Water ATM – Primal Sarjaval

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Sustainability problem:

Slum areas in developing countries  lack access to networked, let alone potable water. Many rely on informal water vendors (from pushcarts or trucks) and bad quality surface water.Such water would require further cooking, which means extra cost and effort. These sources of water are also not available 24/7. This can have high toll on monetary and health costs, affecting citizen and municipalities.

Sustainable technology.

Water ATM (Primal Sarjaval operator) is a fully automated potable water dispensing machine. A GPS is installed in the machine so its quality can be remotely maintained. The ATM is fully automated and can dispense water 24/7 since it does not have to be attended, unlike truck and pushcart vendors which requires residents to wait. Residents pay using a card recharged by a mobile phone or at the vending kiosk.   The machine charges per use and does not have a high upfront cost for citizens.


  • Slum dwellers
  • Health and water municipalities
  • Health advocates
  • Private companies that manages and distribute the machine


  • Companies championing the ATM need to partner with health NGOs to promote this product more extensively to the municipalities for its widespread implementation.
  • Survey data of water provision and waterborne diseases concentration to find out where to best implement the ATM.
  • A pilot project should be carried in a chosen area to get detailed feedback for a successful implementation later on.



Forage Tracking


Sustainability Problem:

Waste management is an area that is underdeveloped in many developing countries.  Centralized, government run systems are often inadequate, and initiatives such as recycling usually do not have a formal system in place. Because of this fact, many informal trash and recycling cooperatives have organically formed, whose members seek to gain income from collecting recyclable materials in the city and selling it bulk to industry.  However, there still lacks coordination and a sense of trust between the different stakeholders.  Residents, businesses, and building managers believe these informal systems to be unreliable, which prevents it from being fully integrated into the waste management system of the city.  Moreover, the lack of coordination between recycling cooperatives present issues such as congestion and miscommunication, which can result in wasted trips and missed opportunities.

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The Forage Tracking project addresses this issue by creating an integrated, cloud-based communication and mapping platform for informal recyclers.  A location-detecting system is used to analyze how the informal recyclers find and collect material – then the data is used to optimize routes and identify new partnerships and collaborations within the community.

The participatory platform helps to organize activities of the cooperatives, and connect them to the citizens or businesses that require their service.  This system increases the transparency and understanding of the service that the informal recyclers may provide to the system, fostering trust between community members.  Moreover, this platform helps to streamline documentation of the material flows to the local governments, which could be used for other applications, such as infrastructure planning.

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Technology stakeholders:

  • Informal waste and recycling cooperatives
  • Businesses
  • Residents
  • Government


  • Invite more informal recycling cooperatives to use the technology – as the more participants there are contributing to the web-based platform, the more representative the dataset will be
  • Educate and invite more residents, local businesses and building operators to use the system, to foster a greater demand for the service
  • Government to use the material flow data for future waste infrastructure planning, and integrate the system with the centralized waste management system




Bio-mimic Islands Save Aquaculture

Sustainability Problem:

  • Nitrogen runoff from agricultural use, as well as other pollutants, is flooding major rivers and large bodies of water.
  • Pollution creates hypoxic conditions, which fosters algae blooms and further destroys the aquaculture.
  • This deadly combination impacts drinking water, recreational use of the shoreline, kills marine life and creates human health hazards.
  • South Florida has been in the news for toxic algae blooms that are causing health and environmental damage to coastal areas.

FAQs on Manmade Floating Islands:

  • Manmade floating islands are built using a recycled polymer mesh to support aquatic-friendly plant life. The roots are submerged in water to help filter pollution, cleanse toxins, and absorb the excess nitrogen before it can create algae blooms.
  • Local plants are selected to ensure viability and self-sustenance.
  • Floating islands are anchored in bodies of water, large rivers, and offshore to clean waterways and recreate wetland areas.
  • Mimicking mangrove forests, which are quickly disappearing due to habitat loss, rising water, and warming oceans, the islands create several solutions:
    • Micro-environments that support plant life used to clean the air and water through natural processes;
    • Above the waterline: a habitat for migrating birds, turtles, reptiles, and other species;
    • Below the waterline: a marine habitat supporting fish and related marine species.


  • Coastal and lakeside communities
  • Manufacturers of manmade islands
  • Agriculture
  • Marine life and aquaculture
  • Mammals who breathe air


  • The implementation of manmade floating islands is a global multi-million dollar industry. However, wider-scale use is required to have a more pronounced effect.
  • Cost and custom-build time are determined by size and complexity.
  • Islands can take only a few weeks to months to mature, and are self-sustaining.
  • Continued adoption of manmade islands to reduce water pollution, improve air quality, and create new habitats for birds and marine life.


Uber for trucks?


Problem: Carbon Emissions

The trucking industry is composed of small, disparate actors who require brokers to organize shipment routes. This inefficient system often leaves trucks returning to their home bases empty, which is a waste of gas and contributes unnecessarily to congestion, accidents and carbon emissions.
The Solution:
  • Several companies have developed Uber-like apps that send pings to a nearby trucker about a shipment.
  • Like Uber, the trucker can either accept or reject the pick-up.
  • Whereas currently a broker is required to make hundreds of calls to arrange a shipment, the app uses algorithms applied on big data to understand and respond to shipping trends.
  • Ensuring trucks are always full decreases the total number of trucks on the road, which reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion and accidents.
The 3 main companies developing apps.
Trucking companies.
Major shippers (Amazon, Walmart).
Steps to implementation:
1. Expand mobile platforms to span the entire country.
2. Engage more trucking companies and their customers to use the apps.
3. Analyze impacts of apps on trucking routes, congestion, carbon emissions, cost etc.

Comprehensive Healthcare Staff Culture Survey

By Niall Wallace
Edited by: Michael Diamond
July 5, 2016
Source: http://infectioncontrol.tips/2016/07/05/comprehensive-healthcare-staff-culture-survey/

A. Sustainability Problem

Many initiatives of safety and quality improvement to prevent and control hospital-acquired infections have failed. They have been unmeasurable or have ignored clinical outcomes.

Culture often determines and limits strategic planning efforts in large complex organizations. Organizational culture enacts extreme resistance to efforts at changing policy and practice.  Organizational dynamics and structures prevent improvement at multiple levels of analysis: the industry, the institution, the department. Therefore, quality and safety interventions aimed at changing collective work practices are unlikely to be sustained beyond the intervention period itself.

To get at the root of the infection issue, it is necessary to approach the culture of the hospital, on a unit-by-unit basis, to really understand what hospitals are up against in order to design and implement strategy.

To this end, Infonaut has developed a software – Risk, Behavior and Culture Assessment – that involves participating staff taking online survey.

B. Technology Stakeholders

Hospital and its participating staff: Physicians, Physicians’ Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical, Nurses, Radiology Technologists, Other Technologists, Aides

C. Implementation

First: Focus on psychological processes of the individual, rather than the normative behavior of the group. Review the key psychological principles that govern the cognition and behavior of individuals.   

Second: Target specific behaviors among staff by levering the survey results which provide a foundation for quality and safety interventions.  A focus on the individual, rather than the group, can change patient safety behavior on the hospital’s front lines.

Third: Using the survey model, draw a broad set of theories and principles concerned with changing the behavior of the individual, rather than trying to redirect the herd.  In contrast to efforts toward change directed at groups of people, individual behaviors can be highly receptive to change.

Fourth: Use the survey and assessment to highlight the challenges the individual faces to improve quality and safety and then, highlight those interventions that will be the most successful, based on the culture of the unit.

Fifth: Invite front-line staff to participate anonymously to help identify the challenges facing hospitals, to enact the change needed for improving patient safety. Invite clinical staffs to complete the Risk, Behavior and Culture Survey developed by Infonaut who built into the software an incentive feature to motivate and award stakeholders up to 1.25 hours of professional continuing education credits.

Sixth: Use the results to identify both obstacles and opportunities for introducing specific interventions on a unit-by-unit basis. The survey model serves as an instrument to learn about clinical staff perceptions of their information use habits and norms, and perceptions of patient safety and the role of management.

Seventh: Present to staff the results of these measures which act as a baseline measure for interventions targeting staff attitudes and dynamics. The survey specifically measures:

1. Unit attitudes to patient safety;

2. Unit capacity-to-learn as a group;

3. Unit information culture; and

4. Personal perception of risk.

Eighth: Follow-up retesting after a set period (i.e. a year) to determine measureable change in culture based on the effective interventions and relationships.

D. Benefits of the Technology

Infonaut is useful for solving the challenge of deadly hospital infection through their proprietary real-time surveillance, analytics and behavior improvement platform. Data sets of population health, public health, data-warehousing and privacy were referenced to develop innovative platforms that use the power of location technology, and B.I. systems for disease and infection surveillance.

E. References:

1. http://infectioncontrol.tips/2016/07/05/comprehensive-healthcare-staff-culture-survey/#_edn4

2. http://www.infonautinc.com/

3. http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/675390.pdf


Turning smog into diamonds can be realistic



Smog Free Project consists of a 7m tower that sucks in the pollution from the air and converts it into diamonds. The Smog Free Tower cleans 30.000m3 per hour without ozon, runs on green wind energy and uses no more electricity than a waterboiler (1400 watts). The prototype was successfully implemented in Rotterdam, and is soon being implemented by the government in China.

Article: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/why-turning-smog-into-diamonds-isn-t-as-crazy-as-it-sounds/

and https://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/smog-free-project/info/

Sustainability challenge:

For most developing nations the cost of achieving development has to be paid by the environment. Using different technologies to offset or manage this cost is a good balance between the much needed development and the environmental sustainability. Doing this requires a different way of thinking and approaching the problem.

We already know about the smog problem in China. Smog is a problem for most other nations. The Smog Free Project uses technology to convert the problem to a product of great value.


  • Governments
  • Project developers (designers, architects and engineers)
  • Marketers and sellers
  • Citizens on that region/nation
  • Businesses
  • International NGO’s (like the World Economic Forum)

Process of implementation:

The process of implementation will take a while. The pilot project was successful in Rotterdam. To take this forward will require multiple partnerships to work in tandem with successful implementation of technology. The article (and the videos) elaborate on the complexity of this problem in great detail.

The process in brief would include: Deploying these towers in strategic locations -> Converting the smog into diamonds -> Implementing other policy and technology initiatives that won’t hinder economic growth and would still help reduce pollution -> Create a market for these diamonds and jewelry (possibly use De Beers marketing tactics).


GravityLight: power from the lift of a weight.

1. Sustainability Problem: Kerosene lamps

2.3 billion people across the world have unreliable or no access to electricity. Consequently, many african countries rely on kerosene lamps, which pose economic, health and environmental hazards.


2. Technology solution: Gravity Light

The set-up is pretty simple, the whole thing works a bit like a pulley – all you need to do is add 12 kg of weight to one end of the bead cord (this can be a bag of sand, rocks, whatever you like), and then lift that weight up by pulling down on the lamp attached to the other end.

Thanks to gravity, the weight slowly descends back down to the floor, transforming potential energy into kinetic energy as it drops. This kinetic energy then powers a drive sprocket and polymer gear train that lights up the LED as it goes. Once the weight gets to the floor, the light goes out and you need to repeat the process, but each pull provides you around 20 to 30 minutes of light, depending on how high you lift the weight up in the first place.



The stakeholders

  • Potential users and crowdfunding donors
  • The company (The GravityLight Foundation)
  • Retailers
  • Local governments / NGOs to foster usage of this product



  • The GravityLight Foundation has successfully gathered
    $400,927 USD (128% of the original goal) on July 18, 2015.  This enabled the plans to set up an assembly line in Kenya. First units should be available in 2016.
  • Support from NGOs, retailers and local governments is key to allow distribution of the GravityLight in areas with excess usage of kerosene lamps and/or limited access to electricity.