Hans Rosling on statistics, poverty, health care and development

One thing I got received from this video is reinforcing of the idea that solutions must be contextual.  This idea reinforces Paul Polak’s teaching of interviewing the people you are trying to serve.  You can’t solve problems out of contexts.

Check out the Gap Minder Web Site for yourself.


“vision with out action is a daydream, action with out vision is a nightmare”

I found this on Social Edge today thought others would enjoy.

Themes that I keep hearing are consistant.  They are respect for those you serve and the ability to find the sustanable products.  If you think your smarter then your customer then you become deaf.  Paul Polack really gets this point across in his book Out of Poverty.

D-Rev Let’s start a Design Revolution

Paul Polak is my latest hero. I don’t know him personally, but anyone who starts a movement in their seventies has to have something special. Something Paul once said continues to stick with me. Now this is not an exact quote but it goes some thing like this.

“It is that infernal question that has been following me all these years. Why are people poor and how can they get out of poverty.”

Something about the word infernal has just stuck with me. It’s his journey of seeing a big problem and finding the best levers to pull. It’s the simple ideas that are sometimes the most powerful.

Some of us just don’t get it. We miss the simple truth right in front of us. If one person can move out of poverty then so can two. If one person can invent a product that empowers people then so can two.

Their is an excitement that is building around a simple though and that is that designers can serve those who live on less the one or two dollars a day and create a huge lasting impact.

So thank you Dr. Polak for starting a Revolution in Design.


I just started helping a friend find out more about the potential of a plant as a food and fuel in Ethiopia.  It is call the Moringa.   I am newly researching this but some believe that The Moringa tree has a potential to combat poverty and hunger.  What is the potential?

1.  Nutritious leaves that can feed people and livestock
2.  Quick growth of the leaves
3.  Can be used to fight indigenous diseases
4.  It can be used to produce a bio fuel

What do you think?  Would love some feedback or resources.

Also look at TreesForLife.org

Eleni Gabre-Madhin seek to build commodities market in Ethiopia

I found this interesting. I am looking forward to hearing more about what is learned as a result of this enterprise. Comments are welcomed.

Water Health International

Water Health International is working to provide clean, safe water to some of the worlds most at risk communities.  They are working to do all this through a sustainable for profit model.  They build a water purification facility for the town and then over time the town pays it back.  After it is paid of the town has the ability the keep and reinvest the profits.


It is estimated that two million people die a year due to water related issues.  This is an enormous problem.  Water Health International is leading a “blue revolution”.  Take just a minute of your time and consider walking 4km a day to get water.  Not just any water.   Water that has the potential to make you sick.  There are many things that can be done to empower people, but few are more important than clean water.  It is exciting to see that there are organizations like this working hard to develop sustainable systems to bring clean water to real people.

Recent article on Water Health International

Bob Freling is helping to bring energy to developing countries

Bob Freling has a passion to empower people through developing ways to get sustainable energy sources to some of the remotest regions of the world.  Bob believes that this is a foundational aspect of alleviating poverty. Bob established The Solar Electric Light Fund in order to endeavor to make a positive change in this important area.  The Solar Electric Light Fund helps to get power to some to the most remote regions in the world.

So what are some of the benefits that SELF lists in it’s web site:

Energy is a foundation, a prime condition, a prerequisite to a healthy living and a competitive economy, without which:

  • Health Clinics go without lighting and medical equipment and without necessary refrigeration to preserve vaccines and anti-venom serum for yellow fever, polio, tetanus, whooping cough, and hepatitis A and B.
  • Schools go without dependable lighting to facilitate education and ensure the well-being of their students.
  • Community knowledge is compromised when connectivity by radio and telephone is power-constrained.
  • Agricultural production is hindered by lack of irrigation systems, which leads to the loss of precious day-light hours to traditional fuel-gathering, severely impeding economic progress.
  • Homes are lit with kerosene lamps, which give dim and wavering light, emit cancer-causing smoke, and cause thousands of devastating house fires every year. In contrast, light produced by solar power is carbon free clean, steady, bright, and safe
  • Surface Water is dangerously contaminated with disease-carrying waste and agricultural runoff.
  • Micro-Enterprise is severely hampered, as nightfalls comes at about 6:30 p.m. year-round, effectively ending the productive work day without access to electric light.
  • Urban Migration causes explosive growth of cities in developing nations, straining the natural environment and overwhelming cities’ social service systems.

To read more from source…