Francesco Piazzesi grew up in Mexico passionate about building communities for families who do not have opportunities to access adequate housing. In 1987, Francesco founded Adobe Home Aid, a non-profit organisation that teaches communities how to make green building materials. After writing his doctoral thesis, Francesco realised that community building and home ownership require other components, such as social capital, financial education, and credit instruments. In 1997, the NGO was joined by a social enterprise called Échale a Tu Casa.
Drawing on years of experience in the housing industry, Francesco and his team are tackling the lack of adequate housing for Mexicans at the base of the pyramid. This self-build model focuses on community financing and the construction of safe, environmentally friendly and adequate homes, in order to offer both dignity and heritage value for homeowners.
The programme has completed more than 180,000 housing solutions positively impacting more than one million people. In 2015 and adopting the 17 Goals for Sustainable Development of the UN, the organisation changed its name to ÉCHALE, thereby integrating the development of sustainable communities. The programme has received national and international recognitions including Katerva, World Housing Award, Clinton Global Initiative, Schwab Foundation, National Quality Award, National Housing Award 2007 and 2018, World Entrepreneurship Forum, Best for the World from B Corp. Francesco is Ashoka member since 2010.