Michael J. Rosen wrote:
> I had one minor thought about "what to do for now": there are many very
> basic areas of knowledge related to global warming, alternative energy,
> hybrid cars, the pros and cons of biodiesel, how water pumps work etc
> etc that we should all be up on. What if we came up with a list asked
> each member to take on one topic and be prepared to talk for ten minutes
> on it at an upcoming meeting?
I agree - I think we should use meetings to educate ourselves about all
sorts of issues related to being technical philanthropists :-)
Could we look at some of the technical details of other EWB projects
either done or underway?
Could we have a meeting with another chapter nearby, to hear about
Could we have someone from the Anthropology or other department, even
missionaries or Doctors Without Borders (there are local doctors I know
who go to poor countries every year to provide services) talk about
trips they've taken to underdeveloped areas?
What about various members taking turns to identify and present
(websites that describe) new sorts of technologies, e.g., an oven that
uses the sun to bake bread (Princeton engineering student project?), or
a hand-crankable battery charger (I've heard about these for
flashlights and $100 laptops)?
We could also learn about the politics of haves and have-nots, the
Digital Divide (who has access to technology and who doesn't, and what
impact that may or may not have).
Another neat thing to know about is microbanking, a concept started in
Bangladesh, whereby village women get small loans ($50-100) to
start businesses. They prove to be fiercely responsible with the
money, provide useful goods and services, and place primary importance
on educating their children, which is known to raise a community's
standard of living in the relatively short term. This idea has spread
around the world, made huge impact on the well-being of many regions,
and won the economist whose idea it was a Nobel prize:
Obviously, we also want to do things directly related to the
nuts-and-bolts (e.g., fundraising), but if we also have an education
piece at each meeting, I think that would make good sense, for all
sorts of practical and lofty reasons.