Explore how technology, both a blessing and curse, is critical for individuals and communities accessing and managing resources. Consider equitable distribution of its productive gains, environmental impacts, debt burdens, health consequences and impacts on the social and cultural fabric of a community. Examine some of the practical and ethical challenges faced by communities and community workers in their efforts to develop or introduce new technologies to enhance human well-being. Discover important concepts and strategies for successful participatory technology development, emphasizing principles developed by thinkers such as Ghandi and E.F. Schumacker.
Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:
- Outline the history and basic principles of appropriate technology.
- Work with communities to analyze their situation, develop strategic directions, and generate appropriate technology packages.
- Network with private, public and non-profit institutions in the field of tourism and development
- Support community-based technology generation efforts by creating linkages to information and resources.
Testimonials from Past Course Participants for Technology and Community Development:
“Five weeks ago I associated technology primarily with gadgets. This class has brought home the scope of technology as a socially trans-formative power, and our responsibility to strive for appropriate uses in development work.”
“One region of our organization focuses almost entirely on appropriate technology, but this course has helped me to realize that there are ways in which both the technology and interactions between the communities and outsiders can be more appropriate.”
“All too often the term “appropriate technology” is thrown about in the development field. It has become quite the buzzword over the last decade. Individuals use it so much that they have lost sight as to what it actually is. The Village Model article was one of the few written works I have seen that actually defines what “appropriate technology” is all about. I wish more developers would read and apply it.”