Student Ventures that Integrate Indigenous Knowledge to Empower Communities

Posted: February 6, 2012

Come see our CAS students who were recognized for their video entry. This video will be shown on Wednesday, February 22 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library. The following individuals will be recognized for their contributions to this video: Khanjan Mehta, Director, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program, student presenters Elise Brown – Agricultural and Extension Education, Alex Gren – Wildlife and Fisheries, Katelyn Holmes – Health Policy and Administration, Nicole O’Block – Agricultural Sciences, and Amanda Perez – Energy Engineering.

The Global Milking the Rhino: Innovative Solutions Showcase is a venue for students across the world to engage in critical thinking about sustainable community development, developmental entrepreneurship, and the role of technology in enabling new solutions to global inequities. Students explore the ethical intricacies of globalization and loss of indigenous cultures, and the role technology plays in fostering and damaging sustainable self-determined development. The 2011 showcase received more than 60 entries, and actively involved over 200 student participants from eight universities, colleges and high schools in the United States and Kenya. The showcase was sponsored by several Penn State units and external sponsors and gave away $4,500 in awards.

This talk will present the work of two student-run teams recognized at the showcase that elegantly integrated indigenous knowledge into their solutions. One of the teams proposed a novel solution for keeping the Maasai people’s cattle herds, an important source of income, safe from in-sect-borne diseases by using garlic as an insect repellent. The other team is working on low-cost point-of-use ceramic water filters that can be easily manufactured in rural East Africa.