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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 6, 2006

(Mahwah) – A panel discussion, Tech for Development:  Innovations for the Planet’s Poorest People,” will be presented at Ramapo College of New Jersey Friday, April 7 from 10 a.m. to noon.  The discussion, to be held in Friends Hall (SC-219) in the Student Center on the College campus, is free and open to the public.  Attendees may RSVP to Carmela Federico at 201.684.6227 or cfederic@ramapo.edu.

The media report daily on dazzling new technologies and devices intended for consumers in developed countries,” says Carmela Federico, Sustainability Center Coordinator at the College.  Although largely left out of the limelight, efforts to benefit our planet’s poorest citizens are also underway.  With experience, ingenuity and resourcefulness, innovators are working to meet basic human needs with appropriate technologies – affordable, field-hardy solutions that stand poised to improve the lives of millions in developing countries.”

The panel discussion will feature leading practitioners describing their work and the challenges they face in both crafting and disseminating workable solutions to the energy, environment and health issues that impact lives and impede development in poor communities.  Among the speakers will be Dr. Amy Smith, MacArthur Genius” Fellow and an engineer and instructor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who will speak about her innovations and the work she does with students to improve life in the least-developed communities.  Dr. Vijay Modi, a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University, will describe his work with the Millennium Project Task Force and his efforts to devise energy and transportation solutions for the Millennium Villages
Project.  The Earth Institute’s Millennium Villages Project is a bottom up” approach to lifting developing country villages out of poverty; it pairs scientists and development experts in agriculture, nutrition and health, economics, energy, water, environment and information technology with local communities and governments to apply a proven holistic package of interventions to help villages get out of extreme poverty.  Other speakers will discuss cooking technologies, and mechanisms for financing the deployment of these technologies in the world’s poorest communities.

Following the panel discussion, there will be a barbecue from noon to 2 p.m. in front of Ramapo College’s Arch.  Weather permitting, the food will be cooked in a Villager Sun Oven™ to demonstrate how solar ovens help preserve lives, save forests and launch micro-enterprises in communities around the world.  A variety of technology devices will be on display during the panel discussion and the reception.

Ramapo College’s Institute of Environmental Studies will host the event.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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