Our Directors

Rory Stear


Rory is the Executive Chairman of Flambard Holdings Limited, an international investment and consulting company with holdings in technology, renewable energy and data management, and Chief Executive Officer of Blackwood Power. Rory is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Business School at Nelson Mandela University. He co-founded and was Chairman and CEO of Freeplay Energy from 1994, until it was sold in 2008; and currently serves as Chairman of the Lifeline Technologies Board.

Rory has vast experience in building businesses, corporate social responsibility, raising capital and leading organisations, operating globally for the past 20 years in the USA, UK, Africa and Asia. He was a CNN/TIME/FORTUNE Principal Voice on the issue of Energy Poverty and a TIME Hero of the Environment; and served for three years on the World Economic Forum’s Global Renewable Energy Council. He has been a member of the YPO/WPO since 2000 and is currently a WPO member of the Cape Town chapter.

Rory’s particular passion is in addressing energy poverty, and in working towards providing reliable energy access to everyone.

Kristine Pearson

Chief Executive, Lifeline Technologies

Kristine, an internationally recognised social entrepreneur, is currently CEO of Lifeline Technologies (LT) and of Lifeline Energy, the charity that is LT’s majority shareholder.

Kristine conceived the idea for the first radio developed specifically for distance education and children living on their own, a radio called the Lifeline. Her concept won the first Tech Museum of Innovation Award in Silicon Valley in 2001. Her work with Lifeline led her to be honoured with Silicon Valley’s prestigious James C. Morgan Humanitarian Award, and TIME magazine named her a Hero of the Environment. She is a fellow of the Schwab Foundation of the World Economic Forum, and serves on the Women’s Leadership Board at the Kennedy School at Harvard University, and the UN’s Energy Access Practitioner Network.

A graduate of the University of California, Kristine has attended executive education at Harvard Business School, Santa Clara University and the University of the Witwatersrand.

Vivake Gupta

Vivake is founder and Chairman of Lab49, which develops risk analytics systems for investment banking clients. Previously a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, he co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer for Simile Software.

Prior to starting Simile, Vivake was a Research Associate at the University of Chicago doing work on scientific parallel computing, complexity theory and parallelizing compilers. He has made extensive contributions to the open-source community, including involvement in the Mozilla project, contributions to the Linux kernel, and additions to the library of code available for the Python language in the areas of statistical processing, natural language, and rich media.

Vivake holds a B.A. in the Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an active member of both the Enterpreneurs’ Organization (EO) and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

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