As part of the activities of the International Student Energy Summit (SES 2017), on June 16th InfraRural carried out the workshop titled: Appropriate Technology, which was taught by Emilia Ruvalcaba, communication coordinator of science.
The workshop had several dynamics to know the previous knowledge of the students who came from different parts of the world, and whose training in most cases was in engineering and sustainability. It was a very enriching experience, since the beginning the participants coincided with the approach of InfraRural, and in addition they made diverse contributions from their own fields of study.
The first hours of the workshop were to address the issue of appropriate technology, see its characteristics, approach and development. This theory came from literature, mainly from Latin America, on Social and Philosophical Studies in Science and Technology, but also to a great extent from the experience developed in community work by InfraRural, which has been continuously fed back for more than 10 years. In this approach an appropriate technology is thought of as a process and not as a product, in which elements such as the context of the place where it will be implemented, as well as cultural elements, sustainability and reproducibility are some of the essential characteristics that a technology must contemplate to be appropriate by a user or a community. It was very interesting to know the projects in which each participant works in their country, and to see the coincidences between contexts as diverse as Africa, India and Mexico.
The workshop ended with a hands-on activity in which participants had to design a proposal for appropriate technology, using everything seen in the workshop and applying their own knowledge; two cases of real studies were chosen, that are also currently problematic faced by some communities in Mexico. The first one had the objective of generating a discussion about the choice of a technology that would respond to the problems of cooking with wood in open bonfires in a specific community of Oaxaca; and the second case was raised to discuss an alternative to the excessive fishing of sea cucumber in communities of Yucatan and the social, economic, scientific and political problems of the same.
With this activity, the conclusions were drawn up, Emilia expressed the view that appropriate technology is a fertile and innovative field of study, in which more people are required to devote themselves to study, research and practice, so that it has a greater academic and professional recognition, since it is an alternative that allows collaborating with the communities to design projects that together can help solve the problems they face, making science and technology have a positive social impact.