Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Two Causes for Donations: India's Honeybee Network and BYU's Chemical Engineering Dept. (Scholarships)

Here are two causes, one LDS and one non-LDS, where I hope you'll consider donating. The first is the scholarship fund of the BYU Chemical Engineering Department. You don't have to be an alumnus to appreciate what an engineering education can do to help young people make a difference in the world. Help some aspiring students get all the education they can with a donation to Chemical Engineering Department. I'll be at BYU on Tuesday to help with a meeting of the BYU Chemical Engineering Alumni Society which works to raise scholarship funds and improve networking among alumni. A very practical cause. I'll be getting details on donation routes shortly (you can contact me at jeff at jefflindsay.com if you wish).

On the other side of the world, a very different networking organization needs your help. I am inspired by the mission of a man known as "the Gandhi of Innovation," Dr. Anil K. Gupta of India, who has recognized that many rural farmers, housewives, craftsman, and others in India are unrecognized inventors. They have been solving practical problems in new ways, developing new devices, finding new uses of plants, etc., but their work has rarely been documented and rewarded, only exploited. He's out to fix that problem. Twice each year Dr. Gupta leads teams of volunteers on week-long barefoot treks through rural India to scout for innovations, document them and their origins, and help local inventors gain recognition and financial rewards for what they have developed. Scouting is followed by connecting inventors and product opportunities to businesses that can help in commercializing and bringing financial reward to the originators. What a great concept! The networking aspect of his work is expressed in the Honeybee Network. You can subscribe to this network and receive their newsletter. I joined recently as a "supporter" for just $50. At my request, Dr. Gupta has added PayPal to their Website to make it easier for us to join and contribute.

I learned of Dr. Gupta's work as part of preparing a book, Conquering Innovation Fatigue (my co-authors are Cheryl Perkins and Mukund Karanjikar; John Wiley & Sons is publishing this in 2009). I have been in communication with him and others in India in learning about innovation efforts in that visionary country. A small donation can really make a huge difference there in helping clever inventors gain some benefit for their work.

I think the two opportunities share a common theme: helping others improve their prospects in life through the excitement of engineering and innovation.

1 comment:

David Stoker said...

You might want to keep your eye on Ashoka and their partnership with the Lemelson Foundation to find social entrepreneurs with a special focus on inventions and technological solutions. They've been building a cohort of such individuals since 2006. You could even nominate Anil Gupta. The person heading it up at Ashoka is Amy Clark.

http://ashoka.org/lemelson

http://www.lemelson.org/home/index.php