Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rewarding "Appropriate Tech" Innovation

One of my favorite recurring topics has turned out to be when technology is being used for the right reasons, namely, to fundamentally improve the circumstances of life, especially where it's needed most, instead of only to produce more self-indulgent gadgetry. I didn't plan for appropriate technology to be one of my most frequent tags over a year and a half, that's just the way it happened. (Not that this came as any surprise.)

So naturally I wanted to pitch in this piece that appeared on CNet's news.com today --
The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., gave out its annual awards on Wednesday night to companies and organizations that have created breakthrough devices for helping the environment and emerging nations. (Slide show of the winners.)

The first photo is of a clever stove invented for families in Guatemala, which cuts down the amount of firewood needed for a family by 70 percent. "That's hugely important in a country trying to deal with a growing population and deforestation," CNet's Michael Kanellos writes. It directly helps the families, too, not only cutting their cost for firewood, but also it's weight -- since they "often have to transport it on their backs."

Significantly, at a cost of $120, "It pays for itself in six months." (This contrasts dramatically with a personal wind power generator I'd written about last year that was predicted to pay off in 24 years!)

"Take Me To Your Leader!"

Other related posts here:
WSJ Tech Innovation Awards (9/13/06)
(Tag:) Green Tech
(Treetops photo by meire, flickr.com)

1 comment:

meire said...

thanks for crediting me for the photo!