Posts byMarie Vandendriessche

The Story of PlayPumps: Merry-go-rounds, Water, and Failures in Development Aid

Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Innovation is a process of failure and learning from failure. The same is true in development cooperation. Take PlayPumps for example, which aimed to take the energy produced by children playing on a merry-go-round to pump water up from a borehole, supplying villages with clean, effortless drinking water. An inspired, ingenious plan – how could, and did, it go wrong?

Choosing between two treasures: Crowdfunding for Yasuní

What if you discovered a hidden treasure beneath the soil in your backyard, but found out that in order to dig it up, you would have to chop down a unique and irreplaceable tree? The country of Ecuador is facing this problem, however on a much bigger scale: preserve the Amazon, or exploit the petroleum underneath? Their solution is to ask the international community to pay them not to extract the black gold.