A multitude of schools are at the forefront of devising low cost innovations around the world, these are only a few of the examples of initiatives and projects underway. Designmatters at Art Center College of Design develops a multi-component design solution for a mobile clinic in Kenya. A camel-packaging system improves efficiency, refrigeration units are solar-powered and a health education program provides culturally appropriate information for a nomadic people. A bike designer teams with the scientists and engineers from The Earth Institute at Columbia University on the Bamboo Bike Project to make bicycles out of bamboo. The goal is to build a sustainable form of transport for the rural poor in developing countries for improved access to the market, healthcare.
Harvard University’s SE Lab combines academic theory, research and field work with peer support and the participation of experts and practitioners. Inspired by the work of pioneers in the field like Ashoka’s Bill Drayton and the founder of Grameen bank, Muhammad Yunus, it is a laboratory workshop where student teams create and develop plans for US and international social entrepreneurship initiatives. MIT’s D Lab prepares students to respond to the basic needs of communities in developing nations with inexpensive, ecologically sustainable and easily adaptable technological solutions. Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable/Social Enterprise links the social entrepreneur with designers.
Norway’s Design without Borders partners with Guatemala’s Universidad Rafael Landívar and Uganda’s Makerere University. These teams work with local organizations on product development aimed at critical situations like war or natural disaster and on long-term development with emphasis on environmental and social issues.