Creating Appropriate Technologies for People in Developing Countries
Session : With 90% of the world’s engineering focused on 10% of the population, a significant opportunity exists to serve the most vulnerable and marginalized people in developing countries. Many attempts have been made to develop so-called appropriate technology, with some success, and much failure. This talk will cover the Design Outreach (DO) appropriate technology design process as well as lessons learned and best practices. Included are aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset, human-centered design, as well as political, cultural, and economic factors that greatly affect the ability of a solution to reach scale.
Presenter : Greg Bixler, Ph.D., P.E., is the CEO and co-founder of Design Outreach (DO). He also teaches an engineering course at The Ohio State University on appropriate technology for developing countries. Dr. Bixler came up with the idea for DO in 2007 after seeing extreme poverty up close and personal in Central Asia and realizing that he could help alleviate suffering using his engineering talents. In 2010, he co-founded Design Outreach. His endeavors have led him to 23 countries—all while serving as CEO of DO, resident director for the OSU servicelearning program, and advisor for the OSU student chapter of Engineers Without Borders.