The eradication of disease, malnutrition, pollution, and illiteracy — real concern in much of the world, including the “developed” one, can be achieved by using appropriate technology. The Stanford Social Innovation Review list 10 such technology that can make a difference in the qualities of life of the majority of the people of the world. Here’s the list drawn up by John Voelcker:
Treating Human Waste:
A South African company offers a self-contained toilet that treats waste without water or chemicals, protecting precious drinking water from contamination.
Enviro Options (Pty) Ltd., Kya Sands, South Africa.
Cleaning the Air:
A U.S. nonprofit has developed an inexpensive kit that turns smog-belching two-stroke engines â€“ the kind that power mini-vehicles throughout Asia and Africa â€“ into cleaner-burning, fuel-efficient sources of power.
Envirofit International Ltd., Fort Collins, Colo., United States
Harnessing the Sun:
An Indian company is selling small-scale solar
power systems that not only produce electric power,
but also generate cash by enabling people to
set up their own home-based businesses.
SELCO Solar Light Private Ltd., Bangalore, India
A Canadian nonprofit is partnering with African
companies to manufacture and distribute an
electricity-free food preservation system.
Malnutrition Matters, Ottawa, Canada
Educating the World:
A prestigious U.S. university is making many of its
academic courses available on the Internet where
users can learn from them â€“ free.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, Mass., United States
College students and corporate volunteers from across
the United States have developed a solar-powered
microfilm projector that will help tens of thousands
of Africans learn to read this year.
Design That Matters Inc., Cambridge, Mass., United States
Crafting Inexpensive Vaccines:
A team of Cuban and Canadian scientists has
invented an inexpensive vaccine that could save the
lives of half a million infants each year.
Hib Vaccine Team, Havana, Cuba, and Ottawa, Canada
Helping People See:
An Oxford University professor has invented low-cost
eyeglasses that wearers can tune without the aid
of an optometrist.
Adaptive Eyecare Ltd., Oxford, England
Reducing Child Labour:
A Pakistani organization is selling ergonomically correct
weaving looms that let adults create the same
intricate rugs that children now make.
Centre for the Improvement of Working
Conditions & Environment, Lahore, Pakistan
Bridging the Digital Divide:
A Brazilian nonprofit is rolling out telecenters that
provide Internet access, telephone service,
computer training, and other technology-based
services to the poor and working class.
CEMINA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil