Sunday, April 02, 2006

ATDT New Project Questionaires

The EWB-SFP Appropriate Technology Design Team (ATDT) is still just getting started, so nothing is "final", but already there are two questionaires ready for groups/people to fill out to propose a project for the ATDT to consider. A "project" is some carefully considered design project need that an organization (either "inside" EWB-SWP or "outside" EWB-SFP) requires to make progress in helping people employ appropriate technology (AT). If a project meets basic ATDT/EWB-SFP requirements then the ATDT will start the process of trying to marshal EWB-SFP's engineers to consider it and help out.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that an accepted project will recieve EWB-SFP help - after the ATDT gives it the thumbs up the proposed project may still have problems meeting EWB-SFP needs (such as for financing, organization, or engineering requirements) or EWB-SFP may not be able to find the appropriate resources/engineers to help out. But the questionaires start the process!

For the moment, we don't have a web based method for downloading the inside and outside questionaires (does anyone know how to post Word documents so that they can be downloaded from a blog like this?), but for now you can contact to get either one, and/or get a copy of a sample completed form. Your completed questionaire helps us quickly evaluate your need and and our ability to meet it - if your project looks like something that EWB-SFP can help out with, we'll ask you to make a short presentation to us so that we can get a more details. Not every project's needs can be met by a small local organization like EBW-SFP (because this is a young effort, locally based projects may be initially preferred), so we appreciate your understanding if we cannot help you immediately.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Bridging the Divide 2006" AT conference at UC Berkeley Next Week

Ken Chow reminds everyone that next weekend is an important Appropriate Technology conference in Berkeley:

Bridging the Divide 2006

Check out the website, but here are some quick comments on what it looks like:

- the conference mission statement is "The divide between the world’s developed and less-developed regions has grown more extreme with the expansion of the global economy, resulting in increased economic marginalization for a significant part of the world’s population. As part of its mission, UC Berkeley seeks solutions to this trend through development and deployment of appropriate technologies and business models that address this divide."

- sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the UC Berkeley Management of Technology Program

- this is the 3rd annual conference

- it starts Friday afternoon (big speakers and reception) and then runs all day Saturday (more speakers and many panel discussions), and consists of all kinds of programs related to improving conditions in the developing world.

- sample discussion topics that might be of interest to EWB members include microfinance, health issues, designing and implementing appropriate technologies, and renewable energy.

- registration is is $150 for the general public, $100 for non-profits, and $30 (negotiable) for students.

The website also include archives from past conferences and descriptions of student projects - snippets about microfinance, water purification, efficient lighting and stoves, electrification, biodiesel, etc. that indicate some of the range of activities taking place in the Bay Area; for AT there may not be any better place to be. Check it out!