Appropriate technologies get a boost

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Peter Haas and his nonprofit AIDG have an excellent idea to bring low-tech solutions to basic problems of energy, water and sanitation in developing countries. Their first project is a 10-man shop in Guatemala that will build a 40-home microhydroelectric system as part of a UNDP contract. Since the workers are locals, they'll be around to fix it later. Haas envisions a network of self-sustaining businesses that build and repair low-cost technologies. Hats off. Kudos too for the impressive website - complete with blog and volunteer opportunities abroad.

I saw the article in FastCompany just in time, as it seems that Mr. Haas himself will be speaking at the Bank's auditorium today as part of a UN Week conference on Youth, Innovation and Development. I can't make it, but would love to get any comments from staffers that can.

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