Cycling out of Poverty is a non-profit foundation that raises money for projects that allow Africans to improve their daily lives through the use of bicycles. Currently, they are running an African Bicycle Design Contest at Wiki-Bike.com. On the website, you can read about the competition and you can upload your own ideas for durable and sustainable bicycles for Africa.
The deadline for the contest is 5 pm on Thursday, September 30th, 2010. At that point, a professional jury will judge all contributions and select 5 winning designs. Those five winners will be awarded with a design team who will develop the designs / ideas into working prototypes. The design team that delivers the best prototype will win a 10-day trip to Kenya to train and assist a Kenyan team in producing this bicycle. For a little background on the African Bicycle Design project, check out this video featuring a team of four industrial design students from the Delft University of Technology who worked with people in Kenyan last year to develop a street vending bicycle.
I am honored and excited to be serving as one of the jurors for the 2010 competition. It is certainly my hope that we will have many great ideas to choose from, so I encourage all of you to go to the site, register, and submit your ideas for a bike to help the people of Africa. Who knows…maybe your concept will be the one that really makes a difference.