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Oleo Sustainable Palm Oil Solutions

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Positions: Impact-Driven Communications Intern
Location: Open to remote work or in person for those located in the Bay Area, with potential for travel to Indonesia for 2-3 weeks
Innovation Area: Energy, Food, Water, Human Health and Environment Nexus
Position Type: TomKat Center-supported
Compensation: $7,500
Internship Term: 8 weeks

Apply Here

Palm oil is one of the  most carbon intensive commodities in the world, and is a leading driver of tropical deforestation. Oleo SPOS was founded with the intention of combating the present climate crisis and addressing the human rights violations associated with the palm oil industry. We are developing a synthetic alternative to palm oil to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, halt deforestation, and improve the livelihoods of local farmers, otherwise known as smallholders. Our sustainable and ethical alternative to palm oil is uniquely designed for implementation at farms in producing regions, beginning with Indonesia. Our novel process repurposes agricultural waste into a fermentation feedstock for fermenting microorganisms to produce a synthetic alternative to palm oil. Learn more at our website


We are focused on designing an internship experience that is both beneficial to Oleo SPOS and enriching for the selected intern, enabling them to develop skills they believe to be useful to their goals post-graduation. The responsibilities listed below are not an exhaustive list and are tailorable to operate at the intersection of skills the intern already possesses, and those which they hope to develop.

During the summer of 2023, Oleo SPOS will be focused on designing and implementing the second phase of its pilot program, which involves conversion of biomass to fermentation feedstock at selected smallholdings in Indonesia. The intern will assist with many facets of this endeavor including, but not limited to:

  1. Building customer communication channels including website development and social media.
  2. Creating multimedia communication materials including videos.
  3. Creating methods for facilitating participatory design for engaging with small farmers in Indonesia.
  4. Developing a mechanism for impact tracking including eliminating deforestation and providing economic benefit to small farmers.

Who should apply

We are looking for Individuals who are highly motivated to make a positive contribution to the world through applying their skills to combating the climate crisis and providing economic benefit to small farmers in rural settings.

Required Expertise

We encourage students with diverse backgrounds and a broad range of skills to apply. We welcome any of the following fields including sustainability, agriculture, international/global studies, public policy, urban studies, communications, film, CS and engineering. This is not an exhaustive list of backgrounds, so if you are interested in working with Oleo SPOS but your area of expertise isn’t listed we encourage you to apply. Preference will be given to students with ties to Indonesia.

Preferred skills/Majors

We are looking for individuals passionate about climate justice and social impact with a broad range of interests and skills, including:

  • Adaptable & Quick Learner
  • Open Mindset
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Self-starter
  • Written and Oral Communication
  • Web Development
  • Social Media/Marketing & Branding

The following skills are preferable but not required:

  • Indonesian Language Skills
  • Videography
  • Chemical engineering; functional knowledge of Aspen
  • Functional knowledge of sustainability & techno-economic-analysis
  • Awareness of social impact models
  • Knowledge of small scale agricultural practices