After years of other online and offline sustainable collaboration projects, [[User:Lonny|Lonny]] started Appropedia in April 2006 with a focus on a very broad definition of appropriate technology. He was assisted by [[User:Aaron|Aaron]] and [[User:Goodsignal|Goodsignal]] in the decision to use the mediawiki engine for Appropedia.
In May 2006
he started a conversation with [[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] via his Wikipedia userpage.[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Chriswaterguy&oldid=60689402#Appropedia][http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LRG&oldid=60775829] Chriswaterguy was focused on [[Wikipedia:Category:Appropriate technology|appropriate technology articles in Wikipedia]],<ref>Since the late 90's, Chriswaterguy envisaged a collaborative site where people would share ideas, and the focus would be on facts rather than opinion, focusing on the key issues that made a difference in the world. It was to be called ''Roots of Change'' and he registered ''rootsofchange.net.au'' in 1998 or 1999. However, he didn't know how to make a collaborative website, and it never got past a vague idea. When he learnt about Wikipedia he saw this as the realization of his earlier dream - someone had figured out how to make collaborative website. Lonny pointed out, however, that certain types of content and collaboration are not suitable for Wikipedia. Appropedia, and to an extent Wikipedia, is a realization of this earlier dream.</ref> but by June 2006 he was convinced to join forces at Appropedia. Appropedia now covered broader issues of international development and sustainability - a logical development due to the large amount of overlap and synergy between these topics. It also developed a policy of complementing Wikipedia, referencing encyclopedic material there, and focusing instead on project information, original research, how-tos, networking and anything else [[Wikipedia:WP:NOT#What Wikipedia is not|not suitable for Wikipedia]].
A note left on another site[http://ewb-international.org/ASTdatabases.htm] led [[User:Curtbeckmann|Curtbeckmann]] to join Appropedia, bringing energy, new ideas and different perspectives. He put a lot of energy into gaining permission to [[port]] quality content from other sites, leading to an acceleration in Appropedia's content growth and profile. Likeminded people and organizations were happy to give permission to use their material (see below).