Silver Springs Networks brings light to Atauro Island
Silver Spring Networks, an American smart grid solutions company, is teaming up with Kopernik to fund a solar lighting project on Timor-Leste’s Atauro island. Working with Kopernik’s local partner Roman Luan, Silver Spring Network’s donation will help to distribute d.light S250 solar lanterns to 200 households in Atauro, benefitting more than 1,000 people. Located a three-hour boat ride from Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital, communities in Atauro do not have reliable access to water or electricity. The solar lanterns will allow children to study at night, make communication easier by charging mobile phones and improve the quality of life in off-the-grid communities.
Kopernik is pleased to announce this new partnership with Silver Spring Networks and would like to thank them for their generous support in implementing this life-changing project, about which you can learn more here.
Co-Founder Ewa at TEDxJakarta
Congratulations Ewa on her talk at TEDxJakarta! This marks Kopernik’s third TEDx Talk, and this time in Indonesia where many of our projects are located and local support is greatly appreciated.
TEDxJakarta is a passionate community interested in spreading remarkable ideas to the city’s keenest minds who will take the ideas and use them as a catalyst for change in their respective communities.
Watch Ewa's talk here.
Equipping small-plot farmers with affordable drip irrigation
Farmers in Kechla, Orissa, India are raising their hands at farmers meetings, ready to invest 5-10% of their modest annual incomes in drip irrigation. Up to now, some farmers have had to coax small streams into furrows in their gardens in laborsome flood irrigation. In other areas of the Kechla village cluster, they simply haven’t been able to cultivate high value crops in the dry season. That will all change with Driptech’s affordable high-quality drip irrigation systems provided through a Kopernik project thanks to generous financial support from Ahimsa Brands.
Driptech, Inc. is a micro-irrigation company which manufactures and sells drip irrigation systems designed specifically for small plot farmers in developing countries. Kopernik’s platform brings together Driptech as a technology provider, Ahimsa as a donor, and a local Orissa NGO, Auro-Mira Service Society, as the community implementer in Kechla village.
The project will support the livelihoods of nearly 70 marginalized farmers and their families in rural Orissa, an eastern state of India that is part of the so-called ‘tribal belt’ and the ‘poverty triangle’ of the country. Annie O'Brien, a Kopernik fellow currently based in Orissa, gives a closer glimpse to the conditions in Orissa in her blog post. To learn more about the Kechla village drip irrigation project, click here.
Meet the team: Jordi J. Tablada
In a nutshell: I was born in Barcelona, the city where I grew up and obtained my Computer Science degree at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. After an assignment with UNDP Vietnam I decided to study a posgraduate degree in International Cooperation and Development at the same university. For an IT guy it's not always easy to get an assignment related to development and cooperation. That's why I worked at several software companies in different countries like Spain, France, India or Germany during the last years. I had lots of fun at that time but I felt that something was missing and I certainly wanted to focus my work on development and cooperation. And well, let's be honest here, nobody likes the never-ending rainy days in Paris or the eternal freezing winter in Germany. Good thing I never gave up so..here I am!
How did Kopernik enter your life? I knew about Kopernik few months ago, thanks to...read more
Tech of the month: Embrace Infant Warmer
Kopernik is partnering with Embrace to deliver low-cost infant warmers designed for the developing world, where about 4 million babies die each year from hypothermia, and where those who survive cold temperatures often develop and suffer from life-long health problems such as early onset of diabetes, heart disease, and low IQ.
The infant warmer has 3 main components:
- A Pouch that contains saline solution and a heat-storing phase-change material (PCM) within a polyurethane casing
- An electric Heater that heats the Pouch to approximately 37° C, after which the Heater may enter a Dwell Mode in which it keeps the Pouch heated at this temperature.
- A Sleeping Bag that holds the infant and the Pouch in adjacent compartments to promote sustained warming of the infant
The Infant Warmer, is an innovative product for low income communities that will help families save their children and governments work towards the United Nations Millennium Development goals.
K-lab Weekly: Poor Economics
We are launching K-lab Weekly, a subscription service for those who want to stay updated with recent studies and advancements in the fields of technology and international development. Below is a sneak peek of what K-lab Weekly is all about. Sign up now to receive your weekly email that brings you advice and insight on technology for development.
Too often, development policy is made based on anecdotes and gut feelings. Even in circumstances to which these policymakers easily relate, that approach seems apt to fail. Compounding that problem, as MIT economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo point out, is the fact that the lives of the world’s poor are very different than those of the rich.
Banerjee and Duflo step in here. Since 2002, their Poverty Action Lab has, in nearly 300 trials, evaluated traditional development targets like water purification, malaria-bednet distribution, and third-world education, providing some of the first rigorous evidence on what works and what doesn’t, and their book Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty discusses these results in a persuasive and readable manner. It emphasizes a case-by-case and incremental approach rather than an overarching Unified Theory of Development, and therein lies its genius. Instead of spilling ink defending ideology, it can take a calm look at what actually works...read more
Welcoming Julie Gilbert and Lisa Witter to Kopernik
We are delighted to welcome two great additions to Kopernik: Julie Gilbert to the Board of Directors and Lisa Witter to the Advisory Board. With their expertise and talent, Kopernik will continue to improve and deliver even more technologies to those who need them most.
Julie Gilbert developed WOLF, a powerful customer segmentation strategy, to transform companies to serve the largest markets in the world. She built and proved WOLF’s powerful financial and cultural results while a Senior Vice President at Best Buy generating an incremental $4.4 billion revenue increase by women consumers and many other significant financial and cultural wins. In 2009, she hung up her Best Buy title and 16 years of corporate America to lead WOLF separately enabling companies in all industries to reap similarly eye-popping results.
Lisa Witter is an experienced executive, social entrepreneur, communications strategist, writer, and social commentator with expertise in philanthropy, politics, women’s issues, health, social innovation, new media, international development, corporate social responsibility, and leveraging pop culture for social change. She frequently gives workshops and lectures in these areas for the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. In 2010, she was named one of 197 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum.
Meet the rest of the Kopernik team here.
The Q Project
By Stephanie Provato
As a subscriber to the National Geographic magazine, the November 2010 issue is where was I first introduced to the Q Drum. Featured in an article entitled ‘Big Ideas, Little Packages: Little Ideas that Can Change the World’, the Q Drum is a donut-shaped water container that offers a more efficient and less physically demanding method of collecting and transporting water; a task often assigned to women and children in developing countries.
It is without a doubt that water is essential to all forms of life, yet clean and accessible water is a basic need that many people around the world continue to live without. Realizing the luxury of having immediate access to clean water at my fingertips and at the flick of a faucet, I was inspired to help make a difference in any way that I could. I was soon in touch with the founders of the Q Drum, which led me to Kopernik; and The Q Project was born! The goal of The Q Project is to raise awareness through fundraising efforts to provide Q Drums to communities that need them the most. All donations will contribute to Kopernik’s existing Q Drum campaign to help them reach their fundraising goal.
The Q Project reached out to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Elementary School in Aurora, Ontario. Our Lady of Grace has just recently become a WE School in association with the Free the Children organization. As a WE school, students are put at the forefront of active global citizenship by learning about social issues and becoming involved in world-changing action. The Luke 4:18 program at Our Lady of Grace has welcomed The Q Project into their school as part of their global efforts of social justice. At a recent presentation at the school, the students had so many great ideas, and level of enthusiasm for the Project was inspiring. It is so great to see so many young people motivated to help make a difference! Efforts are well on their way; we will soon see great things come from this group!
Stay tuned and check out the website at www.theqproject.ca
Generous couple donate to Kopernik on their wedding anniversary
There are many ways people can get involved with Kopernik, but one couple in Tokyo, Japan decided to honor a very special occasion with a donation to Kopernik. We would like to thank Taku Sugimoto and Hiromi Tengeji for sharing the joy of their 10th wedding anniversary with a very generous donation of 3 million Japanese Yen (USD 38,000) that will enable Kopernik to deliver more innovative technologies to communities in the last mile.
“We have had a long time interest in the field of development,” says Hiromi, “but we did not get involved until we were introduced to Kopernik by my husband’s old university friend. Kopernik’s leadership and board impressed us, and moreover, we totally agreed with Kopernik’s model. We had been looking for something commemorative on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of our marriage. So we thought it would be great to remember this anniversary with a donation to Kopernik.”
We are extremely grateful for their contribution and wish them continued joy and happiness.