Reposted from Pachamama Alliance 

What Is Appropriate Technology?

Appropriate technology is an ideological movement that involves small-scale, labor-intensive, energy efficient, environmentally sound, people-centered, and locally controlled projects.

Andes Working the Land

An indigenous Ecuadorian tribe using modern farming techniques. (Photo from Pachamama Alliance)

Appropriate technology projects:

  • use local materials and people-power often taking the form of “earth building”
  • are culturally sensitive
  • Have been requested by locals to fill a self-identified need
  • Involve interactive collaboration where both parties grow and develop from the experience.

In addition, this method uses open-source knowledge, meaning there must be transparency in the process and outcome, and this information must be shared to ensure it is replicable.

An Alternative Form of Economic Development

Appropriate technology is a critique to GDP-focused measures of growth and is meant to address four major problems GDP-growth does not cover: extreme poverty, starvation, unemployment, and urban migration. Commonly discussed as a form of economic development, this type of sustainable technology is an alternative to technology transfer from developed to developing countries. Technology transfer is often patronizing, with one party telling the other what to do and what they need, while appropriate technology places both parties on an equal level. It is also important to note that the movement exists in both developed and developing nations, and can take on a variety of appearances. Furthermore, this movement uses both hard and soft technologies. A hard technology is related to a certain type of goal and involves machinery, structures, and engineering methods. Soft technology creates behaviors that bring about change and involve human interactions and motivations.

Read the full article here. Want to learn more about appropriate technology and the necessary transition steps toward a healthier future for life on this planet? Join us for the Renewable Energy & Appropriate Technology WorkshopAugust 15-18, 2016. Discounts & work trade positions are still available. Email info@ashevillage.org for more details.


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