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SolSource: Sustainable Collaborative Design for and by Himalayan Nomadic Communities

One Earth Designs aims to ignite innovation across the socio-environmental spectrum among Himalayan agricultural and nomadic communities, working directly with local stakeholders to ensure each invention is of real practical value to the community. From portable solar stoves that keep indoor air clean to high-tech textiles that distribute heat evenly and seal it in for long cold hauls, the products OED churns out embody the organization's four core principles: Addressing immediate needs, building capacity for innovation through education, providing an incubator for technical and financial support, and co-designing hand-in-hand with the local community.


One of the OED's inventions, SolSource -- a lightweight umbrella-like solar energy device that offers a low-cost, portable means of cooking, heating and electricity generation -- was the grand winner of the annual Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge competition, taking home €500,000 to make the device widely available to 2.5 billion of the world's poorest people.

SolSource was co-designed by rural Himalayan communities and embodies the future of community-centric, locally-grounded collaborative design – a true pinnacle of community empowerment through creative ownership of both process and product.

via TBD

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

Videos
  • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
  • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
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COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.

Coronavirus
  • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation

Better reskilling can future-proof jobs in the age of automation. Enter SkillUp's new coalition.

Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.

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