Monday, January 17, 2011

Introduction to Empower Design

Our research team and development (R&D) has developed a user interactive graph in order to display the progress of so-called developing countries such as Uganda in comparison with so-called developed countries such as America in terms of sustainable development. This model compares the average based power consumed (kilowatts per capita) with the country’s ranking on the Human Development Index (HDI). In addition, you are able to select and graph only specific countries and add different comparisons to the graph such as average power consumed. Then you can push play and see how the countries have changed over the last 20+ years.

From our model, it is easily apparent that developing countries, particularly different African nations, are the lowest in terms of both average base power consumption per capita and on the human development index. With appropriate technology in Africa for over 40 years, it is appalling that these countries still occupy the bottom of this spectrum. This predicament is what inspired our research. We asked ourselves, “Why do newly developed appropriate technologies fail in developing countries?” Our solution was that too much attention was being paid to the engineering aspect of new machinery without taking into account local constraints that need to be placed upon such technology. For instance, if a wind turbine is built in Uganda with blades reinforced with carbon fiber tape and it breaks, the locals will not be able to repair it because they have no access nor the finances to acquire resources such as carbon fiber tape. Therefore, the machine goes to waste. The focus of our research is to develop technologies that will survive and thrive in African nations by taking into account social constraints.

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular graphic and prescient text in many important ways. I look forward to seeing more!