EssentialTalk : The challenges of technology in humanitarian service
Guest speaker, Mr. Nathan Kunz, a researcher at INSEAD in humanitarian logistics and a former executive at Digger, presented solutions that an organization such as the NGO Digger must find to align technology, economics and social reality.
The Digger foundation designed machines capable of clearing and demining land at a much greater speed than traditional methods. In order for them to have a real impact in the field, it was necessary to respond to many technological challenges and develop the production, the logistics, a business model and adequate marketing.
The Essentialtalk seminar was jointly organized by the Centre for Cooperation and Development (CODEV) and the College of Humanities (CDH). This approach is derived form the complementarity between the engineering, social and economic sciences in key technological development projects that are the goal of the EssentialTech programme.
The seminar was particularly interesting since there exists at EPFL a demining project based on an alternative approach that allows for the remote detonation of artisanal mines using electromagnetic energy. This project led to the development of a device at EPFL (EMC laboratory) in collaboration with Colombian universities that could be combined with Digger machinery to increase efficiency and benefit from several technical solutions developed by the NGO. Contacts were made between the EPFL and DIGGER for further discussions.