Thinking differently about conventional problems
When we start to think about problems, we often assume a conventional operating system. These conventional systems feature strongly any time we deal with an infrastructural challenge. When thinking about clean water or about energy, we think in terms of infrastructure. I have electricity in my home because I am attached to an electrical grid. I have water in my home because my city has municipal water.
I recently discovered this bicycle charging unit for a mobile phone. It strikes me as a clever idea to reconsider our relationships with our electronic devices. The concept is not terribly new; several exercise machines receive their power from human inputs. Additionally, these charging units do not represent some sort of gimmick. People who live in rural communities tend to have only sporadic access to electricity.
Additionally, something like a bicycle charger could help us reconsider our own demands for electricity relative to all of our assorted gizmos. What if we started rating electronic devices versus hours of pedaling time?
Thinking about solutions that work in communities markedly different from our own can cause us to even reconsider our own issues. The reciprocal dimension can capture what it means to respond well to poverty.