OUT OF THE BOX: (Clockwise from top left) A Pretorian boy uses a 20-gallon rolling drum to transport water. A woman uses a lifestraw filter, which kills bacteria as water is sucked through it. A pot-in-pot cooler that relies on the evaporation of water from wet sand to cool inner pot, in Nigeria. The $100 laptop computer for the ‘one computer for every child project’
Isn’t it wonderful to make a difference in the lives of the collegues, countrymen and the most needed anywhere on earth ? I always felt so and was looking for such innovations around the globe and this was something I am flattered at. And for all of us who are looking for some there’s light at the end of the tunnel and as Paul Polak told this crowd of innovators….its truly why should 10% of ppl rich and luxurious reap the results of 99% of innovation and its research why cant the 90% be benifitted to overcome their poverty..?
I recollect this dialogue from the film DAVE when the impersonating President says “You want to make a few people gr8 about their cars and what about the thousands of people that sleep on pavements and parks ?”
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Paul Polak told a crowd of inventors recently, “A billion customers in the world are waiting for a $2 pair of eyeglasses, a $10 solar lantern and a $100 house.” The world’s cleverest designers, said Polak, a former psychiatrist who now runs an organisation helping poor farmers become entrepreneurs, cater to the globe’s richest 10%, creating items like wine labels, couture and Maseratis.
“We need a revolution to reverse that silly ratio,” he said further. To that end, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, which is housed in Andrew Carnegie’s 64-room mansion on Fifth Avenue and offers a $250 red chrome piggy bank in its gift shop, is honouring inventors dedicated to “the other 90%,” particularly the billions of people living on less than $2 a day.
Their creations, on display in the museum garden until September 23, have a sort of forehead-thumping “Why didn’t someone think of that before?” For example, one of the simplest and yet most elegant designs tackles a job that millions of women and girls spend many hours doing each year — fetching water.
Clever solutions such as the Drip Irrigation System
Balancing heavy jerry cans on the head may lead to elegant posture, but it is backbreaking work and sometimes causes crippling injuries. The Q-Drum, a circular jerry can, holds 20 gallons, and it rolls smoothly enough for a child to tow it on a rope.
“The No. 1 need that poor people have is a way to make more cash,” said Martin Fisher, an engineer who founded KickStart, an organisation that says it has helped 230,000 people escape poverty. It sells human-powered pumps costing $35 to $95. Pumping water can help a farmer grow grain in the dry season, when it fetches triple the normal price. Fisher described customers who had skipped meals for weeks to buy a pump and then earned $1,000 the next year selling vegetables.
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