Bernard Amadei – TRANSCRIPT
Good evening, everyone, and thank you for inviting me to speak tonight. My talk is about engineering and science and technology for the other five billion people on the planet.
Five billion people whose job is to try to stay alive by the end of the day. Paul Polak calls them “the other 90 percent,” so I’m going to talk about engineering for the other 90 percent. Who are they? What do they do? What do they want? The talent they have. And I’m also going to talk about engineering solutions for the other 90 percent. How do they look like? How do we bring billions of people out of poverty in their own ways, using the talent? Alright, so that’s the title of my presentation: Engineering for the other 90 percent.
And how did it start for me? Well, I was exposed to engineering for the other 90 percent in 2001. I was asked to visit a small Mayan village in Belize. And in that small Mayan village I noticed a little girl, and she’s on the slide here. Her job, as I was told, was to carry water from the river to the village…, as a result, she could not go to school. They asked me to do something about it, and a year later, I came back with 12 students, for a total budget of $14,000.
We designed a pump, a ramp pump, 200-year-old technology, nothing new – it tapped into the energy of nature. Tapped into seven feet of waterhead, and we were able to push the water 120 feet without electricity or without any fuel. Why? Because there’s no electricity in the middle of the jungle, and two, because the community could not afford that type of fuel.