- technology dissemination fellowship program
- visiting practioners program
- yunus challenges
2007 – 2013:
value from waste
clean hands for health and prosperity
affordable small-scale energy storage solutions
indoor air quality pollution
tuberculosis drug adherence
2008 muhammad yunus innovation challenge:
Improving Indoor Air Quality to Break the Cycle of Poverty
3 billion poor worldwide use solid fuels inside the home for heat and cooking, which creates smoke pollutant levels often 100 times greater than the recommended thresholds. The pollutants cause respiratory infections and cancer. Indoor air pollution is not indiscriminate; the devastating effects are most strongly felt by women and children. For children under five, for example, acute lower respiratory infections are the leading cause of death worldwide.
This year's Yunus Innovation Challenge focuses on improving indoor air quality to break the cycle of poverty. Indoor air pollution kills 1.6 million people per year, yet efforts to prevent, monitor, improve the situation remain seriously understudied relative to other global health issues on a comparable level. There is ample opportunity for innovation in public awareness, technical interventions, monitoring programs, and more, to reach the estimated three billion poor worldwide who are affected by pollutant levels often 100 times greater than the recommended thresholds.
Click here for more information about the 2008 Yunus Challenge
Meet the 2008 winners
Keywords: no alternate fuel, housing, local materials
Description: The Ghonsla team created high quality and affordable housing insulation products made from agricultural and urban waste. In the cold northern climate of Pakistan, the burning of biomass, used in 81% of homes, contributes to nearly 71,000 annual deaths. By improving home energy efficiency and thermal comfort, Ghonsla sought to reduce indoor air pollution, prevent deforestation, and increase disposable income. Alternative energy fuels are not readily available in the highlands of Pakistan, where wood cut from forests is collected or purchased. Stoves designed to decrease the smoke production do not address the needs of warming the home. The downstream effects of deforestation and soil erosion have choked rivers, causing massive flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Furthermore, poor families often spend over 20% of monthly expenditure for firewood; a reduction of 50% of firewood with increased thermal efficiency would increase of 10% of their disposable income.
After the Yunus Challenge: Zehra Ali was a 2010 Unreasonable Fellow, one of 25 social entrepreneurs who participated in a summer program, received funding, and gained mentorship for their projects. Today, Ghonsla is a sustainable insulation technology company based in Lahore, Pakistan. The company uses recycled materials to produce highly effective, affordable insulation through ceiling panels. Visit Ghonsla's Website: www.ghonsla.com
Location: Western China
Keywords: local materials, solar cooker
Description: The Sol Source team created a portable solar cooker intended to withstand the high winds on the plateau of Western China while remaining light enough to be portable. The innovation was found in the portability of the dish and reflector as they are formed by mylar sewn into a yak wool canvas, and the frame made from bamboo, using locally sourced materials.
After the Yunus Challenge: The Sol Source team won the $5,000 Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award. It also launched a new project off_shoot called EnergySource DB, an interactive public energy database that serves both as a quantitative assessment mechanism for rural renewable energy projects and as a global monitor of rural climate change impact and indoor air pollution exposures. Currently, Sol Source is one of the innovations offered by One Earth Designs (OED), a non-profit organization working to help Himalayan communities adapt to rapid climate and socioeconomic change, founded by Scot Frank. For more information, visit the One Earth Designs Website
For more information on the 2008 Yunus Innovation Challenge, please contact Laura Sampath