Would Your iPhone Survive a Disaster?

Would your iPhone survive a natural disaster like an earthquake or tsunami? Most researchers don’t believe so. Applications have been developed that function on a mesh network, allowing you to communicate in the event that wifi and cell phone networks are no longer functioning. This is useful if your phone survives. If not, you are out of luck.

  1. Sustainability Problem: Safety and Health
  2. Summary of Article:
    • A team of Danish designers are encouraging the use of a Ham Radio device in the wake of disasters
    • This radio is solar powered and uses mesh network technology to send messages
    • The device can survive immersion in water during a flood or storm and an withstand much rougher conditions
    • The team of designers is working with the Red Cross of the Philippines to finalize a deployable design
    • The plan is that each volunteer would get their own device and receive or send messages about those in need and resources needed in the wake of a disaster
  3. Organizational Stakeholders: Red Cross, Danish design team, Philippine Government Officials, Emergency Management Team
  4. Steps in Deploying Technology:
    • First, the design team would need to engage with the Red Cross to ensure that a design meets all of their needs and satisfies the requirements
    • Design of the device should be sent to production
    • A pilot should be launched with the Red Cross to test efficacy of the device
  5. Comment on another post: Great post Sylwia! In the articles you linked, it is interesting that the tech relies on basic properties of metals and their conductivity (as temperature drops, the metals become more conductive).

To learn more, click here!



Face Based ID Coming to a Supermarket Near You?

The British startup company YOTI has created an app with face-based identification. Two supermarkets in the UK are going to test the app in 2018.

  1. Sustainability Problem: Civic Engagement
  2. Summary of Article:
    1. The app is easy to enroll in and only requires a selfie with an iPhone to be registered as a user.
    2. Your selfie would be linked via the app with a photo ID, driving license, or passport.
    3. The hope is that this will help supermarkets address fraud for purchasing restricted products.
    4. The data on the app is encrypted for identity protection.
    5. This technology would be easily scalable and is capable of being widespread. Smartphone users are common and this type of technology is being used in the iPhone X, which has hit the market already.
  3. Organizational Stakeholders: YOTI employees and senior management, Police force, Identification systems, Supermarket chains, IT department
  4. Steps in Deploying Technology:
    • For this technology to be deployed, it will have to be integrated into the supermarket’s POS system.
    • It will require training of supermarket employees to understand how to use the technology correctly when selling items.
    • It will require a YOTI team to maintain the function of the application as more users register.

Click here to learn more!


Comment on Offshore Wind post.

Offshore windpower is an optimistic opportunity. The fact that popularity approach has allowed a cost reduction by 60% is impressive.


Cows Wearing Backpacks – A Methane Solution

Livestock farming has an enormous impact on climate change. In Argentina, livestock agriculture is prominent with over 51.2 million cows residing in the country. In the United States, methane emissions from animals contribute to 22% of our greenhouse gas emissions. With that being said, methane is also one of the most impactful GHG’s. It is estimated that one cow produces enough methane in a year to do the same amount of damage as 4 tons of carbon dioxide.

The Paris Agreement called for a GHG reduction to prevent the Earth’s temperature rising an additional 2°C compared to temperatures from before the industrial revolution. In order for this to happen, livestock agriculture will have to make strides to reducing their emissions. Aside from the population becoming vegan, there have not been many solutions put forward to make an impact up until recently.

The National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) has created a backpack to mitigate climate change by capturing methane emissions from cows. The backpack would be worn on the cow and captures methane by inserting a tube into the cow’s rumen, or a digestive organ where the gas is produced. Researchers say this does not harm the cow and would capture up to 300 liters of methane per day. This methane can then be condensed and used as fuel for “light” activities such as cooking or lighting.

Although this seems like a humorous solution, it is encouraging to see INTA taking a stab at the methane problem!

Check out my notes below for a summary of the details.

  1. Sustainability Problem: Energy and Climate Change
  2. The following bullet points summarize Argentina’s invention:
    • Methane produced by cows as a result of digestion accounts for 25% of all methane emissions in the atmosphere
    • On average, one cow produces 300 liters of methane per day 
    • The INTA created a backpack that is inserted through the cow’s skin which captures gases emitted through its mouth or intestinal tract
    • The backpack collects the methane and it is then condensed and used to power activities such as cooking, lighting, or driving a car
  3. Organizational stakeholders that would be involved in this technology are:
    • National Institute of Agricultural Technology of Argentina
    • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    • Local farmers in Argentina
    • Facilities Management Team
  4. The following steps should be taken to deploy this technology:
    1. INTA should test this technology on a few local farms in Argentina.
    2. This technology could be introduced on a continental or international stage at the UN, to debate the efficacy and legality of using this on animals.
    3. Lastly, management teams can be established to discuss maintenance and implementation of these on farms.

If you would like to learn more, check out the links!





Plastic Solutions in Baltimore

In Baltimore, Maryland, innovation surrounding plastic pollution is cleaning up water bodies.

  1. Waste: Plastic pollution creates a domino effect of impacts on an aquatic ecosystem. Although awareness has been spread about this sustainability problem, there has been little tangible actions and scalable technology that has risen to the challenge.
  2. The Inner Harbor Water Wheel is technology worth watching. Here’s why:
    • The city of Baltimore has prototyped, tested, redesigned, and deployed the Water Wheel
    • It is powered by water current and solar panels
    • A series of rakers that pull floating debris from the water onto a conveyor belt and into a floating dumpster
    • In it’s first trial, the Water Wheel removed 50,000 pounds of trash
  3. Stakeholders that should be involved in deploying this technology are:
    • Team of Professionals from Baltimore city government
    • Project Developer- John Kellett
    • Government employees from cities located near water
  4. This technology should call on the success from deployment in Baltimore to look for next steps.
    1. A task force should be assembled to discuss implementation and the success and flaws from its initial deployment in Baltimore.
    2. Secondly, the task force should identify other areas where the water wheel should be suitable.
    3. A manufacturing team should be assembled to begin constructing additional water wheels, under the supervision of its original creator John Kellett.

For more information, check out the articles below!




Recycle Nation App for Civic Engagement

Have you ever wondered if an object you had was recyclable? A new tech solution from Recycle Nation addresses this issue.

  1. Sustainability Problem: Civic Engagement
  2. The following few points highlight 1800Recycling’s technology:
    • Recycle Nation created an application for your phone or other device
    • the app was formerly known as “My Recycle List”
    • it uses mapping technology to show areas where different materials can be recycled
    • it’s user-friendly filters allow you to search for locations that recycle a range of items
  3. Organizational Stakeholders: Technology developers, Mapping technology stakeholders, GIS analysts, Marketing and Business development team
  4. First 3 Steps to Deploy Technology: In deploying this technology, it would be important to establish app developers to continue to make updates to the application. Secondly, hiring a team of GIS analysts to continue to plot the upkeep of other recycling facilities and update the mapping data points. Lastly, I would implement a development team to promote the application as well as acquire financing.

Check out the link below for more information about the app.




Comment on Solar Bike Paths: I really enjoyed this article and this piece of technology. Solar panels generated 3,000 kWh in 6 months. This outperformed the threshold that was estimated in a lab due to prior testing. It seems that this technology could be easily deployed and has great benefits, despite the cost.



RIPE: Genetic Engineering and Future Food Shortages

The United Nations estimates the world population will increase to 9.6 billion people by 2050. A population rise is be accompanied with growing concerns about resource usage such as water, food, energy, and housing. The RIPE Project is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

1.  Sustainability Problem: Health & Water

2. The following bullet points summarizes sustainability technology that addresses health and water:

  • A project called Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) is a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • The team is using genetic engineering technology to maximize the photosynthetic capabilities of tobacco
  • Their goal is to increase crop yields and efficiency by targeting inefficiencies in the plant metabolism
  • RIPE is engineering three genes that express how light is processed
  • Thus far, they have increased tobacco yields in a greenhouse by 20%

3. Organizational Stakeholders: Once the RIPE team assembles a procedure that can be reproduced in mass with different plant species, a number of stakeholders will be necessary to implement this technology.

  • Educational stakeholders must recruited trained scientists in genetic engineering.
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization can use their involvement to bring policy to the mainstream regarding genetically engineered foods internationally.
  • Public Private Partnerships can be used to make technology more affordable.

4. The first step in deploying this technology can be deployed by bringing this to the UNFAO to encourage international acceptance of this technology as a solution to the food crisis as population rises. Following this, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation can create a protocol and continue their research with other essential food crops. A team of educational stakeholders should be assembled to encourage genetic engineering at universities.

Check out the link to the article below to check out more images and information.


The Warka Water Tower: Where Accessibility and Innovation Meet

The Warka Water Tower

1. Sustainability Problem: Water and Health

In today’s world, a growing population, global climate change and inefficient water infrastructure raises concerns for equitable access to clean drinking water. Currently it is estimated that 783 million people lack access to potable drinking water. Lack of potable drinking water contributes to a range of public health concerns such as spread of disease and illnesses, deaths, and inability to grow food.

2. Technology: Warka Water Tower

The Warka Water Tower was developed by an Italian architect named Arturo Vittori with his studio Architecture and Vision. It serves as an innovative technology to address concerns for access to water in developing countries in addition to their accompanying public health problems.

Summarized below are some key takeaways from this technology:

  • Warka Water Tower was developed to collect water vapor from the air in areas that lack sufficient water infrastructure for remote or developing communities
  • the device functions at the highest capacity in areas where humidity and fogs are high
  • depending on the conditions, the tower can harvest from 10 to 20 gallons of water daily
  • the tower can be built without electrical tools
  • this design is the winner of the World Design Impact Prize in 2016 and mass production is aimed for 2019

3. Organizational Stakeholders:

Stakeholders in this effort that would be relevant are the existing team of designers, architects, and developers. Additionally, marketing and investment teams would be beneficial to help Warka Water meet their goal of mass production in the year 2019. Outreach and construction teams should be assembled to promote these structures in developing countries to educate community members on how to construct and use the tower along with its other functions such as the Warka garden, drone, toilet, and house.

4. Next Steps

Warka Water’s next steps should involve assembling an investment and marketing team to gain funding for their innovative designs. This will allow them to bring the tower to mass production and enhance funding in their design and development of other Warka products. They should additionally consider NGO partnership to install and promote acceptance of this technology in developing countries.

Check out the following links below for more information!



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