Terminology Tuesday- Appropriate Technology

Posted on by kdenton

As we get closer to the big event in January, we realize that some of our partners and friends may not be familiar with some of the terminology used in discussing Invent for Humanity and intellectual property issues.

Introducing Terminology Tuesday – helping our followers to gain deeper insight into the goals of Invent for Humanity.

“I know what ‘appropriate’ means, and I know what ‘technology’ is, but what the heck do they mean together?”

Appropriate technology can mean different things to different groups. For Invent for Humanity’s purposes, the best definition is that given by Jequier and Blanc:

Appropriate technology (AT) is now recognized as a term for a wide range of technologies characterized by any one or several of the following characteristics: low investment cost per workplace, low capital investment per unit of output, organizational simplicity, high adaptability to a peculiar social and cultural environment, sparing use of natural resources, low cost of final product or high potential for employment. (Journal of Technology Studies)

What does this mean for Invent for Humanity?

All of our technology providers have created innovations that are low cost to create and to distribute to those who need them. The items are simply constructed and easy to use by anyone, no matter what their cultural understanding may be. These items consume little to no natural resources for those using them, are low cost to those who need them and can increase earning potential for users.

An example of appropriate technology is the Q Drum. You’ve read about it in previous posts, but the Q Drum campaign seeks to reduce the costs to consumers caused by packing and shipping expenses. The campaign will lead to Q Drum creating new manufacturing relationships in Mexico and the Philippines in addition to the original facilities in South Africa. Shipping finished Q Drums overseas is enormously expensive, but creating them closer to where they are needed makes them much more affordable.

Read a fascinating blog post about the importance of making appropriate technology that is AFFORDABLE to those who need it click here.