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Episode 35 | Big Problems, Simple Solutions

Ashok Gadgil speaks to us about simple, low cost solutions to global public health.

Episode 35 | Big Problems, Simple Solutions

About Ashok Gadgil
For more than twenty years, US engineer Ashok Gadgil’s work has focused on designing low-cost technologies that help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Based out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Gadgil seeks solutions that are simple, low-tech and implementable on a massive scale.

Gadgil’s lab is best known for three projects. The first was sparked by a 1993 cholera epidemic in south and southeast Asia. UV Waterworks uses UV light from a low-pressure mercury discharge (similar to that in a fluorescent lamp) to disinfect drinking water. The system has no moving parts and can be run on a car battery or solar cell. Even so, it can disinfect approximately 4 gallons per minute. As of 2015, about five million people have benefited from this system and it is estimated to have saved more than one thousand lives per year.

Ashok Gadgil is a Curry Stone Foundation Social Design Circle Honoree. Read more about it here.


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2017 is "Sorry" by Comfort Fit. The break music is "Within You Without You" by The Beatles from the album "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band."