Sunday, February 19, 2012

Appropriate Technology in a modern embodiment

The Appropriate Technology movement dates back, as far as I know, to Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E. F. Schumacher in 1973. The Schumacher Center still is in operation promoting low-cost, simple, rugged, environmentally benign technologies, embodied in an non-governmental organization, Practical Action. I was involved in the movement when under a grant that I administered the National Academy of Sciences published Appropriate Technologies for Developing Countries, part of a long series of books on underutilized technologies of potential use in developing nations. Volunteers in Technical Assistance, VITA, years ago threw out its archive of information on appropriate technologies, and has been reincarnated as Enterprise Works/VITA focusing on "enterprise-oriented solutions." I led a team that did an evaluation of an non-governmental organization which no longer exists called A.T. International.

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