Nerds to the Rescue: Tech Advances Save the Day


LIMA, Peru — Last year in Peru, the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC), joined alongside Mayo draftDCB to develop a billboard that can produce potable drinking water.

The billboard can use rainfall or, if the region does not see a lot of annual rainfall, it can use the humidity in the air to create purified water for those residing in that area.

This billboard, built in Lima, is solar-powered and can hold 96 liters of drinking water. In the past year it has been able to produce nearly 30,000 liters of water for the families living in Lima. That means the UTEC billboard was able to provide clean drinking water to almost 4,000 Peruvian families.

The tech advances that help end world poverty don’t stop there.

Socialab is a Latin American nonprofit company that was a spin-off from Techno, a youth-led Chilean nonprofit, and run by Julian Ugarte. This new nonprofit began in 2010 and hosts competitions for technology-based proposals to address solutions for the major problems impoverished countries face.

Last year, Socialab took 15,000 proposals and made them into 111 products in order to better the living conditions of their consumers.

Among the products supported by Socialab are MirOculus, a blood test for multiple forms of cancer, Algramo, a company in Chile that uses a business model like Groupon to negotiate lower prices for food and Plasma Water Sanitation System, a pump that uses pressure and electricity to purify drinking water.

These latest tech advances are just the beginning for these companies, many of which are based in Latin American countries. Leaders and volunteers hope to continue to grow and provide aid through technology and clean drinking water to other impoverished nations.

Tech advances within the past 10 years have the power to change the world. These advancements don’t have to be something as sophisticated as MirOculus or Plasma Water Sanitation System. It could  be as simple as a web page or a cellphone application.

For example, websites like the ONE Campaign and The Borgen Project use advocacy and volunteers to help put an end to global poverty. There is also The Red Cross, which uses their Web page to collect donations to provide aid both locally and globally.

Make Poverty History and Compassion are cellphone applications (as well as websites) that make it possible to either donate outright to a young child’s struggling family or to a charity that is providing aid to an impoverished area.

Amazon also has a special link that can be used when making purchases that will donate money to end global poverty and world hunger every time you spend a certain amount. Not to mention, PayPal makes it possible and extremely easy for anyone to donate to any cause through their donation buttons.

Through the power of innovation and technology, companies around the world hope to end global poverty and world hunger one beneficial invention, website or cellphone application at a time.

Sources: AI-Chile, Algramo, The Borgen Project 1, The Borgen Project 2, Huffington Post, MirOculus, ONE Campaign, Singularity Hub
Photo: Commerce Kitchen


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