LOCATION: 159 Mulford Hall, UC Berkeley.
Berkeley has a legacy of social activism. This Fall, the university is ushering in an era that also includes “engineering activism.” A new PhD discipline, Development Engineering, is focusing on engineering for global social good. This talk is about this new technology movement at Berkeley:
- Smartphone-enabled microscopes that allow for preventive care – and diagnosis of deadly diseases – also in rural areas far away from hospitals (CellScope);
- Community-owned cellphone towers in rural villages where telecoms will not operate (Community Cellular Coverage); and,
- Solar suitcases that provide electricity in maternity wards in the Global South – and more recently also at Ebola checkpoints in Liberia.
In this talk I will discuss my projects and perspectives in “Development Engineering.” I will also highlight research from the large technology portfolio that the Blum Center and its Berkeley collaborators are incubating and which includes some 85 technology projects that are being tested and scaled in 30 countries. Finally, I will draw on inspiring examples from the some 400 social innovator student teams that have received funding and mentorship from the Big Ideas@Berkeley competition for their ‘big ideas’ on how to make the world better.
Lina Nilsson is the Innovation Director at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, an interdisciplinary hub for understanding and acting on global poverty. The Blum Center connects students and researchers from over 80 fields of study, through classes, research and competitions. Lina works on the Center’s Development Impact Lab (a collaboration with CEGA) as well as its Social Innovator OnRamp, two platforms to scale and ‘spin out’ university innovations for global social impact. Lina has a Dr.sc in engineering from the ETH Zurich and is a recipient of the ETH Medal for her doctoral thesis work. In 2013, she was recognized as MIT Tech Review Innovator under 35. Find her on Twitter at @LinaAtBerkeley. This free public talk is presented as part of the monthly “Science@Cal Lecture Series”
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