Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

David Perner's Blog (20)

Fun in the Park with Cryptosporidium

This idea is a little rough, so please be kind, haha.

For World Water Day 2020, I am imagining having a costume contest. In each participating city, preferably near a public waterfront of some kind, people come dressed as their favorite water-borne pathogen. The contest could have several categories, such as "best overall costume", "best protozoa", etc. I would imagine this would be a good but not too serious way to educate people as to just how many water-borne diseases are out there… Continue

Added by David Perner on April 1, 2010 at 12:10am — 1 Comment

Getting Clean Water to Scale in Bangladesh

For my ACT4 post, I decided to write about Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd., a joint venture between Grameen's health and hygiene subsidiary and Veolia Water, a French company. Operated as a social business venture (similar to the joint venture between Grameen and Danone I would imagine) the water purification plant provides water to the area at a nominal cost, which helps to maintain the facility and plan expansion into… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 31, 2010 at 9:40pm — No Comments

The Floating Oasis

While generally I don't like the idea of water desalination (I'm a fan of learning how to make the most of what's available instead of forcing the system to work for you) I recognize that at least in the short term it may become a necessary part of life around the world. To that end, why not try to make this process as benign as possible?

I found a company, Water Standard, who is trying to do exactly that. Their idea is to get a tanker-type… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 31, 2010 at 8:55pm — No Comments

A Happy, and Renewable, Holiday Season

While I don't actually celebrate Christmas, I do enjoy the lights and all the festive decorations around my neighborhood. It has been some time since virtually all Christmas lights phased to LED bulbs, but even with the massive reduction in power consumption, when a couple million people decide to string out hundreds if not thousands of lights a piece, you have to get more energy from somewhere.

With the short days, solar isn't really an option. Fortunately, the winter season… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 31, 2010 at 8:42pm — No Comments

Homemade wind power

So it's not completely new, but I would want to design my own homemade wind turbine. I've seen a couple people on the EVOKE network give it a shot, and I've found a couple website that have plans such as My DIY Wind turbine, TheBackShed.com and Instructables.

Where my idea would differ from these plans would be cost… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 31, 2010 at 8:31pm — No Comments

It slices, it dices, it uses renewable energy to run wireless communication and water purification hardware!

So I wanted to find this article I remember reading about a shipping container sized machine someone had developed that contained solar panels, a small wind turbine, and even a biomass generator. The idea was that you could put this thing down in an area and just crank out power, but unfortunately I can't seem to find it anywhere.

What I did find was something similar, perhaps even better! This company Ecosphere has created another shipping container sized device which acts as both a… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 31, 2010 at 8:18pm — 1 Comment

The Link Between Poverty, the Environment, and Electricity

First and foremost, this post is mostly a quote from The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind where William Kamkwamba talks about the link between the poverty in rural Malawi and the rampant deforestation that has swept the country. This has special relevance to me because I became interested in environmental issues exactly because you can't build a successful society on a dead planet, and because environmental degradation is a key factor which worsens, or even… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 19, 2010 at 6:41pm — 12 Comments

My First Attempt at Polyculture

So originally I wanted to volunteer with the Philadelphia Orchard Project, but unfortunately I'm not sure when their next planting will be. I've heard that the epitome of selfless sacrifice for future generations (or something like that) is planting a fruit tree, since it will be most enjoyed by those who have yet to be born. I may yet still get a chance to volunteer with them, but alas, not this week.

Yesterday though, my family realized… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 17, 2010 at 1:00am — 1 Comment

Dinner in 2020: more local, more seasonal

March is one of the more boring times of year for food, and the kids let me know it. Potatoes, celery root, carrots, and other vegetables can only hold you over for so long before you want something more substantial, especially if you're 3 and 5 years old. But in Philadelphia, it's what we have in our 100 mile food radius this time of year, with occasional additions from the backyard greenhouse. There's still food imported from afar, like oranges from Florida and Midwestern grain to make up the… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 17, 2010 at 12:20am — No Comments

Philadelphia Food (In)Security

Being from (and currently living in) the Philadelphia area, I thought it would be appropriate to look up food security issues in the area closest to me.

However, and I may have glossed over it, but there seem to be two different issues with food security. The first is the economically-induced hunger, that is, how many people can't afford food or enough food. The second is the security of the food supply itself, in this case, how vulnerable the food supply is to disruption.

On… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 12, 2010 at 5:35am — No Comments

Turning a Quarter of Detroit into Farmland

So Detroit right now is in a very tricky spot. The city which, at its height, had roughly 2 million inhabitants now has roughly half of that. Beyond the decreased tax base, the city is now stuck with paying for infrastructure (like plumbing and electricity) as well as services (like police patrols) for a city twice its size. The solution they seem to be coming to is rather radical, but could very well save the city.

To combat this problem, Detroit is going to shrink. The city… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 9, 2010 at 7:02pm — 3 Comments

The Power of Resourcefulness

I feel like a one man fan club, but for this EVOKE power I feel I must talk about William Kamkwamba. William, as a teenager in rural Malawi, set out to build a windmill in the hopes that the electricity it would produce would help to break his family and eventually his community and country out of the cycle of poverty. Accomplishing such a task in his situation is no easy feat, and William displayed his resourcefulness in several different ways.

Local… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 7, 2010 at 4:03am — 2 Comments

Update: My hero to shadow

In my previous ACT1 post, I talked about William Kamkwamba and the inspiring story of how he built a windmill in his hometown in Malawi with the dream of one day breaking the cycle of poverty in the area. Well, as part of the mission, I sent a friend request to him on facebook, and he accepted! I also just sent him a message on facebook asking if he would be interested in joining the EVOKE network, so I hope he… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 6, 2010 at 5:25pm — No Comments

Grameen- The power of local insight

For my Game1 submission, I wanted to bring up Grameen as an example of how local insight can make all the difference.

From the beginning, the Grameen Bank, and more specifically the founder Muhammad Yunus, defied the expectations of a banking system that did not understand life in the Bangladeshi countryside. Horrified by the suffering of the poor and their inability to move out of poverty for want of fair credit, Dr. Yunus started the Grameen Bank to loan small amounts to the rural… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 5, 2010 at 10:51pm — 5 Comments

Make money, save the world?

So a while back I came across the Microplace website. For those of you who don't know about it, it's a site similar to Kiva where you send money to microfinance institutions around the world. When the money is sent, it acts much like a bond, with you not being able to access the money for a certain period of time, but you earn interest on it quarterly. I've put some money into it, but unfortunately I'm… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 5, 2010 at 8:13pm — 7 Comments

My response to Simon's Challenge

(This is a Challenge taken from Marc Skaf's blog)

So just to summarize, at least for my own benefit, the challenge is:

For a wireless power system, similar to the one WiTricity is developing:

  1. What are the problems in applying this to African development?
  2. How might you implement this technology in poor communities
As far as the problems, I see them falling into five… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 5, 2010 at 7:12pm — 7 Comments

What is renewable energy's future in Africa?

These are taken from a previous post I did, but I wanted to make it its own discussion if I could. From the maps I've found, Africa looks to have enormous renewable energy potential, fair better in many cases than the industrialized nations that are now investing heavily in it. I know several African nations, like Kenya, get a lot of their power from hydro, but for a continent just building its infrastructure, is there a way to make renewable energy more prevalent and available to the people… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 5, 2010 at 4:47am — No Comments

My daily life in South Africa (circa 2020)

Letting me dream about the future is a little dangerous, but let's see where it goes.

In 2020, I'm working for a company in South Africa similar to Better Place, which provides electric vehicle charging infrastructure, such as charge points and battery swapping stations. On a usual day, I'm traveling to communities, both rural and urban, to help determine how to best design renewable energy infrastructure for electric vehicle charging as well as to… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 5, 2010 at 2:52am — No Comments

My hero to shadow

It's odd for me to list as a hero someone who's the age of my younger brother, but as I mentioned in my last post, William Kamkwamba certainly qualifies as a hero. As a teenager, William built a wind mill with the hope of one day breaking him and his community out of the cycle of poverty that grips the Malawi countryside. His determination, courage and vision makes him someone I admire.

There are many ways to follow what William is up to. The first is his… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 4, 2010 at 10:44pm — 1 Comment

Innovation in Africa: Best advice (and one I take exception with)

From my own research into African development (and really, development anywhere) is that understanding the people, the culture, the environment and the constrains of an area are crucial to the success of any solution. This might be a bit of a cop out, since this could also include economic considerations and a variety of other African development tips, but the example of solar ovens is a good one.… Continue

Added by David Perner on March 4, 2010 at 9:00pm — 3 Comments

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Sophie C. commented on Asger Jon Vistisen's blog post Stinging Nettle
"I love that you've brought this to attention. An extensive database of uncommon but resistant and hardy plants/foods could be developed and organized by climate. Ease of growth and processing should also be taken in to account. I will try to…"
Aug 19, 2020
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Fourth of July on the Lake

This past weekend was the annual celebration at the lake house in Connecticut. It is amazing that the lake is still so clear and beautiful after all these years. The watershed association has done a wonderful job protecting these waters from the damaging effects of development.The wood grill was finally ready to cook on, so we didn't miss the propane tank fueled grill anymore. The food actually tasted fresher than in the past and was easy to keep fueled.Dad was very proud of the solar hybrid…See More
Jul 6, 2020
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Stinging Nettle

In this blog post I will focus on a plant that is abundant in our nature, and which is immensely nutritious. It's of course the Stinging Nettle. Let's start with the chemical constituents of this plant:37 % Non-Nitrogen-Extracts19 - 29 % Ash9 - 21 % Fiber4 % Fat22 % ProteinOnce the leaves are drid, their protein content can reach an astounding 40 %, which is much higher than beef, which even under the best of circ***tances can never exceed 31 % protein. In addition the Stinging Nettle consists…See More
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The meal

It is 7'oclock, I was late home from work due to an assignment that i wanted to get ahead on. By the time I get home I am feeling extremley tired and I cannot be bothered to make a proper meal. I walk to the fridge and open it to see what there is for me to eat. All of the out of date foodstuffs have been automaticaly thrown away by the fridge, they will be recycled tomorrow as animal feed or something. I see i have organic local eggs and some local cheese. Foods are vacc** sealded for easy…See More
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FutureToday is 2020/1/1. It is just like yesterday. The war is still continuing. It has started since 2010. In 2010, that year was a horrible year. Almost every energy ran out. Every country’s governments were crushed down at the same time. There were riots everywhere. All of the big company’s bosses were killed xdeadx in the riots. Troops fought each other everywhere. Food was bought up xawayx at once. There were no more food supplies in any shops. The economy was all crushed down. All the…See More
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The exchange works directly for state and public workers and servants. It gives them credit in exchange for the amount of public work they contribute to the community. The more constructive they are based off a base rate the more credit they recieve.
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