March 19, 2015

Contact: Karen Lauritsen
(805) 756-7549;

Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library to Present Interactive Workshop on Appropriate Technologies April 10

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library will present an interactive workshop on “Appropriate Technologies, Near and Far,”featuring Humboldt State University Professor Lonny Grafman from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 10, in the second floor café lounge.

Grafman, who teaches environmental resources engineering and appropriate technology, is the founder of Appropedia, a collaborative website designed to develop solutions in sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction.

Appropriate technology is technology designed to be appropriate to its context. It is often developed using open source principles and emphasizes choice, people, scale and sustainability, among other considerations. It can be found in developed and developing countries.

The presentation is an Open Science Café event in which Grafman will engage participants in a local needs assessment followed by a quick co-design to model the collaborative process of designing appropriate technology. He will also describe examples of past projects. By the end of the event, it is hoped participants will exchange information in an effort to continue working on the projects they’ve brainstormed.

The event is hosted by Cal Poly microbiology student Nasim Delavari, whose proposal was selected through the Kennedy Library’s Open Science Café competition. She was awarded a grant and resources to produce the program.

“My vision for this event is that those who attend will form interdisciplinary collaborations on future projects,” Delavari said. “Collaboration is powerful and helps develop an appropriate technology that is effective.”

Partners for this event include Cal Poly’s College of Science & Mathematics, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Engineers Without Borders, and Social Sciences Club.

The event is free and open to the public.

Open Science Cafe is intended to empower students to create their own Open Science Café event with the researcher or creative leader of their choice. Students gain project management experience from start to finish with a mentor. The event can relate to any discipline; it doesn’t have to be about science. In addition to the $3,000 event budget, students receive $500 for their leadership.

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