August 01 - 19, 2016
Location: Kampala
Country: Uganda

 

The Alliance is partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-Lab, the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), and the Centre for Integrated Research and Community Development Uganda (CIRCODU) to organize this Design Summit.  IDDS Cookstoves will be an intense, hands-on design experience to co-create and improve technologies to address the health and environment challenges faced by the three billion people who cook food with traditional cookstoves or open fires.

IDDS Cookstoves will bring together design and innovation expertise, the latest research and development, manufacturing know-how, and user-centered design. Participants will also have access to testing facilities, as well as immersion with local communities, and the design process will be informed by feedback on both performance and usability. The goal is to bring a diverse set of participants together to develop scalable technologies that are high performing, affordable and designed to meet user needs.

IDDS Cookstoves has wrapped up
August 22, 2016

Thanks to all the participants and organizers for making IDDS Cookstoves East Africa such a wonderful, fun and successful event.  Please stay tuned for project reports and a more detailed summary of the event and innovations.  Meanwhile, enjoy these articles and press releases:

Key Summit Info & Packing List
July 27, 2016

IDDS Cookstoves starts in less than one month!  Here are some key information to remember and things to pack.

 

Key Summit Information

Summit Dates: Arrive Sunday, July 31st.  Depart Saturday August 20th.

Location: Kampala, Uganda at the Kulika Training Center (Kampala-Hoima Road, 1km before Lutisi Primary School

If heading towards Hoima from Kampala on “Kampala-Hoima Road”, it is 37km from Kampala on the left.)

 

Cost: The cost for the summit is $600 USD which will cover your accommodation, meals & local transport while in Uganda, and travel insurance. This cost does NOT include cost of visa, transportation to and from the summit, or any other medical and personal expenses before and during the summit.  You will be responsible for covering or fundraising for these other expenses in addition to the $600 summit cost. Please note: Even if you live in Kampala, you are required to stay at the venue with the other participants and be present for every day of the summit. We believe living together is a key component of the IDDS learning experience.

 

On the first day of the summit, during registration, the summit cost of $600 USD will be due. We will accept cash in US Dollars or cheques made out to “Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation”.

 

If you have received financial assistance from IDDS, please remember to print out your scholarship letter, bring it to the first day of the summit, as well as travel receipts, if necessary.  Please refer to your scholarship letter for details.

 

Transport to the Summit:  You should have received an email requesting your travel details & itineraries. If you are arriving by airplane or bus, we will arrange pickup and transport to Kulika.  The week before the summit, we will send you the pickup details as well as the contact information of organizers to call if needed.

 

Suggested Packing List:

For Travel

  1. Passport

  2. Copy of Online Visa Application, if applicable (https://visas.immigration.go.ug/)

  3. Yellow Fever Card

  4. Flight Itinerary

  5. Photocopies of the above mentioned

  6. $600 USD for Summit Registration Fees and/or Scholarship Letter

  7. Money for personal expenses, apart from those covered by the summit fee.

 

Clothing/Shoes

  1. Bring layers! The sun can be quite hot during the day, but nights can get chilly

  2. Closed-toed, comfortable walking shoes

  3. Sandals or flip-flops for inside the bedrooms or showers

  4. Item of clothing or wearable that represents your country, hometown, of childhood.  We will be having a “cultural night” celebration.

 

Toiletries and Personal Care Items

  1. Toothbrush & toothpaste, showering products

  2. Antimalarials

  3. Bug-spray or repellent

  4. Sun protection- sun block/screen, a hat, sun-glasses

  5. Any personal medication needed.  We will have first-aid kits but be sure to bring any medication you need for allergies, special conditions, headaches, upset stomach, bandages, antibacterial cream and anti-itch creams for heat rash or insect bite, vitamins, etc..

 

Electronics

  1. Phone- may be helpful to have this. Make sure it is unlocked and can accept a foreign SIM card.  Participants will have to cover the costs of a SIM card and airtime.

  2. Laptop, if you wish

  3. Camera, if you wish

  4. Chargers for any electronics being brought

  5. Converter if coming from outside East Africa.

  6. Spare Batteries for any devices

 

Others

  1. A stove or project component you’re working on, if you have one.  There will be opportunities to share your design with others at the summit

  2. Accessories needed for a talent demonstration.  We’ll be holding a talent show, so feel free to bring items you may need for that performance.

  3. Other cultural items (games, clothing, music) that you’d like to share

  4. Flashlight

  5. Watch/alarm clock

  6. Waterbottle- very useful during community visits

  7. Day bag- to carry items during community visits

 

Hope everyone is getting excited!!

 
Get to Know Some of the Participants!
July 22, 2016

So far we’ve been featuring the organizers.  Now we’d like to share a bit about some of the IDDS Cookstove participants!

What's an embarrassing childhood memory that makes your friends and family laugh?

“I used to pretend I was a rapper when I was younger...jump on the couch...my brother would use a torch pretending it was a stage light and my parents would cheer. Looking back...that was embarrassing!”

–Alois Mbutura, University of Nairobi (Kenya)

“On a family trip we stopped for lunch. When the waitress came to our table she lost her balance and spilled a pitcher of beer over my head.”

–Ellen Goettsch, Green Bio Energy (Uganda)

“When I was chased by a dog and it bit off half of my dress”

-Francisca Olive Asekenye, Solar Sister (Uganda)

“When I fell asleep at an Aunts house and my Parents didn't know I was missing until the morning. I'm one of 7 children.”

-John Leyland, University of Michigan (USA)

 

What’s something you’ve won and how did you win it?

“In collaboration, Rosine and myself won ~$2,000 and other electronic gadgets on our project called Ivomerere, which is a Kinyarwanda name referred to as self-irrigate system.”

-Alphonse Habyarimana, Kepler Tech Lab (Rwanda)

“I have won the hearts of many :), by caring for them and putting their needs before me”

–David Wanjagi, BURN Manufacturing (Kenya)

“Won a trophy for best Sauce & Meatballs at my annual Italian family reunion”

–John Leyland, University of Michigan (USA)

“SEED Award 2013 winner for low carbon. I wrote a showcase of our gasifier stoves and how they can save lives, time and energy.”

–Nolbert Muhumuza, Awamu Biomass Energy (Uganda)

 

What’s your current work or project?

“Currently I am working as Researcher in Energy at KIRDI where my responsibilities are coordinating the activities at the Stove Testing and Knowledge Centre.”

-Nathan Bogonko, Kenya Industrial Research & Development Institute (Kenya)

“I am currently working with Caritas Gulu Archdiocese as Social Worker/Community Development Worker. At the moment working with the rural communities whereby we are promoting the Use Energy Saving Stoves (Lorena Type).”

–Clarence Nyeko, Caritas Gulu Archdiocese (Uganda)

“I work with Kibale forest schools programme as improved cook stove coordinator. My role is to train school children and the community on new improved cook stoves to avoid challenges of firewood and protecting Kibale national park.”

–Muhimbise Elius, Kibale Forest Schools Programme (Uganda)

“I am currently working as an engineer for Green Bio Energy. A part of my work is to help ensure the manufacturing of our cookstoves is reliable and produces a high quality product.”

-Ellen Goettsch, Green Bio Energy (Uganda)

“I am a ceramic artist with a deep interest in ceramic water filtration systems creating clean potable water, and efficient cookstove systems that alleviate harmful exhaust in the homes and reduce fuel usage. I recently  spent 3 weeks in Gabon building rocket stove systems, water filtration, battery powered electric fences for pest control, and bee keeping/ honey collection.”

–John Leyland, University of Michigan (USA)

“On the market development team, I am tasked with finding market for bio pellets co-processed with other waste streams as a fuel source for middle sized factories with energy needs. That entails client meetings with potential users such as briquette manufactures, breweries, clay and cement factories, among others.“

–Shelia Nantambi, Sludge to Energy Enterprises (Uganda)

“I am a social entrepreneur born in Kenya and am passionate about energy saving. Having been brought up in humble background where cooking systems available were very smoky, I developed a desire to be involved in a sector of energy saving technology where I can change lives. I am happy and have never looked back since 1998 when I started the business of clean cook stoves.”

–Wahome Josphat Kariuki, Equater Fuelwood Energy Saving (Kenya)

 

Tell us about a solution you have developed for a problem.

“In order to reduce the amount of fuels for cooking and indoor air pollution in refugee camps, me with my team, we have designed an improved rocket cookstove. The prototype construction is still in progress. Hope to get the test results by the end of December.”

–Daniel Bwino Amanya, GVEP International (Uganda)

“As a group of youth, we acquired a training organized by Eco-Bravo to char agricultural refuse into charcoal briquettes that we then sold for money but also started promoting their use. Together we acquired a sarai cooker which would best compliment the use of the briquettes especially for those working in the offices and even homes.”

–Francisca Olive Asekenye, Solar Sister (Uganda)

“The college has a sawmill that produces a lot of sawdust. Proper disposal of this sawdust has been a problem. I have was able to design a sawdust stove that can use the sawdust as its fuel, and people around the sawmill are no longer buying wood for cooking.”

–Jackson Mutegeki, Nyabyeya Forestry College (Uganda)

“It is a stove that uses dual fuels in case the owner needs to switch to different fuels according to availability of the fuels.  It also includes a heat exchanger that uses different biomass fuels in case the solar energy is off and heat for drying crops is needed.

–Sebunya Proscovia, Promoters of Efficient Technologies for Sustainable Development (Uganda)

“Jiko Kenya is a dual-purpose, fuel-efficient firewood stove. Waste heat from the stove is used in the insulating jacket to boil water, creating safe drinking water and a reduction of waterborne diseases. The jacket can be filled with three liters of water in an inner boiling chamber, further enhancing heat transfer efficiency. The user can simultaneously boil water, thus sanitizing it, and use the stove more efficiently for cooking tasks.”

–Keneth Mitambo, STAMP INVESTMENTS (Kenya)

 

Why do you want to participate in IDDS Cookstoves?

“I want to gain more skills and knowledge from other participants that could be useful in helping me improve my cook stoves. I also want to gain a good network from other cook stove makers that will be useful for information sharing.”

-Betty Ikalaney, Appropriate Energy Saving Technologies (Uganda)

“I want to participate in IDDS Cookstoves so that I can: 1. Continue to dedicate my creativity, energy and ideas in developing sustainable technological innovations, 2. Further enhance my knowledge in research, design and innovation, 3. Have a lasting impact to the people living in poverty, and 4. Increase my network of innovators to continually share innovative ideas for the betterment of our society.”

–David Wanjagi, BURN Manufacturing (Kenya)

“I have designed and contracted local artisans to manufacture a modern cookstove that is efficient but not durable. It works very well with both briquettes and conventional wood charcoal. The market test was very successful but after a few months the inner lining disintegrated. I was happy to hear about the design summit, which I hope I will so that I can learn and also contribute my experience.“

–Said Twahir, Kencoco Ltd (Kenya)

“To learn new development ideas that would provide answers to the high poverty levels in the country. My goal of the summit would be to pass on the acquired knowledge to the people of Teso. My expectation is to gain skills in energy saving systems, which would improve on my technical skills in the organization and as a person. “

–Stella Apio, TERREWODE (Uganda)

Meet the Organizers- Janet Lin
July 21, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series where introduce a member of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

It’s a bit overdue, but I’m happy to introduce…myself, Janet Lin!  Thus far, it has been such a pleasure being your Participant Experience Coordinator.  I’ve communicated with many of you through email and phone already, but I’m eager to finally meet everyone. All of you talked about fascinating experiences in your application, I can’t wait to hear more about them.  Currently, I live in Nairobi where I’m part of the Market Research and Stove Testing team at BURN Manufacturing, makers of the Jikokoa charcoal stove. 

Q1. What is your favorite part about your current job?

When I first joined BURN, I didn’t expect to be involved in so many aspects of the company and, truthfully, it was overwhelming at first. But I quickly came to love the fact that there are numerous projects that the Market Research team has to manage at one time and each topic is so different: the Design Team could ask us “What do users think about this new feature,” or Sales Team may want to know “which marketing message resonates with customers the most?”  Questions like these keep us busy and provide plentiful opportunities to gain experience in many areas.

Q2. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

If I had to pick one thing that I’m most looking forward to, it would be the Cultural Potluck Night.  It’s an evening of cooking chaos as groups try to prepare a dish from their hometown or childhood.  I can’t wait to taste the foods, learn the significance behind the dishes, hear different music, and try new dance moves.  Additionally, this feast occurs a few days before the Final Project Presentations, so it’ll be interesting to see where the project teams have processed to and what they’re aiming for.

Q3. What embarrassing childhood memory makes your friends and family laugh?

If you were to look through our family photo books, you’ll eventually come across a picture of a 7-year-old girl in a red with white polka-dot dress, black hair disheveled with several strands covering her red sweaty face, and each hand holding a table napkin while awkwardly mimicking ballerina poses.  In the picture, the rest of the restaurant guests are trying to enjoy their meals and paying little attention to the girl, which only motivates this amateur dancer to make even more exaggerated movements and sounds. I was this attention-seeking 7-year old child in the photo…

Rapid fire question time!

1.If you could spend one hour doing absolutely anything, what would you do?  I would want to play make-believe with my friends—yes, as adults.

2.What was your favorite childhood game or toy? The microscope set my parents gave me for my birthday.

3.What is your earliest childhood memory? A funeral.

See you all soon!

Answer Your Questions
July 12, 2016

We’ve compiled all questions that you’ve asked us thus far and provided the answers below.  Don’t hesitate to reach us if you have more questions or need further clarification.  And now to answer your questions:

 

WHAT shall we be doing for ALL the 19 days?  

        Well, we don’t want to give away all the details...but as a sneak peak you will:

  • Learn about stove design and stove performance evaluation

  • Practice new prototyping & testing skills

  • Visit communities to co-create, conduct field research, and share findings

  • Experience the design cycle and practice design techniques

  • Develop an innovative prototype to a cookstove challenge

  • Cook dishes from your home or childhood and share with others

  • Play games and music, laugh at jokes, make new friends and connections

 

Does it have to take so long?

We’re assuming this question is in regards to the length of the summit, ~3 weeks.  Compared to other “conferences”, IDDS does seem longer, but that’s what makes IDDS so special and unique.  IDDS is meant to provide participants with a hands-on design experience and opportunity to learn more about the design cycle, prototyping, co-creation, user research, and more. Participants work in project teams to address real-world challenges.  Additionally, participants spend time getting to know each other, the community, and having fun.  This all takes time.  Therefore, we greatly appreciate the commitment participants make to be present during the entire summit.  Feedback from previous summits show that participants find this time worthwhile, and we’re confident IDDS Cookstove participants will feel the same way!

 

Shall we get a chance to leave the summit and come to our offices to fix some things?

As part of your acceptance to the summit, participants agree to be present at the summit for its entirety and for all days, including staying overnight at the Kulika accommodations.  This requirement helps to ensure participants get the full IDDS experience and everything it has to offer.  There will be some “free/personal time” during the evenings and Sunday mornings of the summit.

 

Can we invite friends to come to the summit for a day?

Given our resources, we are unable to accept anymore participants.  Additionally, since we require participants to be present at all days of the summit, it will be difficult for outside visitors to join in for a day.  However, friends & family, are welcomed to attend the final presentations where project teams showcase their final prototypes.  More details about the number of guests allowed will be given during the summit.

 

Are we going to have internet connection in our accommodation?

Yes, while at Kulia there will be WIFI connection in the dining room.  During the community visits, do not expect to have free internet (but you’ll hopefully be too busy gathering user feedback to even notice).

 

What language do the communities speak?

The communities that we will be visiting are around Kulika.  They speak Luganda. Each team will have one team member who is from the specific community.  This individual, along with the local organizers, can help provide translation.

 

How many community visits are planned?

Since project teams will be working closely with the partner community, therefore there are multiple schedule visits including one overnight stay.  

 

Are the communities safe?

Our local Ugandan organizers at CREEC and CIRCODU have great relations with local communities and have selected communities based on interest from community members, applicability of the project, distance from Kulika, and of course safety.

 

Will there be potable water?

Yes, we will always ensure there is filtered, potable water both at Kulika and during the community visits.

 

After the summit, can we work on projects, either related or not related to the theme of the summit and still receive funding?

It’s exciting to see that you guys are thinking about how to continue innovating on other projects, or even continuing projects related to the theme of the summit.  To answer this question in short, yes--after the summit you can work on your summit projects, or projects in a different field or topic area.  

 

There are opportunities with the IDIN Network.  Not sure what the IDIN network is?  Don’t worry, during the summit, IDIN staff members will hold sessions to explain what the network is, what it means to be a member of the network, and what resources the network provides to its members.  All members are eligible to apply for IDIN funding for these post-summit project(s).

 

For participants interested in continuing to address the issue of clean cooking, there are training and funding opportunities through the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.  To receive announcements about future training funding opportunities, you can sign up to be a http://cleancookstoves.org/partners/ and receive the monthly newsletter.  You are also welcome to join the Uganda National Alliance for Clean Cooking or the Clean Cooking Alliance of Kenya.

 
Our Place of Stay - Kulika Training Centre
July 11, 2016

Have you guys been wondering, “Where are we staying during the summit and what it is like?”  Well, hopefully this post gives you a sufficient preview.

 

For the month of August, our home-away-from-home will be the Kulika Training Centre (http://www.kulika.org/).  It has comfortable accommodation, conference hall, dining hall, and plenty of outdoor space.  Kulika is where we’ll spend the night, eat our meals, and conduct many of the summit’s sessions and activities (both indoors and outdoors).  Don’t worry; we’ll also spend time away from Kulika during the community visits and testing workshops at CREEC.

In regards to lodging, participants will be separated into women and men dorms.  Within each dorm, you will be paired with a roommate based on your responses to the rooming survey.  Each bedroom has two beds, two desks, light & power.  You and your roommate will share a washroom with other rooms, of the same gender, on your hall.  Each washroom has toilets, sinks, and showers.

The cost for attending the summit includes all meals.  For days when we are present at Kulika, we will all gather at the dining hall to eat our meals together.  Additionally, each dorm has a small kitchenette for personal use.  For days when we are visiting communities, food will be arrange (ex. Packed lunches). If you have any dietary restrictions and have not yet completed the health & safety form, please email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu) to inform the organizers of your food restrictions.

Additional information on provided amenities:

  • Mosquito Bednets- Yes

  • Bed sheets, Blankets/Covers, Pillow- Yes

  • Towels Provided

  • Laundry/Clothes Washing Facilities- Yes.  Additionally there is laundry service for an extra charge.

  • Free Wi-Fi Internet- Available in dining area

  • Printing- Black & white office printer

Meet the Organizers- Tricia Johnson
June 15, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

Say hello to, Tricia Johnson!  Tricia will be overseeing the monitoring & evaluating during summit.  What does this mean?  With new IDDS’s each year, we hope to not only improve the summit, but also understand and measure the impact these summits have on participants, the local community, and overall innovation efforts. Tricia will help gather feedback from the participants, organizers, and community partners on the IDDS format, schedule, projects and much more! Currently Tricia is a student at Columbia University, working towards her Masters of Public Administration in Development Practice.

Q1. What is your favorite part about your current job?

As a graduate student, I am really excited about spending the summer as the IDIN Monitoring and Evaluation fellow. It is a nice break from the classroom and an opportunity to put into practice the skills we’ve learned this last year and also incorporate the lessons learned into my next year of classes.

Q2. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

So far, most of my experience is focused in Central America so I am really excited to travel to Uganda for the first time and work with a group of innovators from around the world. I am also excited to experience two IDDS summits this summer in completely different contexts, as I am currently at IDDS Educación in Bogotá, Colombia.

Q3. What is your idea of a good time?

My favorite times are simple evenings surrounded by friends drinking wine, laughing, and eating good food. Sometimes there are board games involved, sometimes we just stay up later than we should talking.

Rapid fire question time!

1.Which of the five senses do you treasure the most? Sight. I love being able to see people’s reactions, take in beautiful landscapes, and observe what is happening around me.

2.If you were able to retrieve only one item on your way out of your burning home, what would it be? My scrapbook from my first summer abroad in Nicaragua.

3.Are you a morning or night person? I am a morning person, although graduate school is trying hard to un-do that!

Next week, we conclude our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Who will it feature?  Me, you Participant Experience Coordinator!  Send in the questions.

 

Meet the Organizers- Julien Caubel
June 09, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

Continuing with our design facilitator (DF) introductions, we introduce your third DF Julien Caubel.  Along side the other DFs, Julien will work closely with teams to guide them through the design cycle.  DFs will help facilitate team breakout sessions and lead community visits. Currently Julien is a PhD student in Mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley. Julien’s research focuses on the design and development of advanced biomass cookstoves that use air injection to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the production of harmful emissions. In addition, Julien develops low cost sensors to measure and monitor black carbon (soot) emissions from biomass cookstoves, providing the air quality measurements necessary to validate and understand the impact of clean cookstove technologies in the developing world.

Q1. When and how did you first become involved with cookstoves?

I first became involved with cookstoves in 2014 when I joined the Gadgil Cookstoves Group at Lawrence Berkeley Lab. More generally, I’ve been working in the field of ‘development engineering’ since 2010, when I spent a summer designing and building sustainable housing in northern Ghana. That summer really brought my purpose as an engineer into focus, and ever since my research has centered on improving the basic energy infrastructure that people rely upon to power their homes and communities.

Q2. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I’m most looking forward to meeting and working with people from around the world who are passionate about cookstoves. Most of my current work is laboratory research, designing and testing new cookstove designs under controlled conditions. Although this type of work is important to push the boundaries of cookstoves technology, I can’t wait to collaborate with a diverse group to explore the ultimate outcome of cookstoves: the user. I’m really looking forward to learning more about how people use and think about cookstoves, and bringing this knowledge back to inform my design work.

Q3. What is your idea of a good time?

I love restoring old sports cars. My idea of a good weekend is taking my 1978 MGB up the California coast, top down with a tent in trunk, and drive with no particular destination in mind. 

Rapid fire question time!

1.What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Cow intestine fermented in the sun – It’s a Fulani delicacy (cattle herders who live in the Sahel desert, in northern Ghana).

2.Are you a morning or night person? I’m definitely a morning person: I’m usually up by 6 and asleep by 10.

3.What food do you eat for comfort?  NUTELLA. Always.

Next week, we’ll introduce the fourth and final design facilitator.  

Meet the Organizers- Kelly Banta
June 07, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

This is Kelly Banta, the second design facilitator we’re introducing (do you remember the first?). Kelly and the cohort of DFs will work with teams through the design cycle: from problem identification and user research to idea generation and product prototyping.  Kelly is a graduate student in the cookstoves lab at Colorado State University and is hoping to finish her Master’s degree before the summit! Projects she has been involved with include corrosion testing of cookstove materials, study of air injection in institutional-scale stoves, and various emissions testing projects.

Q1. What is your favorite part about your current job?

My favorite part of my job in the stoves lab (aside from getting to work with people I love!) is the variety of tasks we get to work on, not only testing stoves, but designing and building stoves and other various pieces of hardware, and sometimes doing things like improving our data analysis methods.

Q2. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I am excited to learn about the different perspectives everyone will bring to the summit, not only with respect to cooking and stoves, but with respect to ways of life in general.

Q3. What is your idea of a good time?

My ideal day is spent in the mountains, going rock climbing with friends. Or really doing anything outside! And playing music.

Rapid fire question time!

  1. What’s a recent fact you learned that amazed you? When a queen bee lays an egg, if the egg is fertilized it will become a female, and if the egg is unfertilized, it will become a male.
  2. If you had to listen to one song on repeat for 24hrs straight, which song would you choose? “Walk Beside Me” by Tim O’Brien and Daryl Scott, or if I could choose an entire album, it would be “Graceland” by Paul Simon.
  3. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? The only reason to do whatever you are doing is for love.

Next time, we continue with another DF introduction.  As always, send in the questions!

Meet the Organizers- Juliet Kyayesimira
June 02, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

Say hello to Juliet Kyayesimira!  During the summit, Juliet will work as a community liaison organizer. Juliet works with Joseph (featured last week) at the Center for Integrated Research and Community Development Uganda (CIRCODU).  At CIRCODU, Juliet is conservation specialist and doubles as the Secretary General. She has supervised several projects at CIRCODU and her research focus is on indigenous knowledge practices that enhance food security and adapt climate changes.

Q1. What is your favorite part about your current job?

Doing field work where you get to interact with communities on the usage of cookstoves and it is amazing gathering feedback and sharing their experiences on what works and does not work with modern cookstoves.

Q2. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I am eager to meet new people and share experiences on cookstoves and learn.

Q3. What embarrassing childhood memory makes your friends and family laugh?

During my childhood, I used to do a lot of swimming in the river near by our home. I loved it so much and on several occasions I would sneak from home to go and swim and then try to hide any traces of swimming. With my friends, we would try to smear our bodies with soap to hide from being pale and also collect and carry firewood home as if this was the main reason we were away.

Rapid fire question time! Short and Sweet Responses (1 sentence max).  Pick three to answer:

  1. What food do you eat for comfort? Fried or roasted fish
  2. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Let go of bad memories because they shield you from seeing a bright tomorrow
  3. What is your earliest childhood memory? Making dolls from banana fibres which I would carry all day long.

Thanks for your time!  Any last words to the participants?

Dear participants, time has finally come and we can all make a change in the cookstove industry if we can innovate a low cost cookstove for the local communities and this summit will help to realize this goal.

Come back next week!  We’ll introduce more of your design facilitators (you’ve already met one, Nelson).  Anything in particular you want to know about your DFs?  Email me your questions.

Meet the Organizers- Joseph Arineitwe Ndemere
May 27, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

This week, we begin introducing our organizers from the Center for Integrated Research and Community Development Uganda (CIRCODU).  CIRCODU is a non-profit organization that has been engaged in monitoring for clean indoor air pollution and promoting improved cookstoves. Joseph Nemere is the Director General at CIRCODU and has much experience in biomass gasification and sustainable energy engineering.  At IDDS Cookstoves, Joseph will be mainly linking IDDS Cookstoves with the community at Kulika.

Q1. When and how did you first become involved with cookstoves?

I started getting involved with cookstoves in 2005 as a graduate student when I was enrolled to conduct indoor air pollution measurements for the Ugastove charcoal and wood cookstoves.

Q2. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I look forward to experiencing first-hand how real life ideas are transformed into workable solutions for the biomass cooking community

Q3. What’s the worst weather situation you’ve been in?

I have never thought how life would be when exposed to air temperatures of 45Degree Celsius until I traveled to Mali in April 2016. It was an explosion in my face.

Rapid fire question time! 

1.What are you a “natural” at? I am natural at cracking jokes – and sometimes really “bad” ones.

2.When you travel, do you pack too much or too little? When I travel, I pack too little.

3.What was your favorite childhood game or toy? Favorite childhood game was sliding on a hillside on a banana trunk

 

Next time, we introduce another CIRCODU member who also has a childhood memory involving banana trees…

Meet the Organizers- Nelson Byanyima
May 20, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

Say hello to one of your design facilitators (DF), Nelson Byanyima!  As a DF, Nelson will help guide teams through the design process and development of projects.  He’ll help teams during break-out sessions and community visits.  Nelson is the Bioenergy Technician at CREEC and works along side fellow IDDS organizers, Angela and Agnes (featured in previous posts).  During the summit Nelson will also help with training and cookstove testing.

Q1. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I am really excited about this event and I am looking forward to meeting all the participants and sharing some of the most recent research and innovative technologies that will help to transform the East African Community

Q2. When and how did you first become involved with cookstoves?

I first became involved with cookstoves in 2013 after meeting Karsten Bechtel who gave me an opportunity to intern with CREEC. Ever since, I’ve been doing cookstove research and majorly performance testing. Once you start working on stoves you will never quit!!

Q3. What embarrassing childhood memory makes your friends and family laugh?

One day my teacher sent me to go buy an exercise book for social studies. Now what came to my head was that a social studies exercise book is a special kind of book and maybe comes labeled “social studies exercise book” so when I reached town I moved from shop to shop looking for that special book. Sellers would pull out a normal exercise book and I would insist this is not a social studies book. That day I missed school because I roamed the whole town the whole day, looking for that specific book which I never got! I have never forgotten that experience and I was around 4 years of age!

Rapid fire question time!

1.What are you a “natural” at? My smile. I can smile at any time!

2.Of all the tools and gadgets your own, which do you most enjoy using? My phone

3.What food do you eat for comfort? Pizza

Any last words to the participants?

I am very hopeful that you will enjoy the IDDS especially the warm treatment/welcome Ugandan people can offer. In fact you will wish to stay longer! Because once you visit Uganda, You never wish to leave.

Who do we have lined up next?  We’ll introduce our two organizers from the Centre for Integrated Research and Community Development Uganda (CIRCODU).  So many acronyms!

Meet the Organizers- Agnes Naluwagga
May 12, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

This week we introduce another member of the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC).  Agnes Naluwagga is the Regional Testing and Knowledge Centre Coordinator at CREEC. During the summit Agnes and her fellow CREEC colleagues will help with organizing logistics, participant support, and facilitating.  Additionally, we will also be using the CREEC facilities for cookstove testing.

Q1.What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I look forward to exciting innovations during the design summit and meeting a mix of participants with diverse expertise. I am certain it’s going to be an adventurous and exciting three weeks 

Q1. Along your journey thus far, what transformative experience would you like to share?

Having a background in Electrical engineering and having interacted more with machines, I didn’t ever imagine I would be working in the cookstove sector, not even in my wildest dreams….nothin’....didn’t ever cross my mind; Until I joined CREEC, and then I was amazed at the magnitude and complexity of this simple personal universal age-old task called cooking. Let’s see; the diverse technologies, the impact on human health, environment, then comes testing of stove performance, behavioral change aspects of cooking technologies… it’s amazing the wealth of information there is and the work that is yet to be done in the cooking sector. Am still learning to date!

Q3. What is your idea of a good time?

Getting out of town and enjoying the quietness, breeze and simplicity of life outside of town … An impromptu trip is even more fun.

Rapid fire question time!

1.Of all the tools and gadgets you own, which do you most enjoy using? My sewing machine, am not yet a pro but the moments I spend on it are priceless; especially when the final product turns out great

2.When you travel, do you pack too much or too little? Huh, tough one I try to minimize but I always end up with a lot more than I need

3.What food do you eat for comfort? chicken chicken chicken … roast, boiled, fried whatever form I’ll eat, and it seems my little one is picking up the habit as well.

Thanks for your time, Agnes!  Any last words to the participants?

Let’s put on our creative thinking hats and engineer amazing usable cookstoves!

Next time, we’ll get to know the final organizer from CREEC. Reminder: keep sending in questions you want the organizers to answer about themselves! 

Meet the Organizers- Angela Nabagesera
April 22, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!—email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

Meet Angela Nabagesera, one of the organizers from the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC). CREEC’s mission is to enhance access to modern types of energy through research, training and consultancy in East-Africa.  During the summit we will be using the CREEC facilities to conduct testing and performance evaluation of cookstoves. Angela will help with funds monitoring, disbursement and accountability.

Q1. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I am eager to see the user-influenced designs participants will develop for the betterment of the environment                                            

Q2. Describe a memorable lecture, talk, lesson you gave recently. 

I recently conducted accounting software training for the accounts team of a church ministry. It’s wonderful to be a part of that phase of their development                                                                      

Q3. What is your idea of a good time?

Staying indoors with my family; cooking, laughing and eating! I also enjoy me-time, usually watching a movie!

Rapid fire question time!

  1. Of all the tools and gadgets you own, which do you most enjoy using? My phone-No doubt it makes life easier. I use it to communicate with my friends and family, access the internet, read the bible, it’s my alarm clock…really, it’s everything!
  2. What food do you eat for comfort? CHICKEN any day, anytime!
  3. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “Very little is needed to make a happy life. It all within yourself; in your way of thinking”

Next time, we introduce the second (of three) organizer from CREEC who gave the same answer to one of Angela’s rapid fire questions…stay tuned!

Meet the Organizers- Dan Sweeney
April 15, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have suggestions for questions you would like the organizers to answer, email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

This week we introduce one of the co-instructors for the summit, Dan Sweeney. Dan is the Research Scientist for Biomass Fuel at MIT D-Lab.  He provides technical assistance to D-Lab partners and performs lab and field based R&D on biomass and waste conversion processes.  As a co-instructor for IDDS Cookstoves, Dan is responsible for creating, overseeing, and delivering the curriculum and learning. 

Q1. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I’m excited to get hands-on making high-performing stoves with an inspiring group of people from East Africa and beyond! I hope that the experience that we create together will be transformative for all of us involved and the cookstove sector more broadly.

Q2. Along our journey thus far, what transformative experience would you like to share?

At one point I was a naïve engineer who thought that we just need to design efficient and high-performing products and users will no doubt use and like them. Then I chatted with a woman as we watched fresh beans cook in her kitchen in Uganda, and she told me that she “likes how her stove is economical and clean, but the thing that pushed me to buy it was the beautiful and smart green color” and that she is “always excited to have visitors over to show it off”. This kind of opened up my eyes. The stove did look great, and something was suddenly obvious- users would actually make a great part of the design team.

Q3. What is your idea of a good time?

My idea of a good time is a day digging in the garden, sun shining, no mobile network or internet, preferably barefoot, and a cold creek nearby to cool off in.

Rapid fire question time!

1.What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without”

2.What is your earliest childhood memory? Stepping on a rake in the back yard to see if it was like the cartoons… yep, it is, I think.

3.If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be? It would be my terrible dancing ability. But I’ll keep trying.

Next week we begin introducing our Ugandan organizing team members. As always, share any questions you want the organizers to answer—funny, serious, random, (almost) anything!

Meet the Organizers- Ranyee Chiang
March 23, 2016

This blog post is part of our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Each week, we introduce 1-2 members of the IDDS Cookstove Organizing team.  If you have suggestions for questions you would like the organizers to answer, email Janet (janetdlin@alum.mit.edu).

Hello All!  Welcome to the first post in our “Meet the Organizers” series.  Today let’s give a warm greeting to Ranyee Chiang, our Lead Organizer! 

Ranyee is the Director of Standards, Technology and Fuels at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (http://cleancookstoves.org/).  As Lead Organizer for IDDS Cookstoves, Ranyee is responsible for overseeing the connection of all four components of the summit: the Operations, the Community Engagement, the Curriculum, and the Participant Experience.  

Q1. What are you most looking forward to with IDDS Cookstoves?

I’m excited to bring together the most up-to-date research, enthusiastic participants, advanced testing resources, with communities around Kampala.

Q2. Along your journey thus far, what transformative experience would you like to share?

As part of the Global Alliance’s efforts to strengthen the global network of Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers, we have organized several in-person trainings for testing technicians from around the world.  Even though people were from dozens of countries, it was amazing to see people bonding over common challenges, jokes that transcend borders, and a shared love of food, music, and dancing

Q3. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

I’ve had too many wonderful teachers to pick one.  I am especially appreciative of my math, science, and engineering teachers who were so supportive of girls and women in their classes.

Rapid fire question time!

1. What are you a “natural” at?  Curling my tongue into a three leaf clover (if you ask, I can demonstrate)

2. What food do you eat for comfort? My grandmother’s meatballs (Or in Uganda, a Rolex, a dish made from eggs and cabbage rolled in chapatti)

3. Which of the five senses do you treasure the most? Smell (which also enhances taste!)

BONUS MATERIAL: Check out Ranyee’s recent TEDx talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrmtWDJbYqM&authuser=0) about her work in cookstoves!

Stay tuned for the next post, when we introduce our Lead Instructors!

Participant Applications Closed - Applicant Demographics
December 21, 2015
Experience with cookstoves among 83 applicants

 

By Sher Vogel

Participant applications closed on December 10, 2015.  We received 83 applications total for only 40 participant spots. Though the summit is targeting a diverse mix of participants from East Africa, we recieved 31 other applications from 13 countries outside the region as well.  As hoped, there was ecclectic mix of both users, designers, manufacturers, and sellers of cookstoves. 

Applications are now being distributed for review and applicants will be notified if they were selected or not by beginning of February 2016. 

For more information, contact the IDDS Cookstoves team at idds.cookstoves@mit.edu.

 

Click for more details on applicant demographics.

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