Technology for Global Development (TGD) is an interdisciplinary organization where students, teachers and researchers raise awareness about the socio-economic and environmental challenges of the present, to inspire the TU/e community to create, design and implement innovative technological solutions for global sustainable development. While having a focus on developing countries, TGD believes in the systemic interrelationship between actors around the world.
In 2001, a group of students, moved by the concern about the declining interest in development issues, drew up the “Technology for Development” manifest. This manifest states that Technological Universities are uniquely equipped, and have an ethical obligation, to contribute to the implementation of technological solutions to alleviate poverty, address social justice and improve people’s living conditions in developing countries. The manifest was signed by no less than 1500 students and staff and the Board of the University instituted a University Committee called Technologie voor Ontwikkeling (TvO). TvO’s name was later updated to the more international name of TGD.
Eighteen years have passed, and this mission is more relevant than ever. Despite growing inequality and urgent global challenges, the potential of the TU/e community remains largely unattended. In a situation of growing inequalities and urgent global challenges, it is impelling to foster the realisation of potential within the TU/e community to contribute with innovative solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN.
Thus, TGD’s vision is to educate; raise awareness; encourage critical discussion and action; create connections; and form scientists and engineers that can bring positive change and contribute to global development.
Many of us are concerned with the global problems of today, such as climate change; armed conflicts and terrorism; scarcity of energy, water and food; lack of education; poverty and social exclusion; deadly diseases and inadequate health systems. In developed countries these issues receive the deserved attention especially through the important role that scientists and engineers play by making use of the latest advances in technological knowledge. However, in developing countries, forming the largest part of the world, there is a dire lack of local technological capacity and resources to develop locally appropriate solutions to these problems.
Beyond these distinctions, it is clear that nowadays global challenges, such as climate change, require an approach that transcends these boundaries. Cooperation between scientists and engineers and sharing of knowledge and resources across the world is fundamental to address these issues.
Combining local knowledge and technologies with western knowledge and resources can be very fruitful. Western inputs can range from relatively simple, low-tech solutions to high-tech innovations at the frontier of global knowledge. Varied as these inputs may be, what they all share is the requirement of effective support based on knowledge of local circumstances and needs, and close cooperation between local and foreign stakeholders.
How does TGD work?
The TGD Activity Committee organizes activities on the theme of technology and development for the TU/e community. Events range from lectures, hackathons, cultural days, workshops, to career events and more, also in collaboration with other institutions such as TINT, Studium Generale, and Engineers Without Borders.
Another main focus of TGD is to promote fieldwork in developing countries, by presenting to students opportunities for thesis projects and volunteering, and by assisting them to find funding.
The Activity Board is run by students and is always open for new members. If you are interested, you can send an e-mail to TGD@tue.nl or come talk to us!