Appropriate Technology

Posted on May 17, 2005  Comments (0)

Technology is not only about new breakthroughs. In some cases the technology used is nothing special, the impact is made in applying the technology well. Many opportunities exist for breakthroughs using technology that has been around for a long time.

I was reminded of my father‘s work by the article: From Stanford Engineering to Social Innovation (broken link):

In 1991, Martin Fisher and Nick Moon founded ApproTEC, a non-profit organization that develops technologies for alleviating poverty. More than 36,000 farmers in Kenya have now used their low-cost water pumps to create their own small businesses. They hope to take 400,000 people out of poverty in the next few years.

From the ApproTEC web site (broken link – it sure gets annoying how many people fail to follow basic web usability guidelines such as keeping links alive – organization now called KickStart):

ApproTEC’s Impacts To Date

  • 35,000 new businesses started * 800 new businesses per month
  • $35 million a year in new profits and wages generated by the new businesses
  • New incomes account for over 0.5% of Kenya’s GDP and 0.2% of Tanzania’s GDP

On a related note, TrickleUp is my favorite charity. Their mission: to help the lowest income people worldwide take the first steps up out of poverty, by providing conditional seed capital, business training and relevant support services essential to the launch or expansion of a microenterprise.

John Hunter

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