In memory of Paul Polak

Updates

Last month, we received the news of the passing of Paul Polak, an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience supporting the underserved. We send our condolences to his loved ones, and hope that his legacy lives on for the community that works on creating a more sustainable world.

For many years, Paul worked on developing and selling products that were cheap, durable and usable for people at the base of the pyramid. He also supported us during the creation of The Appropedia Foundation, for which we are deeply grateful to him. We feel honored to have him as an ally of our work.

A couple of years ago Lonny had the opportunity to record a series of interviews with Paul, speaking about his experience alleviating poverty through appropriate technology. Watch the interview below:

–Emilio Velis

New Executive Director Appointed!

Updates

Dear Appropedians!

Three years ago we announced our search for a person to take over the operations of our ever-growing community and repository of projects. Today we are happy to announce that we have finally found that person, and he began his work on June 20th. Please join us in welcoming Emilio Velis as our new Executive Director.

Emilio developed his previous professional career over the past ten years on volunteer management and fundraising, most recently at Habitat for Humanity El Salvador. Emilio supported the design and improvement of programs for service-learning and ethical volunteerism, as well as other areas such as innovation and social resiliency. At the same time, he founded and developed Red de Acción Comunitaria, a technological initiative of sensors and communications to empower rural communities in areas vulnerable to natural disasters. More recently, Emilio has focused on design and community engagement as the basis for collaborating in research for a wide variety of subjects such as citizen science, education and violence prevention.

For the past few years, Emilio has participated on different networks that focus on openness and collaboration such as Internet Society, the Fab Lab Network and Creative Commons through local and international projects and governance. His work has opened the doors for him to collaborate on many different projects to explore with others the use of technologies for solving social problems in North and South America.

Our Board of Directors was very impressed with Emilio after seeing his experience, dedication, and track record on how technology and communities can build sustainability through well-focused programs of design and participation. He has also shown his commitment to not only making open works more accessible to people who need them, but also on learning how to best provide communities with the tools to make and share as equals and co-participants of the commons. Now that we have met him, we are very hopeful for the future of Appropedia and unanimously and confidently appointed him.

As the new Executive Director, Emilio is eager to work closely with the community in learning what motivates individuals and communities to document their local projects, and to find avenues on which these initiatives take life through replication and growth. As Appropedia grows and develops new ideas, he is committed to creating an open space for different groups that take part and benefit from the thousands of articles and many experiences created by the community.

We believe that having a new Executive Director dedicated to the operations of the site and the execution of the many ideas that Appropedia has built over the years will open the possibility for the community to grow even more. He will base his work in San Salvador from which he will find new opportunities of social change through the Appropedia Foundation.

The Board of Directors and the community warmly welcomes Emilio into Appropedia.


Thank you,

Lonny, Chris, Curt, Andrew & Kiva

Please excuse the minimalist blog

Updates

This blog was hacked and infected with malware, so we deleted it and restored it from a clean text backup.

It will be at least several days until I can do full backup, so until then comments are restricted, photos are missing, and every post is shown as being authored by me, even when it wasn’t. On the plus side – no malware! And we promise to fix our security settings so that this never happens again.

Thanks Lonny, for the enormous amount of work you’ve been doing on the server recently, including fixing this bout of malware. We look forward to raising funds and affording a separate tech person rather than having the Appropedia Foundation president working the server!