An executive summary for our nomination for the Katerva Award. Thanks to Tim Rayner for helping this come together.
See also the nominee form.--Chriswaterguy 07:10, 18 June 2012 (PDT)

Appropedia: Sharing Knowledge for Rich, Sustainable Lives[edit | edit source]


We dream of a sustainable world without poverty - a world of prosperity, quality of life and a stable climate, through sharing wisdom and best practices and through application of appropriate technologies.

The Challenge[edit | edit source]

Tens of thousands of development and sustainability organizations, together with countless individuals, work on similar problems and have similar goals. However, the sharing of information and best practice is limited. Time, energy, and resources are spent in solving the same problems again and again, rather than on implementing and improving solutions; and not all publicly available solutions are effective.

Our experiences of these problem in international development and sustainable design have convinced us that open knowledge is key.

The magnitude of the challenge calls for an unprecedented level of cooperation. Our role is to bring together the ingredients of the positive future we believe is possible, and to curate and share the necessary resources, including topical information, case studies, designs, guides and impact assessments.

Our Response[edit | edit source]

Appropedia is a website and online community for sustainability and human development. Contributors to the Appropedia's "living library" include organizations, practitioners, students, academics and others from around the world. Together we curate knowledge on appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions, and make it available to all.

Appropedia enables change at individual, organizational and societal levels, in matters including food production, public health, conservation of biodiversity, conservation of resources, sustainable energy, the built environment and transportation. "Appropriate technology" is the framework by which solutions and tools are understood: their suitability to the human and environmental context.

The directors of the Appropedia Foundation form an international team, with expertise in pedagogy, knowledge sharing, open licensing, international development, sustainable technologies and practices, IT, business and law, and the Foundation's role is to support the Appropedia community.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students are major contributors to Appropedia, creating many new topics in this global knowledge bank. We partner with universities, civil society and businesses around the world.

Our Reach[edit | edit source]

To face shared global challenges, knowledge sharing must be global in reach. It must be open access, open licensed, widely sourced and have a sound fact-checking process. Appropedia is a platform to serve these requirements. A collaborative curation process enables us to distinguish effective from ineffective actions. We are establishing a filtering service for the world of appropriate technology.

Appropedia has approximately 5000 content pages, in this beginning phase. By expanding to curate tens of thousands of pages and more, we will help innovative solutions and best practices to be implemented in all parts of the globe.

Our vision is for the world, and visitors to Appropedia come from across the world. Appropedia content may also be freely distributed in printed and CD/DVD form, as well as accessed online. Appropedia has growing content in multiple languages, and is developing further mobile services to facilitate access.

Next Steps[edit | edit source]

A comprehensive, rigorous and inspiring set of resources will enable countless possibilities in sustainable action. Appropedia has already demonstrated its capacity to make an impact, and continues to grow.

Our immediate next step is to create a professional core to catalyze the volunteer effort. This will enable great progress in content development, platform development, partnerships and communications. It will also enable us to develop features including structured data, top content identification, additional quality control mechanisms, community features and interface improvements. It will enable us to manage a larger team of volunteers and interns, and provide more cohesion to the Appropedia community.

We are ready, we have plans, and we are taking action.

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