Frugal Innovations

"When you grow up in a developing country, you instinctively learn to get more value from limited resources, and find creative ways to use what you already have," says Navi Radjou at the beginning of his TED talk. As examples of what he means he gives some examples: • A potter in India created a refrigerator entirely of clay that uses no electricity and can keep fruits and vegetables cool for days. • In Lima, Peru, an area that is high in humidity, yet receives only 1" of precipitation, a college engineering intern is creating water out of thin air.  He designed a giant advertising billboard that absorbs humidity and turns it into 90 liters (23 gallons) of water a day. Many of these frugal innovations are created by people who have no fancy laboratory with abundant resources. Instead, their streets are their labs, and they use our most abundant resource, human ingenuity, to come up with solutions to problems. In India they actually have a Hindi word for this: Jugaad. It means an improvised fix, or a clever solution born in adversity, and as Radjou says, "These solutions are not sophisticated or perfect, but they create more value at a lower cost. They transform adversity into opportunity and turn something of low value into something of value." Though we don't have a word like this in English, and I'm not aware of it in the three other languages I studied, French, Russian and Lakota, I think it perfectly describes what most farmers and ranchers do on a daily

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