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Worldbike Slideshow: Bicycles as a tool for Development from Ross Evans on Vimeo.

Worldbike designs higher-strength, longer-wheelbase bicycles with integrated cargo capacity. We conduct trial markets to determine the ideal price levels, work with the bike industry to get the best quality parts and frames at the lowest cost, and partner with international development organizations like Kickstart International to sell and distribute the bicycles.

Worldbike was included in the Design for the other 90% exhibition by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.

bigboda.JPG

[Image from worldbike]

The impacts of the Open Source Bike project will be principally felt in identifying and solving the key design challenges in using bikes in the developing world. Through the distributed brains of the worldbike bike community, we’ll be able to mobilize talent that otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in this effort.

production-model-big-boda-1.jpg

[Image from worldbike]

Bikes from Worldbike are actually designed to be used to carry the heavy loads demanded of them by developing world users. The durable frame extending racks provide a stable platform and make the bicycle more appropriate for the applications of carrying cargo. Having a properly designed bicycle makes it less likely that the bike will fail from being used outside its’ intended use.

Chris Connors

Making things is the best way to learn about our world.


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Comments

  1. emilio says:

    Hi, the idea is very usefull but the video is like a propaganda media. Why the people in Africa are poverty? because they dont have a bike cargo? or because the thousands of years in human, economic and cultural slavery?.

    please dont MAKE a simple and usefull cargo system in a SUPERMAN FIGHT for HUMANITY.

    Relax and fight with your EGO.

    1. Chris Connors says:

      When I look at a project like WorldBike, I think of people who work like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/connors934/1098442945/in/set-72157601548067041/ every day for two bucks a day or less.

      If these incredible workers can have access to a better tool like the rack extension, maybe they can work a little harder carrying a larger load. This may allow them to make two fifty, or maybe even three bucks, maybe even more. Their families will have a better standard of living, and hopefully they can move themselves away from poverty. They can start to see a way out and up. They may be able to send their kids to school until an older age. The whole family can benefit from technology like this.

      Another aspect I really like about the WorldBike project is that it provides local jobs in countries where industry needs to grow. These parts are not made in the developed world, they are made in the countries where they are used. This means that local people are making a locally sold piece of equipment using open source designs. By using this approach, the organization (and not a corporation) is helping to grow an economy around the idea that bikes can be improved and people can have a better life as a result of the improvement. The whole community can benefit in real ways from technology like this.

      Poverty is a great challenge, and I do not pretend to be an expert in it. There are, however some very talented people who are creating impressive solutions right now to address specific needs in the world.

      When I looked at the video the first time, and again later, I didn’t see propaganda, I saw an organization creating and distributing a solution that is needed by people across the world. Their emphasis was not on getting people to give them money, but on getting people to be aware of the project. It is a simple and useful cargo system, but it is also much more to the people who are affected by it.

      Thanks for your interest!
      Chris

  2. Simple Jack says:

    The best way to fight poverty is to give people a hand up and not just a hand out. By helping people to become mobile and self sufficient, they can seek out and take advantage of opportunities for business and transportation of goods and services.

    I don’t think dwelling on the past is going to help empower people out of poverty. Providing for basic needs only helps in the short term.
    “give a man a fish, he can eat for a day, teach a man to fish, he can eat for a life time”

    I’ve been blessed to grow up in a country (USA) where opportunity abounds. It became that way because someone at some point decided that becoming educated and self sufficient was more important and practical in the long run.

    I know that the problems in Africa are far more complex than just handing out bikes, but after centuries of abuse, neglect and violence, it’s past time for an Africa Renaissance.

  3. Ted says:

    this needs an outrigger for stability with heavy loads that folds away when no longer needed.

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