Friday, April 29, 2011

Idea Sharing = Incredible Inventions In India

Fifteen years ago Indian visionaries realized that they needed to move past the traditional grassroots method of extracting knowledge. They created a unique network to facilitate knowledge sharing in order to bridge the gap between creation and innovation in Indian communities. The key focus was 1.) technologies used for survival 2.) collective indigenous institutions for natural resource management and 3.) education at the primary level in regions high in illiteracy. Their goal was to inspire creative forces at the community level, and they did just that. They called it the Honey Bee Network.

Like bees live off the pollen of flowers, the Honey Bee Network is founded on the principle that information/knowledge sharing will contribute to the overall common good of society. The Network comprises a multimedia/multi-lingual team database of new innovations and ideas within the Indian community including biodiversity and herbal medicine. They mobilize the people through grass root and village meetings.

An astonishing innovation that spawned from this organization was the "amphibious bike" created by Mohammed Saiddullah. He needed a way to get to safety when his village was flooded, but there were no boats available. So, he created a boat that rides on water. Another incredible innovation is the "tree climbing apparatus" created by Appachan. This device allows him to move up and down the trees safely and quickly. The most publicized example is the "mini washing machine". Remy Jose created a pedal powered clothes washer that saves time and electricity. The ingenuity of these contraptions is clearly jaw dropping. If we could instigate this type of idea sharing elsewhere, along with the new innovations, who knows what the improvements in quality of life could be.

--Gabrielle Gurian

SOURCE: ITU Success Stories