Science for Society (S4S) is a collaborative forum bringing together the right experts and professionals to discuss needs, challenges, and innovative solutions that can improve the quality of life of under-served communities. The vision is to create holistic “Ideal Villages” where the basic needs of the community in water, healthcare, education, energy, livelihood, sanitation, etc. are fulfilled by applying innovations in science and technology and enabling integrated sustainable rural development.

The kick-off S4S conference was held in June 2015 in San Diego, CA, which led to the development of a mobile delivery platform in the form of a custom bus containing a medical clinic, a library and connected digital classroom, all powered through rooftop solar panels and storage batteries. The bus was launched by December 2015 and the first pilots were conducted successfully in a couple of villages in southern India. It was a unique demonstration of what can be achieved when people who care work together to address the problem of reach, access, and energy for delivering healthcare, education and water to rural areas.

Annual S4S conferences are planned to build on the initial success and focus on collectively identifying and developing affordable, holistic solutions and products that can enable the Ideal Village concept to be scaled and deployed on a global basis. Such solutions have the potential to transform millions of lives in underserved regions across the globe. The efforts will rely on public-private partnerships to promote innovation and implementation.

In summary - The Ideal Village program is a holistic, integrated and collaborative technology platform designed to introduce innovations across multiple sectors, leading to self-sustainable, economically viable and healthy village communities. Results and data from on-going Ideal Village pilots will be shared at the annual conferences, as well as project reports from select NGOs who are active in rural/social development. Collaboration and participation of local stakeholders are essential to holistic development and scaling of the Ideal Village concept.  

BACKGROUND

Scientific research and technology advances during the past five to six decades have led to more engineering innovations than perhaps at any time in human history. The list of innovations and products is long and impressive – personal computing, Internet, wireless communications, mobile technology, high speed connectivity, software applications, social networking, cloud, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, bio and nanotechnology, green energy, composite materials, robotic surgery, medical imaging, genome sequencing, space stations, and so on. These technologies have led to vastly improved standards of living for many segments of society, particularly in North America and Western Europe. However, parts of the developing world have yet to experience the benefits of basic technology and scientific advances.

SOLUTION APPROACH

With growing awareness of these issues, the will to find and implement affordable solutions is now taking hold in various organizations, including NGOs, Corporations (thru CSR programs), Universities, and Government bodies. Science for Society (S4S) is one such collaborative initiative – a unique alliance of engineers, scientists, physicians, educators, social workers, for-profit corporations, non-profit and Government organizations, all coming together to address the vital issues in a holistic and impactful manner. The vision of S4S is to apply innovations in science and technology to create an Ideal Village and enable integrated sustainable rural development. There are 5 focus areas:

Healthcare

Access to primary healthcare, point of care diagnostics, infectious diseases, cardiac, diabetes, ENT, dental and eye care, preventative care, emergency care, telemedicine, EMR, and hospital referrals.

Education

Internet connectivity, computers, on-line education, hands-on science, vocational training, languages, art, music, digital/mobile libraries, nutrition, hygiene, human values, and community building.

Water, Sanitation, Waste Management

Drinking water, water treatment, conservation, rain water harvesting, farm ponds, bore well recharging, sanitation, bio waste, bio gas from kitchen and animal waste, and sewage treatment and disposal.

Energy

 

Alternative sources like solar, hydro, wind, fuel cells, and energy storage, solar lighting and cooking, rural electrification, micro-grids, and power infrastructure.

Livelihood

 

Organic farming, cash crops, food processing, preservation / refrigeration, packaging, agritech, crafts, IT services, and social entrepreneurship.

 

The annual S4S conferences will bring together a variety of experts and professionals from these five areas to discuss the problems, challenges, and solutions, both near and long term, as well as highlighting opportunities for applied innovation. Participating in the conference are private and public funding agencies, who have the capacity to support solution development, and, global implementation of an effective plan for the Ideal Village.