Tracking emerging technology, tools and practices that support agile and low-emission development in urban centers in the developing world.

African tech entrepreneurs building bridges with Silicon Valley

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, July 25-26, 2015. For the last six years, President Obama has aimed to help grow economic opportunity around the world through supporting entrepreneurship. After hosting the first summit in Washington, DC in 2009, the summit has been hosted by the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Morocco. Read more.

Access to broadband Internet is the link to economic prosperity

Whether in a low-income neighborhood in the United States or an urban center in the developing world, access to broadband internet is key to opening pathways to economic prosperity. Reliable internet connections provide new gateways to health services, education, commerce and entrepreneurship in communities around the world. Read more.

Brighten Up! Advances in Lighting Technology Present Transformational Driver

Lighting creates safe passages at night and some security at home. Lighting enables the completion of tasks after the sun goes down such as caring for families, reading, and doing homework. As urban centers in the developing world continue to grow at a fast clip, the demand for energy is growing at a faster rate than supply. And lighting options have always been limited and often dangerous in remote places. Read more.

Printing a resource-efficient world: Part 2

The preceding blog entry from June explored what recent advances in 3D printing and design tools could mean for the developing world. 3D printing doesn't require a developed industrial sector, and it's already providing affordable options for the production of shoes, water testing equipment, eye glasses and more. Read more.

Printing a resource-efficient world

What if the means of production were in everyone's own hands? The tools for design and additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, are becoming more affordable and accessible. According to the US Department of Energy, "By eliminating production steps and using substantially less material, 'additive' processes could be able to reduce waste and save more than 50 percent of energy compared to today's 'subtractive' manufacturing processes, and reduce material costs by up to 90 percent." And industry analysts predict that the 3D printing industry is set to quadruple by 2025. Read more.

Affordability: a most noble driver of innovation

In the realm of innovation in healthcare, affordability is a most noble driver. Creative and inspired individuals are prioritizing cost reduction in their design strategies for high and low-tech healthcare tools and services. These people are heroes in both the developing world as well as advance economies. Read more.

Pedal power to the people

Applying human power to rotary motion goes back as far as the 10th Century in China and in Europe. Treadles were used to pump water, power machinery for producing textiles and working with wood. Pedal-powered machines boomed in the late 1800s, according to Low-Tech Magazine, and the rise of cheap electricity put an end to the continued development of human-powered machines. It was not until the oil crisis of the 1970s that pedal-powered machines witnessed a resurgence. Read more.

Firefox smartphone for the world: progress so far

Last July, I reported on Mozilla's roll out of its Firefox HTML-based operating system for smartphones. Mozilla's innovative approach has enabled the first mobile device to be run completely on web technologies. This low-cost smartphone promises to expand global access to smart devices, make a huge contribution to the open-source movement, and create new entrepreneurial opportunities for developers around the world to meet local needs. Read more.

The role of technology in Africa's fast-growth economies

The Internet has quickened the pace of globalization by speeding the flow of information, creating access to new markets and enabling cross-border collaboration. The African continent is witnessing this as fast-growth economies emerge. The McKinsey Global Institute, the think tank of the global business consultancy, has released a series of insightful analyses on Africa's growing economies and the role of technology. Read more.

Global networks of opportunity

Silicon Valley and the wider San Francisco Bay Area is a global innovation hub. The success of the region's highly adaptive innovation system can be attributed to multiple factors, and one of which is its strong ties with other places in the world. The Bay Area's global linkages are growing, they drive innovation, and they generate new value in and outside the region. Read more.