Drones Delivering Supplies to Remote Communities

While completing summer courses at Singularity University, social entrepreneur Andreas Raptopoulos conceived a plan to deliver life-saving materials to remote and isolated communities throughout the Global South. That idea has now turned into a company that utilizes unmanned aerial vehicles (UVAs), called Matternet.

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Shipping Containers Have the Potential to Deliver Homes

When natural disasters strike, thousands of people are often left homeless. Emergency shelters are always in need, and new innovations have recently allowed for many new creations, such as the Biosphere and Exo-Units. Recently, the idea of “cargotecture” has been taking off. “Cargotecture” takes shipping containers, refurbishes them, and turns them into sustainable homes. A new proposal using this type of construction is the proposal …

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UK Architect Aims to Bring Eco-Homes to Nigerian Slum

  Isona Shibata, an architect and development practitioner from the UK, is seeking funding to develop a prototype for an eco-alternative housing solution for residents in the Galadimawa Slum, situated just outside of Abuja, Nigeria. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and upwards of 70% of its 177 million residents lives below the poverty line. As Nigeria grows, so do …

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Raising the Bar in Water Purification with Nanotechnology

The World Bank reports that over 88% of worldwide illness is related to contaminated water. An Oregon-based company has successfully produced a highly effective personal water purification system that could be of massive benefit to humanitarian relief efforts. The Solar Bag, developed by Puralytics, boasts the ability to not only filter, but truly purify water of up to 99.999% of …

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“Earthship Biotecture” Provides Sustainable Housing

Earthship Biotecture was founded in 1969 by Michael Reynolds, an architect, who utilizes innovative technologies to create sustainable housing developments. Based in Taos, New Mexico, the organization has now spread worldwide, and sustainable “earthships” are being used for both leisure and emergency housing. Their aim is to “evolve the way humans live on this planet by evolving existing methods of …

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Breaking Down Linguistic Barriers with Words of Relief

Disseminating information is critical in the aftermath of a humanitarian emergency. But for aid workers operating in a foreign country, even basic verbal communication is sometimes impossible. Linguistics barriers can pose a major constraint on the ability of aid workers to effectively identify need, share information and deliver services to crisis-affected populations. With Words of Relief, a translation crisis relief …

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Mobile App Speeds Up Family Reunification in Humanitarian Emergencies

During the commotion of a natural disaster or armed conflict, children are often separated from their caregivers. The longer a child is missing, the greater the risk that they will not be found and will become victims of violence or exploitation. As a result, the immediate aftermath of an emergency is especially critical for tracing and reunifying families. The new …

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A Floating Power Generator for Off-Grid Disaster Relief

Power generation in post-disaster areas and for remote development projects is often costly, can use unreliable fuel supplies, and may take too long to become active. To address this need, Altaeros Energies is currently testing the Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT), which operates at 400-600 metres (1000-2000 feet) above the ground, and does not require the long and expensive construction associated …

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Affordable, Stackable, and Sustainable Emergency Shelter

Michael McDaniel had witnessed many hurricanes growing up in Mississippi, but nothing came close to the destruction that Hurricane Katrina brought in 2005. Humanitarian responses were slow to start, very costly, and close to one million people were left homeless. This prompted McDaniel to begin developing his own innovative technology to ensure that people directly affected by disasters would be given …

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