Your Vote Counts – Help Kopernik Win a $250,000 Grant

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As some of you may know, Kopernik has partnered with Invent for Humanity to leverage their online marketplace platform.

This unique marketplace helps appropriate technologies reach the communities that need them the most. Kopernik solves the issues that appropriate technology developing organizations face, like campaign funding and shipping to communities in remote areas of the world.

Fortunately, Kopernik, and other small charities, have the opportunity to impact more lives by participating in the Chase Community Giving Program.

Chase is donating a total of $3.025 million, which will be shared among the Top 100 eligible charities receiving the most votes.

Hundreds of thousands of organizations from across the nation are eligible to participate in Chase Community Giving Fall 2011 Program. Voting ends at 11:59 AM, ET on November 22, 2011.


• The eligible charity receiving the most votes will be awarded $250,000

• The second through fifth place eligible charity winners will be awarded $100,000 each

• The 6th through 100th place eligible charity winners will receive $25,000 each

We encourage everyone to vote now for Kopernik!

Kopernik is a great organization working to improve the quality of life for thousands of communities in lesser developed countries. Winning this contest would allow Kopernik to fund campaigns, bringing clean water to households in East Timor, solar lighting to farming communities in Nigeria, or solar powered hearing aids to children in Vietnam.

Terminology Tuesday – Licensing

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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.

Lisencing Licencing Lisensing I don’t know how to spell it, but does this mean I have to go to the DMV?!?!

Licensing -The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. Licensing  refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.

A license may be granted by a party (“licensor”) to another party (“licensee”) as an element of an agreement between those parties. A shorthand definition of a license is “an authorization (by the licensor) to use the licensed material (by the licensee).”

A licensor may grant a license under intellectual property laws to authorize a use (such as copying software or using a (patented) invention) to a licensee, sparing the licensee from a claim of infringement brought by the licensor.[1]

So when you go to the DMV, they are the licensor, you the licensee, and that card with your photo on it is a physical agreement between you. You agree to follow the rules of the road and they agree to let you use their roads.

I think I get it now, but why would Invent for Humanity need licensing?

As we mentioned last Tuesday when discussing Intellectual Property, all of the technologies created by our Technology Providers contain some form of Intellectual Property. Remember we discussed  campaigns a few weeks ago? A good example is the Q Drum campaign.

The Q drum is currently only produced in South Africa, but we want it to be available to people in Mexico. It costs too much to ship them, so instead the goal is to have them made onsite in Mexico. In order to do so, we have to license the IP involved in the Q Drum, keeping in mind the laws of each country, in order to start setting up production.

A structured licensing agreement will be created by the Invent for Humanity Campaign Action Team (CAT) which consists of members from LES Mexico and LES South Africa, as well as Center for Applied Innovation Fellows. The CAT will work with the manufacturer in Johannesburg to create molds in order to ensure consistent manufacturing standards, and document the appropriate manufacturing “know how”.

1 Intellectual Property Licensing: Forms and Analysis, by Richard Raysman, Edward A. Pisacreta and Kenneth A. Adler. Law Journal Press, 1998-2008

Terminology Tuesday – Intellectual Property

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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.

Intellectual Property- Isn’t this why I can’t download music for free anymore?

Intellectual Property (IP) – A term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law.[1]  Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.

Intellectual Property- What does that have to do with helping people in developing countries?

Intellectual property is very important to the mission of Invent for Humanity (and yes, IP is related to why you can’t download free music).  Each innovation designed by our technology providers is their own intellectual property. It is these ideas and creations that will help make the lives of people in developing countries better. If someone decides to create a water filter, their method of doing so – the products they use, the formulas involved in creating it, even the shape and design of the filter all are IP.

1 Intellectual Property Licensing: Forms and Analysis, by Richard Raysman, Edward A. Pisacreta and Kenneth A. Adler. Law Journal Press, 1998-2008

The 2011 Sustainable Disaster Relief Housing Conference is happening TODAY in Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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The 2011 Sustainable Disaster Relief Housing Conference will bring experts in the field from around the world during a day and a half of presentations and an exhibition showcase to discuss swift and durable construction solutions in support of disaster relief efforts.  Check out the homepage for an itinerary of this great conference.

Did you know that one of Invent for Humanity’s technology providers is involved in disaster relief housing? Uber Shelter, while not yet in the market of sustainable relief housing, does provide quality transitional shelter for people who have been displaced by disasters. The goal of Uber Shelter is to create shelters that can be assembled quickly, are space efficient, and can service as a platform for expansion into more permanent housing in post-disaster situations.

Terminology Tuesday – Campaigns

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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.

Campaigns? Are you guys running for office or something?

The Invent for Humanity Ecosystem (which we discussed last Tuesday), together with participating needs organizations and technology providers, works to create the first transparent marketplace for humanitarian technology transfer and IP licensing through Campaigns.

After we receive complete funding for a Campaign, local needs organizations and technology providers work with the Invent for Humanity Ecosystem in order to develop manufacturing infrastructure, licensing agreements, sustainable enterprise, job creation and local business growth. It’s through these campaigns that we create sustainability for our efforts in developing countries.

Current campaigns looking for funding are:

the Q Drum Campaign and the Solar Ear Campaign

Today is both World Development Information Day AND United Nations Day

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“The General Assembly in 1972 instituted World Development Information Day to draw the attention of world public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide in principle with United Nations Day, 24 October. The Assembly felt that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.”

What will Invent for Humanity do regarding Development information?

The programs presented at the Invent for Humanity event will educate participating organizations and give them the right tools to help transfer life-changing Appropriate Technology to benefit the developing world. Topics related to development are:

Converting Research into Appropriate Innovations for the Developing World

  • What are the issues surrounding innovation for LDCs?
  • Where is there a need for market understanding?
  • How can we create the best practices for University R&D of technology for LDC’s?
  • Why is it important to understand the definition of Appropriate Technology?

When Good Intentions Are Not Enough

  • Why is aid alone not effective?
  • Why is there a need for sustainable, local enterprise?
  • What are some operational execution best practices?
  • How do we establish effective campaigns and initiatives?
  • How can we work to foster local market development?

Designing for the Developing World

  • What is the role patents shouldn’t play?
  • How do we create true sustainability?
  • Who is responsible for co-creation and teaching innovation?

Enterprise Development

  • What funding models are available? A discussion on microfinance, grant writing and crowd funding.
  • How do we create sustainable enterprise within rural communities?
  • What are some best practices of local enterprise creation

6-month heads up! The Global Health & Innovation Conference is April 21 & 22 2012

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We’re telling you six months in advance, so mark your calendars (get a lower registration rate if you register by October 31st)! Held April 21 & 22 at Yale University, New Haven Connecticut, the Global Health & Innovation Conference is presented by the non-profit Unite for Sight. The conference annually convenes more than 2,200 people from 55 countries, and the participants are an eclectic group committed to global health innovation and world-changing ideas.

Guest speakers will cover a wide variety of global concern topics. Those related to Invent for Humanity are: Design Thinking, Education Initiatives in Global Health, Maternal and Child Health, Non-Communicable Diseases, Organization Management, Philanthropy, Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Media & Marketing, and Water and Sanitation.

Invent for Humanity is especially excited that our friends from Catapult Design will be represented.

“The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Working with Designers,” Noel Wilson, Lead Designer, Catapult Design


Featured Interview with Luis Moreau, a new Invent for Humanity Fellow

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Luis Moreau

Luis Moreau is a unique and diverse individual with an even more interesting background. Luis is a trained Venezuelan lawyer with a Masters of Law from Chicago-Kent College of Law and Masters in Business Administration from Spain.

Luis has focused his career and professional experiences on corporate and intellectual property law matters and business strategy. Luis’ very unique background makes him a very obvious fit for the Center for Applied Innovation and Invent for Humanity.

With Center for Applied Innovation and Invent for Humanity, Luis is developing connections with organizations in Latin America to develop new campaigns that focus on this region.

Luis joins Invent for Humanity as a Fellow to assist with projects that focus on matters related to Latin America and to provide a different perspective on how to approach issues within that part of the world.

Q&A with Luis Moreau:

What helped you decide to pursue a career in Intellectual Property?

I discovered my passion for Intellectual Property early in my career when I was attending law school in Venezuela, at that time I started working in a law firm specialized in intellectual property, I started learning the ways of local and international intellectual property working with the support of my mentors in all aspects of intellectual property, at that time I understood the importance of intellectual property and the positive impact it could have not only for businesses but also for society in fostering sustainable development.

How will helping to provide appropriate technology to the impoverished people of Latin America affect you personally?

I think we all reach to a certain point in life sooner or later when we start asking some type of philosophical questions to our self, and for example one of those questions I will ask to myself will be what have I done in my life that really makes me feel proud? The answer for this will vary from person to person, for me I want to say among other things that I was a good person that helped the most needy.

“I think there is no bigger happiness and satisfaction to the spirit other than the smile and the sense of gratitude experience when we help others”

This makes me remember an experience I had during my years in law school doing social work that I would like to share with you. At that time, I was part of a group of students that started a program to teach little kids in very poor public schools in Venezuela about child rights. We started visiting several public schools and one in particular call our attention when we got to know that the majority of those kids in our classroom were victims of some kind of abuse, child exploitation, domestic violence and some were not even having a proper nutrition. During the time we spent with those kids (three times a week during a complete academic year) we tried to show them how beautiful life is and we were able to put smiles in their faces by the end of our program we were all touch by that experience. I still remember those kids asking for nothing else but a hug. That felling was amazing and that’s the type of satisfaction I am sure we could accomplish by following the mission of IFH.

There is always something that can be done to make this earth a better place, in general when we do something good you can see the whole world becoming a better place. It is special.

How has your education prepared you for this project with Invent for Humanity?

I could say my education has been shaped by three main stages that in addition with my personal and professional experience make me who I am today. The first stage takes place during my elementary and high school education in Venezuela, it took place in a Catholic school of the Christian Brothers of La Salle, Always anxious to prepare better persons under the ideals of “Faith, Fraternity and Service”, my teachers showed me our society’s issues and the need for active agents willing to help and offer solutions to those problems. The school gave me the tools necessary to do so, “the passion for service”. I had the opportunity to develop a social sensibility by direct contact with communities of fewer resources through social work, teaching children and sharing time with the elderly and sick.

The second stage was my legal education, it has prepared me to become a server of those who are in trouble by being part of a profession of virtue where the values of justice and equity are the most important tools, and finally the third stage will be my business studies, they has taught me how to develop strategic planning with the idea of corporate social responsibility understanding the better the society is the more opportunities a business will have to be successful because what is good for society is also good for businesses.

How were you introduced to Invent for Humanity? And how did you join their mission to provide appropriate technology to Latin America?

I had the opportunity to assist to a presentation in Chicago-Kent College of Law where Invent for Humanity’s president Mr. James Malackoski presented the organization and introduced the things they were doing. I was fascinated by the activities and the ideas and kept the organization in mind. Later, one day I sent an email and I had the opportunity to meet Ms. Bree Miller who suggested me become part of the organization as a fellow and I couldn’t say no to the opportunity of joining the organization.

How will you carry out the necessary market analysis to find out the needs of the people?

The first thing to do is to collect information and resources, identify who is out human capital and in a big scale let people know what Invent for Humanity does, in this case we will engage in a more personal experience with local communities and people with needs will come to us faster, from that point it will be much easier to develop campaigns.

I think before we find out what the needs of the people are first we need to get to know who the people are. Find the means to get to know their communities and their way of life. This is of special importance because by doing this we will be able to understand the real issue and the underlying problem a community is facing, then we will be able to understand how the problem should be tackled to develop solutions to the problematic tailored to their specific necessities.

In this order of ideas I believe IFH need active agents in different local communities, partners in the ground that will provide insight and a complementary point of view to any project or campaign we start. This is key because this network of local people will become the bridges that will help connect and link the people with the needs and the organization.

The analysis to find out what are the needs of people must be the result of a joint effort. from my perspective many factors will play an important role in order to find out what the real needs of the people are, it is necessary to engage with local social organizations, local representative from communities that are interested in working with IFH to develop an efficient workflow in order to accomplish the desired transfer of technology.

How will your efforts along side of Invent for Humanity affect the people of Latin America?

It is hard to tell, I am a believer in the great potential for positive impact Invent for Humanity could have in societies and in people living under the poverty line in Latin America and in the world. Growing up in Venezuela allowed me to see how many people live in permanent need. I hope the efforts we put today in Invent for Humanity will be translated into benefit and in improvement in the quality of life of many.

I always remember a quote from Peter Salomon founder of Amnesty International that once said

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”

and I think that’s what Invent for Humanity is doing, bringing light where there was darkness using intellectual property and technology as a candle.

Terminology Tuesday – Ecosystem for Impact

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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.

“Ecosystem…Isn’t that what I have growing in my fish tank?”

An ecosystem is a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment. (So yes, your fish tank is an ecosystem, but it’s different from ours).

Invent for Humanity’s collaborators will interact, develop new relationships, and facilitate the transfer of life-saving technologies from the inventors to the people who need them.  Individuals and organizations that create appropriate technology will now have a transparent marketplace for the transfer of their tech and for humanitarian intellectual property (IP) licensing.

Each partner organization brings to Invent for Humanity a unique set of skills, experiences, insights, and deliverables. When all these partners collaborate, Invent for Humanity reaches its maximum impact.

The Ecosystem works together, along with participating Needs Organizations and Technology Providers, to create Campaigns. Ecosystem members are classified across three primary channels – licensing, infrastructure, and marketplace.

Invent for Humanity Ecosystem partners are:

Today is the International day for the Eradication of Poverty

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According to World Bank, 1.37 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, and 2.56 billion live on less than $2 a day. Moreover, 5.05 billion people (more than 80 percent of the world’s population) live on less than $10 a day.

Invent for Humanity’s needs organization Solar Sister is fighting to combat those numbers, one woman at a time.  Solar sister provides women with the education and training they need to operate and maintain solar technology and to help them be successful as independent business women.

Solar Sister not only brings light to those in Sub-Saharan Africa who do not have access to electricity, it also generates income, self-worth, and independence for the women involved.

Solar Sister provides each woman a start-up kit with inventory, training and marketing support. These women then create their own sustainable businesses, using an Avon-style selling model. They sell to their friends, family, and the community, recruiting other sellers along the way.

Solar Sister is so unique because it is not a one-time investment such as donating food supplies. As each entrepreneur sells more product, she invests more in her own business and generates more income for herself. While this is only one small step in eradicating poverty, the sustainability of the Solar Sister model will make it have a great impact.

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