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IDB hosts exhibit on innovative design solutions to improve the lives of the poor

June 6-10 exhibit in Washington, D.C. to feature safe water, Internet and social venture solutions developed with community participation

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is hosting an exhibit on innovative and affordable designs to provide safe water, internet solutions and entrepreneurship opportunities for people living in poverty.

The Design Innovation with the Base of the Pyramid exhibit will showcase solutions developed by the Innovation Center of Un Techo Para Mi Pais, a non-governmental organization based in Santiago, Chile. The organization has engaged more than 5,000 university students, to work with families from marginalized communities to develop tailored solutions to help improve everyday living conditions of the poor. 

The exhibit will be in Washington, DC from June 6-10 at the atrium of the IDB’s headquarters

Six different safe water solutions developed by Pasadena-based Designmatters at the Art Center College of Design in partnership with the Innovation Center will be on display. These safe water solutions were developed by connecting design students with families living in poverty with limited access to running water and other basic services. In February of 2010, these solutions were used to help hundreds of Chileans affected by the earthquake. 

The exhibit will also showcase product solutions and social ventures developed by the Innovation Center to help the poor close the digital divide. On display will be low-cost notebooks with customized platforms featuring social and educational tools used by low-income communities in Santiago, as well as mobile phones used to collect and map water data and raise awareness about water problems. Innovative apparel products developed by a business education program that partnered emerging micro-entrepreneurs in Santiago with world-class designers are also featured.

The exhibit is being sponsored by the Multilateral Investment Fund and the IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative. The IDB is located at 1300 New York Ave. NW, Washington D.C., 20577.