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Augustana grads bringing a broader perspective to the world of small business

Augustana grads bringing a broader perspective to the world of small business

NEWO redefining energy in Camrose and beyond

From public education to industry training programs local nonprofit, NEWO, aspires to do business better through the model of social enterprise. The company developed out of Augustana’s Spirit of the Land movement, which company co-founder Raj Rathnavalu was heavily involved with.

Spirit of the Land aspires to develop a positive culture as a principal foundation to address contemporary challenges in the environmental and economic culture of Alberta. In 2016, Augustana alum Ryan Lindsay teamed up with Rathnavalu and others to establish NEWO Global Energy, to build on the foundational ethos laid by Spirit of the Land.

“We graduated and didn’t know what to do,” says Lindsay. “NEWO gave us the opportunity to dream and live that dream.”

The emerging field of solar energy provided the means for NEWO to begin operations with projects in Camrose and beyond. Photovoltaic installations are the backbone for the company while charitable projects and holistic education provide the meat of what NEWO is about.

“Working as a nonprofit we built something together that was about not trying to keep everything for yourself,” says Lindsay. NEWO Global Energy provides solar and electrical services in Camrose with an aim to expand into water and geothermal in the future.

NEWO is currently working on nine different projects ranging from a mobile research station in the Northwest Territories to homes and farms in the Camrose county.  

“‘Newo’ is the Cree word for ‘four’,” explains Rathnavalu, “here representing working in harmony with the four elements of earth, water, fire and wind to foster the well-being of all human and non-human communities.”

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