Our Vision: By Jaime Aguilera Garcia
Challenges of our Generation
InAGlobe Education is an initiative that spurted from a lack of opportunities for three Imperial College students to work on engineering projects catered to the developing world. Countless hours and invaluable work every year is invested into curricula-based projects, yet these rarely cater a real need, and therefor the result of the project ends up archived. So this void was seen as an opportunity to solve one ever more present problem: the developing world does not receive the attention it needs with regards to innovation. By 2050, the world will see a new population boom in emerging countries which will result in a steep increase in demand for energy, clean water, food, communication systems, energy and many more basic needs. Therefore, it is imperative that novel technologies are developed to cater these needs in their specific contexts. With an ever more damaged environment and a warmer planet Earth, developing more sustainable and cleaner technologies is crucial to build a better society. Presenting this opportunity to future engineers and scientists will open a world of understanding and involvement that is overflowing with fulfilment and impact; and thus can truly drive a new era for innovation.
The grand vision of the InAGlobe Education platform is to create a matchmaking platform for innovation opportunities to academics and students looking to become involved in humanitarian development. By having a large pool of involved academics and a large pool of partner NGOs, hopefully all innovation voids can be filled. With a large supply of projects and a large demand for involvement, a more specific allocation of projects will improve the quality of the technologies and their implementation prospects.
The narrative with regards to innovation and technologies for the developing world has increasingly been about developing a product for the West, and then adapt it to the new context. Often this comes with unforeseen consequences, especially from domino effects. Our aim as a nonprofit is to apply scientific data acquisition methodologies to acquire the most representative image of the landscape and all the players involved so that by applying systems thinking, a project can be proposed for remote engineering of a personalised solution. A solution that uses local resources, local logistics channels, local labour, complements education and that is implemented in such a way that the local population is given agency to ensure maintenance.
Due to a lack of resources, and the difficulty of justifying spending on careers events, NGOs and nonprofits working in the developing world struggle greatly to lure in talent from top universities, especially from technical fields. This is highly paradoxical to the huge responsibility that engineers and scientists have towards increasing the carrying capacity of this planet, such that it will cater the needs of 10 billion in the next 30 years, without destroying the natural habitat of all the other species local to the Earth, whether plants, animals, insects, fungi or protozoa. Prior to the contemporary era, engineers and scientists bent nature to favour the survival and growth of the human species; as this now irresponsible approach becomes apparent, the goal shifts towards maintaining the beauty of a planet which will not be replaceable anywhere in the near future. Exposing the future engineers and scientists to challenges found in the developing world will allow more individuals to become involved in a field that is underrepresented in career fairs and events. Complementing their education with new sets of contextual constraints that will allow for the development of technologies that are low-cost, energy efficient and clean.