As with any good idea, it doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t find a convenient, easy, and preferably aesthetic way to bring it to the masses. Shai Agassi, founder of the electric car company Better Place, understood this when he hired industrial designer Gadi Amit to design the company’s electric car charging ports.
And apparently this is a mode of operation that makes sense to other entrepreneurs worldwide. Daniel Whitman, a Chicago architect and social entrepreneur, recently founded GlobalTap – a for-profit social enterprise with the dual mission of selling/installing tap water refilling stations in public places in North America and Europe, and then using the revenues to fund much needed water projects in developing countries.
Basically, using the funding coming from privileged places to fund water projects in considerably less privileged places. “Water should be free and accessible to everybody,” Whitman says.
Similar to project Better Place, GlobalTap will work towards setting up water refilling stations (aka fancy water fountains) in public places such as parks and sidewalks. These stations, which have been sleekly designed by IDEO, would be purchased by municipalities, generating the funding for the projects in the developing world. They would also encourage the use of refillable water bottles, such as Nalgenes or aluminum bottles, as opposed to the pervasive and not often reused plastic water bottle.
The design for the “water refilling stations” – shown above – is strikingly similar to the Better Place recharge stations (shown to the right)… even boasting the same bright blue color. Coincidence?
Read more about Project Better Place::