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IDB opens its doors to inventors at the Demand Solutions event

Inter-American Development Bank promotes the dialogue among innovators to improve the quality of life in Latin America and the Caribbean 

For two days, the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC, became an open forum for inventors, entrepreneurs, and other innovators interested in finding new ways to improve the quality of life of people around the world. 

Demand Solutions, an event organized by the IDB, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Blum Centers at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of California-Los Angeles, provided a space for change agents in fields as varied as science, education, health, citizen participation, and human rights to share their ideas and experiences. 

"The IDB sees an increasing need for this type of forum, because no one has all the answers to the problems of development," said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno."Our goal was to bring together people who are having a revolutionary impact in their respective fields in order inspire our citizens―and particularly our young people―to seek original solutions." 

Among the speakers at Demand Solutions,which took place Nov. 21-22, were: 

Jack Andraka, teenage inventor of a low-cost and high-efficiency sensor for early detection of the three most deadly forms of cancer. 

Enrico Dini, creator of a 3D printing technique capable of building houses with abundant raw materials, such as sand. 

Ken Goldberg, UC-​Berkeley professor and director of the Citris Data and Democracy Initiative, which develops tools to facilitate participatory decision making. 

Maxim Kamanin, creator of an optical multi-touch system that allows users to project data and images without using a screen. 

Jorge Odon, a car mechanic who invented a device to ease obstructed births and reduce the need for using forceps or resorting to caesarians. 

Peter Peracio, chief digital officer of Rio de Janeiro, who heads a new information management center project included in IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative. 

Laura Stachel, creator of a suitcase-sized generator that converts solar energy into electricity for use in hospitals in remote areas. Recently named a CNN Hero. 

"Our Center works across the University of California to support a powerful combination of world-class academic researchers, adept at designing and evaluating new technologies to empower the world’s poor, working through innovative coursework and strong partnerships with industry, NGOs and government agencies for global impact," explained Richard C. Blum, Founder of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California. 

Demand Solutions offered a platform to showcase innovations and discuss how they can be turned into practical applications to raise living standards.

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