, finance, and global analysis at the University of Pennsylvania’s engineering school and The Wharton School of Business. 

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