Inventions for saving the world (and helping Haiti now!)

The World

In the wake of Tuesday’s earthquake, we’re dedicating this week’s technology segment to innovations that are really going to help Haiti now. We’re not talking about sophisticated computer programs or gadgets, but low-tech, low-cost tools that are easy to use. We talk with two experts to find out they’re making a difference in a situation like Haiti’s.

Amy Banzaert is a PhD candidate who works with MIT’s D-Lab, developing fuel alternatives and other innovations specific to Haiti’s needs. We also speak to Mark Belinsky, co-director of Digital Democracy. His organization has a team in Haiti now deploying different projects and technologies to spur and improve civil society, including the crisis mapping software Ushahidi. Check out their evolving map of the damage populated by text messages and crowdsourced reports. The technology has worked in the past to monitor election news in Mexico and track violence in Nairobi, Kenya. We find out if it can help relief efforts in Port-au-Prince, where cell service is spotty at best right now.

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