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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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
Where my idea would differ from these plans would be cost… Continue
Added by David Perner on March 31, 2010 at 8:31pm —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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.
Added by David Perner on March 12, 2010 at 5:35am —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
(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:
- What are the problems in applying this to African development?
- 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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —