This morning the Tech Award Laureates had a showcase at the San Jose Convention Center. Attending were 150 journalists, funders, supporters, and others wanting more information on the individual projects. I spent some time speaking with several laureates.
Lúcia Araújo is with Canal Futura in Brazil. It is an educational channel using UHF/VHF, satellite, and cable to reach most of the young people in Brazil. They work with the Pontos de Cultura where teams of youth produce their own programming. I put her in contact with a local arts organization: MACLA/ Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana which is also doing programming with youth here in San Jose.
Marc Andre Ledoux is a Canadian living in Senegal where, among other things, he does electronic publishing of Senegalese legal documents. However, for the Tech Awards he organized a consortium, Consortium SudEco Industrie to address the problem of invasive plants clogging the rivers in Senegal. Though there is not web site, here's an image of the problem. A Canadian engineer designed a machine to process the dried plants and extrude them into fuel pellets used for cooking. This addresses some of the deforestation problems in Senegal which has a shortage of imported gas, as well as diesel to drive the generators in the electrical grid.
Anil Chitrakar showed the Solar Tuki project, one of many for Environmental Projects for Conservation Awareness, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. A small solar powered LED light can be assembled by villagers, and besides providing a cost effective replacement for kerosene or candle light, the battery can charge a cell phone, radio, and they have added other devices for cleaning water (UV treatment and bleach). He has a sensible economic model that is relatively easy to explain to low income customers.
Tonight is the awards ceremony where each category winner receives $50,000.