Lonny Grafman - April 2012Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges Conference
Lonny Grafman - April 2012Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges Conference               Sharing knowledge to b...
Build a whole worthmore than its parts.
2005 – Pequals.com
2006 – Appropedia.orgCurt Beckmann, Chris Watkins, Cat Laine, et all.
2007 – Appropedia.org: Village Earth, Wikigreen,, etc..
2012 – Appropedia.org: 30 million views, 200 thousand edits
2012 – Appropedia.org: Thousands of pages
Interoperability: Content                            CD3WD
Interoperability: Platform
Medical Device Example            http://www.appropedia.org/Medical_devices
Medical Device Example: HIV/AIDS
Medical Device Example: … Commercialized
Medical Device Example: …Preventative
Medical Device Example: … South America
Medical Device Example: … Tara Klamp
Appropedia: Still ugly after all these years.
Appropedia on Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges
Appropedia on Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges
Appropedia on Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges
Appropedia on Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges
Appropedia on Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges
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Appropedia on Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges

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Scientists Without Borders with Support from the Rockefeller Foundation Conference 2012

Platforms Tackling Social Innovation and Global Development Challenges: Proliferation, Collaboration, and Coordination

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
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  • http://www.humboldt.edu/http://www.humboldt.edu/~lrg3http://www.ijsle.org/http://eco-hostel.org/http://dyfference.org/http://appropedia.org/http://humboldt.edu/~ccathttp://green-wheels.org/http://www.thefullbellyproject.org/http://thewaterpod.org/http://www.locally-delicious.org/
  • Mostly about http://www.appropedia.org. Appropedia is for collaborative solutions in sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction.
  • It is hard to imagine now... but most of the people building sustainable systems were somewhat alone. I made mistakes that had already been made by many others... most of us were doing that.
  • In the 70s there were publications like Whole Earth Catalog where people could share failures and successes (mostly in off grid living), but in the 90s there was very little. (http://www.wholeearth.com)
  • So if you wanted to make a solar hot water heater in Northern Mexico, you would search the internet and books. In 2005, we did just that. We found almost nothing on the internet. The best information we found was in the book Appropriate Technology by Hazeltine and Bull.
  • So the students built one. It took a lot more trial and error than it should have, but eventually it was a success. It was a success in a physical sense... and other can still learn from that. A couple of years later the resident contacted me to see if we could sell the collector. It turns out that her savings were pale in comparison to the value of the copper in the collector. The take home lesson that others will hopefully learn by reading about the project on Appropedia is to be careful to build a whole worth more than its parts.
  • So the students built one. It took a lot more trial and error than it should have, but eventually it was a success. It was a success in a physical sense... and other can still learn from that. A couple of years later the resident contacted me to see if we could sell the collector. It turns out that her savings were pale in comparison to the value of the copper in the collector. The take home lesson that others will hopefully learn by reading about the project on Appropedia is to be careful to build a whole worth more than its parts.
  • That year 2005, I was still trying to make my own platform for sharing content. The idea would be to host html pages for projects. I would give usernames and passwords to specific directories so that project documenters could add their content. It was a horrible idea. After 1 year we had just over 20 projects... and almost no community engagement.
  • I wanted to share more of this type of content so that others didn't have to reinvent the wheel either. So we decided (after a lot of lack of success) to live that lesson and find an existing platform. We opted for mediawiki which was ugly but had already dealt with many of the problems faced by open editting. That has been a great choice over time! Curt Beckmann, Chris Watkins, Cat Laine, Etc.
  • Later we found that village earth (started by Maury Albertson one of the founders of Peacecorps) had already started a wiki, and a few others started at a similar time. They joined appropedia because we had more activity. To me, that was a testament of how important this content is. That year, 2007, found a few other sites joining Appropedia (e.g. wikigreen) when they saw that we had more engagement. Yet, we were still the ugliest site. (http://www.villageearth.org)
  • It is now 5-6 years later... and we are still the ugliest site! But the new engagements continue. Open access and interoperability is critical to our mission.
  • It is now 5-6 years later... and we are still the ugliest site! But the new engagements continue. Open access and interoperability is critical to our mission.
  • Content wise we encorage people to rewrap the content in as many ways as possible. Just this week we were included on the wikireader. We adopted an open license and then after a year, and a lot of lawyer help, we switched to the Creative Commons - By Attribution - Share Alike license which allows the content to be used in almost any way. (http://www.appropedia.org/Appropedia:Offline_browsing)
  • Platform wise we try to work as much as we can with existing extensions for mediawiki. When we don't we make sure that the work is still opensource, e.g. the appropediafox editing sidebar for firefox.
  • Example of semanticmediawikiengagementwith WHO and UMich – EmergingMedicalDevices.
  • HIV/AIDS devices.
  • HIV/AIDS devicesthathavebeencommercialized.
  • HIV/AIDS devicesthathavebeencommercialized and are preventative.
  • HIV/AIDS devicesthathavebeencommercialized and are preventative in South America.
  • http://www.appropedia.org/Tara_Klamp
  • Majorneeds: Made more attractive, easiertonavigate, a forum, Q&A, expertcorner, etc.This has allbeenacomplishedforabout…. $10,000 USD.
  • Appropedia on Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges

    1. 1. Lonny Grafman - April 2012Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges Conference
    2. 2. Lonny Grafman - April 2012Platforms Tackling Global Development Challenges Conference Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.
    3. 3. Build a whole worthmore than its parts.
    4. 4. 2005 – Pequals.com
    5. 5. 2006 – Appropedia.orgCurt Beckmann, Chris Watkins, Cat Laine, et all.
    6. 6. 2007 – Appropedia.org: Village Earth, Wikigreen,, etc..
    7. 7. 2012 – Appropedia.org: 30 million views, 200 thousand edits
    8. 8. 2012 – Appropedia.org: Thousands of pages
    9. 9. Interoperability: Content CD3WD
    10. 10. Interoperability: Platform
    11. 11. Medical Device Example http://www.appropedia.org/Medical_devices
    12. 12. Medical Device Example: HIV/AIDS
    13. 13. Medical Device Example: … Commercialized
    14. 14. Medical Device Example: …Preventative
    15. 15. Medical Device Example: … South America
    16. 16. Medical Device Example: … Tara Klamp
    17. 17. Appropedia: Still ugly after all these years.
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