In the wake of last week’s Launch Event, we continue to receive interest and positivity from our growing community of Agora supporters. Roughly 200 friends, family members, advisors, potential investors, and general supporters attended the Launch Event.
Over the coming weeks, we will be getting in touch with those who expressed an interest in becoming more deeply involved with our work, whether through investment, donations, or personally contributing in some way.
Our goals for the next few months are (1) to continue to grow the vibrant community of Agora supporters and (2) to get our first Agora built. We will be reaching out as much as possible to connect with supporters, funding partners, investors, and site owners. We intend to build Agoras no matter how long it takes, but we hope to capture the enthusiasm from our Launch and start construction at one of our potential sites soon.
Enough about us for now – if you have any questions or thoughts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be blogging with updates periodically, so subscribe to our RSS feed and like us on Facebook to stay up to date.
As we keep you updated on the progress of The Agora Projects, we’ll also provide information about developments from other initiatives seeking to connect, educate, empower & restore communities.
This week, from the Siemens ‘Empowering People’ Awards, here are 3 new projects with exciting potential:
‘With millions of visually-impaired people living in impoverished regions around the world, the specs costing just one dollar provide a valuable contribution in empowering individuals to study and work unimpaired.
The loss of income worldwide that occurs due to this issue is estimated to be around $120 billion per year.
The OneDollarGlasses are manufactured on bending and milling machines specially designed for this purpose. The spectacles consist of a lightweight and flexible frame made of extremely robust, rustproof and hypoallergenic spring steel wire (1 mm). The frames are manufactured by hand on a bending device that does not need a power supply.’
2. Jompy Water Boiler
‘This lightweight, inexpensive fire-top device enables households to cook a meal while simultaneously heating water to temperatures high enough to kill waterborne bacteria, making it safe to drink or use for cooking and bathing. It is estimated that more than a billion people worldwide are without access to clean drinking water.
As a result, waterborne diseases such as diarrhea kill 1.8 million people annually. Access to clean water alone could reduce deaths caused by diarrhea by up to 25 percent.
In field tests, families reported that they saved 3 kilograms of firewood per day and reduced daily cooking time by more than 3 hours. Financial savings amounted to 30 to 60 percent of their annual household income, enough to enable these families to send their children to school.’
‘The SolarKiosk is a solar-powered autonomous business hub. It utilizes solar power to provide rural off-grid communities with sustainable energy and energy-related products and services such as battery charging, communication, refrigeration, and an unprecedented access to technology and information. A SolarKiosk uses the energy it produces as a “mini smart grid”. The structure is a modular and expandable kit-of-parts that can be easily transported and deployed in remote off-grid areas. The SolarKiosk addresses energy needs and spurs sustainable economic development of rural off-grid communities worldwide.‘
These solar kiosks share some of the goals of The Agora Projects, but the structure is a modified shipping container that houses the employees and products for sale. Similar to the recently launched Coca-Cola EkoCenters, these kiosks are relatively inexpensive, but they don’t provide an open community gathering space, nor do they feature aspirational architecture with beautiful, sustainable landscaping.
For more information on these and other finalists, see http://www.empowering-people-award.siemens-stiftung.org/en/winners/.