Wacky Technology Wednesday: NASA's Puffin, The Personal Electric Air Vehicle

The Puffin is NASA's Personal Electric Air Vehicle. It is a single seated electric powered airplane. Creator of the Puffin, Mark More, wants the vehicle to be a combination of a helicopter and a plane. At 12 feet long and having a 14.5 foot wingspan the Puffin can get up to 150 miles per hour and weighs only approximately 180 kilograms. The vehicle has already received a lot of internet media and hype which makes the designer believe that the vehicle will be a success. Designed to look like a large bird flying through the sky, the Puffin can be called "the most environmental friendly bird" as it has no emissions. Currently NASA is working towards creating a one-third size model to experiment with. To read more about this wacky technology click HERE

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Text Messaging Helps Eradicate Malaria

On the continent of Africa, where Malaria is most prevalent, a pilot program has been created by IBM, Novartis and Vodafone using text messages and Google Maps software to track inventory of malaria medications and thus increasing the chances that clinics will have the correct amount of life-saving medicine on hand. Simple solutions like this can have dramatic outcomes. Each week the malaria clinics receive a text message asking them to report their supplies. This data is pulled together to update the database which keeps track of which clinic is running out of what medications. By using the innovative technique the clinics are doing away with a previously used paper based system. This helps to shorten the length of time the clinics have to wait for supplies, which in previous months have gone months waiting for fresh supplies.

Most people think that this serves great purpose to the clinics, however, as stated in Eliot Van Buskirk's article what many people forget is the cost of life associated with the mining of the metals that go into the production of cell phones. One of the war-torn areas affected by the minerals trade associated with cell phones is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC is rich in natural resources, however the majority of the mines from which the minerals are extracted are under control of armed groups and are constantly in conflict. These armed groups control and profit from the trade of these minerals and their control has led to mass human rights abuses including sexual violence, child and slave labor, and mass displacement.

The Global Innovation Commons provides technology that can be deployed immediately to malaria stricken countries in an effort help prevent and eradicate the horrible illness. Hopefully we can work together to decrease the number of deaths associated with malaria and work towards a better future.

For More on this article click HERE
To Read More on Amnesty International's Push for the passing of the Conflict Minerals Trade act of 2009 click HERE

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Historical Commons Monday: The Rights of Common

England, 1858- The Rights of Common

The Commons refers to resources that are collectively owned. In England this concept created a way to live.

The Right of Pasture
People living in the forest can let their ponies and cattle out to graze in the common fields.

The Right of Sheep
People living in the forest can let their sheep out to graze int he common fields.

The Right of Mast
People living in the forest can let their pigs out in the Fall when acorns drop off the trees to eat the fallen acorns and bark (pannage).

The Right of Fuelwood
People living in the forest can gather wood from the trees to use in fires.

The Right of Marl

People living in the forest can dig up clay that acts as a fertilizer to improve the quality of the soil on their land.

The Right of Turbary

People living in the forest can cut peat (layers of dead plant remains found in marshlands) to use in fires.

7. Rydin, Yvonne and Tove Matar. “The New Forest, England: cooperative planning for a commons.” In Networks and Institutions in natural resource management, ed. Yvonne Rydin and Eva Falleth, 37. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2006. Available from dq=Networks+and+institutions+in+natural+resource+management&cd=1# v=onepage&q=&f=false. Internet; accessed 28 January 2010.

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Featured Website Friday: Global Urban Development (GUD)

Today we feature one of our deployment partners, Global Urban Development (GUD). They focus on enabling every community to peacefully grow and thrive. By bringing the Urban World closer together they hope to create a unified conversation about the future of the world itself. The network is led by the United Nations, the World Bank, and other related institutions such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Take a moment an check out their website

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Happy Earth Day!

Earth day was created to raise awareness for the Earth's environment in 1970. The first Earth day was established when the United States Senator Gaylord Nelson announced his idea for a day focused on the environment. He hoped that this day would create a time of observance of environmental problems that were sweeping the nation. As word got out to the universities and global awareness groups a grassroots movement began pushing for Earth Day to be nationwide teach-in day. Senator Nelson reported that "Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor the resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself." On the first Earth Day in 1970 groups protested about the deterioration of the environment and taught others of the changes that needed to be made in order to get our Earth healthy again.

Sixty Earth Days have come and gone since the first one and some how our environment has not taken a change for the better. We need to work together to stop the usual way of doing things and look for a new era. This change can be found in the Global Innovation Commons. Take today, Earth Day, and look at resources that are provided in the Global Innovation Commons and begin to create ideas as to how we can deploy them in every day situations and create a new Earth that is more efficient.

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Wacky Technology Wednesday: Solatube

The Solatube Daylighting System is one of the most technologically advanced day lighting products today. It provides pure, clear, and natural light for any interior space. By providing a cost-efficient lighting system the Solatube is green and can provide a boost on your physical well-being, concentration and energy levels. With Solar Energy being an affordable way to use the Earth's natural powers to provide humans the power we thrive on to live, Solatube is a great innovation.
The Global Innovation Commons provides other sources of solar power which can be deployed immediately and can be used to generate power. Please log in today and check out methods of solar energy that are public domain.
To learn more about the Solatube Click HERE

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IFC and Clean Energy Development Bank Make a Deal

The International Finance Committee (a member of the World Bank Group) and the Clean Energy Development Bank have decided to help increase the finances around sustainable energy and efficiency projects. Not only has the IFC been advising the Bank in its financial planning but also assisting in providing staff for evaluating proposals around the financing, product development and marketing, and engineering on the due diligence for the projects. Nepal is one of the countries that they hope to focus on offering assistance to the clean energy and hydro-power projects by way of private equity and advisory and consulting services.

We hope that those at IFC and the Clean Energy Development Bank think about using the Global Innovation Commons in their efforts. By using the lists of technologies provided they can begin to deploy solutions immediately at a cost-efficient price, saving all of those involved large sums of money that would be spent on proprietary technology.

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Historical Commons Monday: Gerrard Winstanley

England, 1649: Gerrard Winstanley's Declaration from the Poor oppressed People of England.

Winstanley was the leader of a group known as the True Levellers, or the Diggers, who protested the wealthy class’ increasing private exploitations of common land. Winstanley issued this defense of the people’s commons:
“Therefore we require, and we resolve to take both Common Land, and Common woods to be a livelihood for us, and look upon you as equal with us, not above us, knowing very well, that England the land of our Nativity, is to be a common Treasury of livelihood to all, without respect of persons.
So then, we declare unto you, that do intend to cut our Common Woods and Trees, that you shall not do it; unlesse it be for a stock for us, as aforesaid, and we to know of it, by a publick declaration abroad, that the poor oppressed, that live thereabouts, may take it, and employ it, for their publike use, therefore take notice we have demanded it in the name of the Commons of England, and of all the Nations of the world, it being the righteous freedom of the Creation.”

We need to look around, step up as Gerrad Winstanley did, and ask for change in our current system. What have you done today to change the world around you?
Winstanley, Gerrard. “A DECLARATION from the Poor oppressed People of ENGLAND DIRECTED To all that call themselves, or are called Lords of Manors, through this NATION; That have begun to cut or that through fear and covetousness, do intend to cut down the Woods and Trees that grow upon Commons and Waste Land.” 1649.
Available from Internet; accessed 14 February 2010.

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Featured Website Friday: The NICE

The Northwest Institute for Community Enrichment unites grassroots leaders and community partners to create, define, and maintain proactive and entrepreneurial solutions to climate change. is an organization which tries to create a world is "sustainable, just, and prosperous for all". Focused on Pacific Northwest, NICE is a volunteer led organization that supports local communities in an attempt to create effective community organizing techniques. In supporting the development of sustainable communities NICE works on a variety of project models including energy efficiency, local renewable energy, sustainable transportation, localized foods, and ethical waste projects.

By taking local communities and using them as models for other communities NICE hopes to really work towards a national solutionary community. NICE Program Development Coordinator Nathan Jones from the Corvallis office as well as the team from the NICE national office have been very helpful in describing the NICE initiatives, programs and projects. We look forward to future developments.

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Global Innovation Commons 2.0

We at the Global Innovation Commons have decided that we need a change, a good change! While this is going to be a long and on going process we have decided to upgrade the G.I.C. to make it more user friendly. However, the only way to make it more user friendly is to get more feedback from users like yourself. We encourage you to email us at or comment on this post and let us know what you think of the Global Innovation Commons. What tools can be added to benefit you? How can we provide the best output to get projects deployed as soon as possible? Only you have those answers! Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you!

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