After a rather hectic but awesome end to IDDS, I’m now back on the East Coast of the US. I miss it already. Organizers and past participants warned us at the start that we would basically form an IDDS family, and I feel that we did. Three weeks seemed like a long time at the start, but now it seems way too short. There were still things I wanted to do, work for my project that needed (and still needs) to be done, and conversations to have. Above all else, I will miss the people.

I failed at posting much on all the IDDS happenings, so you want to read more on that check out the IDDS blog. According to the most recent post, I’m apparently to be blamed for all impromptu dance parties. I’m ok with that.

IDDS also sparked many good conversations on technology and development, and I’ve got a list of hopefully interesting posts coming up soon on those topics. But for now I’ll leave everyone with a cool bicycle sharing program I stumbled upon in downtown Denver.

A map for my IDDS project, Sollys (pronouced “soul”+”lis”). The left side is where we are. The right side is where we want to go in the next three weeks.

Today was my first day at the International Development Design Summit (IDDS), a 3-week long conference held this year at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, Colorado. The focus will be on the dissemination of technologies designed to improve the lives of people living in poverty. The conference consists of talks, activities, and team project work. I’m working on a solar lighting project started in the Indian Himalayas (see below).

As most of you who follow my blog know, I have zero experience in India. That does not, however, stop me from being really excited about my project team, a possible future trip to India, and the potential of the project to expand to Africa.

But perhaps the thing I’m most looking forward to at IDDS is getting to know the people. There are over 50 people here, from all over the world, from all different backgrounds, and with all different things to bring to the table. Not to mention we’ve got lots of guest speakers stopping by, including Paul Polak who spoke today. I’m incredibly psyched to spend the next 3 weeks with some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people in this field. I can’t wait to see what I learn.

(Photo from the IDDS website)