Steve Woz on our closed source education system


A very succinct message from Steve Woz on how our education system(s) kills creativity in its quest for a one size fits all approach to education…

This is so true all over the world… the waste of human potential is the greatest waste

Via EEtimes and DangerousPrototypes

TED goes to India


Just found out that TED is organizing a TED India conference (November 4-7, 2009) in Mysore at the Infosys campus. Check it out here

Surgeons could save lives, $20B by using checklist


This will probably be useful worldwide…

Eight hospitals reduced the number of deaths from surgery by more than 40% by using a checklist that helps doctors and nurses avoid errors, according to a report released online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Surgeons could save lives, $20B by using checklist

7 points on Green Economics and New Thinking


Worldchanging posts about Green Economics and New Thinking. The 7 points are:

1) Scale. How big is the global economy relative to the global ecosystem?
2) Stress development over growth. That is, make the economy better at satisfying human needs, not simply bigger.
3) Make prices tell the ecological truth.
4) Account for nature’s services.
5) The precautionary principle. This is just the age-old wisdom of “first, do no harm” and “look before you leap,” but applied to public policy toward new products (like chemicals) and technologies that could pose serious risk.
6) Commons management.
7) Value women.

Elizabeth Hausler – Build Change : earthquake-resistant houses in developing countries


Elizabeth Hausler explains to Global X that she was finishing her Ph.D. in engineering at Berkeley when an earthquake hit India and killed 20,000 people. That’s when she realized that “it’s not the earthquake that kills people, it’s the building collapsing.”

She looked for a solution and launched Build Change to build earthquake-resistant houses in developing countries and change construction practices permanently so that homeowners in seismically active developing countries can sleep at night.

Windbelt, Cheap Generator Alternative, Set to Power Third World


The article here and its accompanying video describe this invention as, “…a taut membrane fitted with a pair of magnets that oscillate between metal coils. Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines…”

Turning the world upside down


Farmingsolutions.org website has a touching story of the success of farmers’ self-help group in India. How they overcame all odds to work themselves out of poverty with sustainable agriculture at the same time caused a social revolution.

AfriGadget: Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity


The website AfriGadget documents precisely what its tagline says. This is the website to check out if you are interested in seeing how people solve real life problems with limited resources. An African version of the Indian HoneyBee network may prove helpful.

Hans Rosling’s jaw-dropping demo, on TED.com


I am a big fan of TED and it never fails to wow. In this presentation Hans Rosling demonstrates visually a myriad of development indicators and at one point argues that Africa is not a basket case but has made tremendous strides in social development.

TED Talks | Ashraf Ghani: How to fix broken states


Amazingly thought-provoking talk at TED2005 by the brilliant Dr. Ashraf Ghani

Very insightful approach to developmental issues…

“The aid system is broken,” says Ashraf Ghani in this powerful, reform-oriented talk. He discusses how to mobilize capital for state-building; why technical assistance fails; and why classic economic theory proved useless in Afghanistan, which is “dominated by the drug economy and a mafia.” He emphasizes the necessity of investment (“A dollar in private investment is equal to 20 dollars of aid”) and design ingenuity to rebuild broken states. And he offers a blueprint: the 10 key functions that a state should perform, from providing infrastructure to enforcing the rule of law.

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