Quetsol – Affordable Solar Electricity in Guatemala

The talk below is by Quetsol cofounder, Juan Fermín Rodriguez, given at the finale of the Unreasonable Institute 2012, at which he was one of 22 social entrepreneurs from around the world to be named Unreasonable Fellows.

For more information about products, their input and investment, download their informational PDF below:

Quetsol Investment Kit (Presentation) – 4.8mb – click image to download

Global Village Construction Set

Open Source Ecology is “a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters building the Global Village Construction Set.  The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.

Those 50 machines range from tractors to bread ovens to circuit board makers and founder Marcin Jakubowski and volunteers from all over the world have prototyped eight (as of November 2011) so far.

I love this idea.  Check out Jakubowski describing the concept in this brief TED talk:

As Jakubowski says, “We’re focusing on hardware because it is hardware that can change people’s lives in such tangible and material ways.”  Not just for developing countries, but developed ones too—farmers, small business owners, etc.  ”Our goal is a repository of published designs so clear and so complete that a single DVD is effectively a civilization starter kit.”

For those of you who got excited about the page full of logos for other open-source hardware initiatives like I did, here they are with links—enjoy!

RepRap
Arduino
MAKE:
Lasersaur
MakerBot
TechShop
Willow Garage
DIY Drones
SparkFun 

Anupam Mishra: The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting

“With wisdom and wit, Anupam Mishra talks about the amazing feats of engineering built centuries ago by the people of India’s Golden Desert to harvest water. These structures are still used today — and are often superior to modern water megaprojects.

“To promote smart water management, Anupam Mishra works to preserve rural India’s traditional rainwater harvesting techniques.”  (TED)

Peter Haas: Haiti’s disaster of engineering

“‘Haiti was not a natural disaster,’ says TED Fellow Peter Haas, ‘It was a disaster of engineering.’ As the country rebuilds after January’s deadly quake, are bad old building practices creating another ticking time bomb? Haas’s group, AIDG, is helping Haiti’s builders learn modern building and engineering practices, to assemble a strong country brick by brick.

“Inveterate tinkerer Peter Haas is the co-founder of AIDG, the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, which connect people to electricity, sanitation and clean water through a combination of business incubation, education, and outreach.” (TED)

Amy Smith shares simple lifesaving design

(the sound is very low, but the video is well worth it)

“Fumes from indoor cooking fires kill more than 2 million children a year in the developing world. MIT engineer Amy Smith details an exciting but simple solution: a tool for turning farm waste into clean-burning charcoal.

“Amy Smith designs cheap, practical fixes for tough problems in developing countries. Among her many accomplishments, the MIT engineer received a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2004 and was the first woman to win the Lemelson-MIT Prize for turning her ideas into inventions.” (TED)

Amy Smith is an inventor and educator.  She founded MIT’s D-Lab in 2002.  In 2010, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.