It’s time for Part Three in my series on creativity. Here’s a little taste:
In this article from the Wall Street Journal, as well as in this TED Talk, Steven Johnson tells a fascinating story of an Indonesian city, devastated by the tsunami in 2004. This country had received eight high-tech neo-natal incubators from relief organizations to aid them in caring for their youngest patients. Several years later, a researcher visited the hospital in Indonesia and found that not one of those incubators was still in working order. And so they sat, broken, in storage.
The researcher, Timothy Prestero, a fellow from MIT, noticed this was a common occurance in many parts of the developing world. Charitable organizations would provide them with $40,000 life-saving incubators, but after a some time the devices would inevitably break. These countries didn’t have the means, the materials, or the training to fix the complicated machines.
So Prestero and his organization set out to create a neo-natal incubator that could save lives, but also be serviced more simply. They looked around at the context and constraints of the third-world countries. One thing they noticed was that while they may lack many techno-toys, most of these countries still had cars – and people who could fix them! So they worked for years to create an incubator that relied on the same parts and expertise as an automobile.
Get all the goodness at Willow Creek Pediatrics!
If you missed last week’s installment, you’ll find it here.