Report: New Technologies To Defeat Poverty

The Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies (IGTT) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab  recently published a groundbreaking report entitled 50 Breakthroughs: Critical Scientific and Technological Advances Needed for Sustainable Global Development.  Over two years in the making, the study takes a forward look at those innovations that don’t yet exist, but are feasible, and would make a huge difference in furthering sustainable growth.

The report provides an important signpost to inventors, designers, investors and philanthropists, detailing the sorts of simple advances that are most needed from technologists in order to effectively deal with 21st century challenges. These technologies to defeat poverty address areas as diverse as food security, human rights, climate change and digital inclusion, among others. The report focuses its ideas primarily on the poverty-stricken populations of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

As the report spells out, “[The ideas] represent breakthroughs because they have to be dramatically different….available at a fraction of the cost, requiring only a fraction of the energy, significantly less reliant on technical skills to operate, not needing elaborate infrastructure, and being generally robust and maintenance-free.”

Fast Company Exist provides a helpful synopsis here, or you can read the full report.



  1. My organization has about 40 USA/ worldwide patents, focused on Vortex Sanitation. The basic machine concept has been published in the Journal of Hydrodynamics. Vorsana’s 1st Research and Development project commenced last August. The project objectives are to radically change the methodology of desalting sea water, and crystalize the wastes (60% of the influent), instead of returning the wastes to the sea.

    The project is being executed at a University laboratory, and includes a bench top model of the Vorsana machine. The team is lead by 2 PHD’s, utilizing 2 supercomputers and a model shop. The scheduled project completion is mid- May, and has shown very promising results. CFD modeling has been compared to actual machine data, which is now being used to optimize machine performance.

    I am a member of the APS, and appreciate your response. Vorsana has many more projects planned.