PWX Receives The 2010 Tech Award (Intel Environment)

The Tech Awards, Presented by Applied Materials in Association with Santa Clara University, Identify Pioneers Using Technology To Improve The Lives of People Worldwide

Santa Clara, California
November 6, 2010
The Peer Water Exchange (PWX) was awarded the 2010 Intel Environment Award today. PWX, a project of Blue Planet Network, is a combination of process, technology platform, and people designed to unlock the global capacity and creativity of individuals, philanthropies, businesses and implementers to solve the global safe drinking water and sanitation crises.

Solving the water and sanitation crises that impact over 2.6B people will require small-scale, grassroots projects using appropriate technology that need to be owned and managed by the community. The problem is to divide the millions of dollars going into the water sector today into ten thousand dollar projects.

Rajesh Shah pioneered the model of PWX to solve this problem of managing the tens of thousands of projects needed. PWX is a combination of process, people, and technology that uses peer review, collaboration, participatory decision-making, crowdsourcing, and 100% transparency to solicit, fund, manage, and long-term monitor projects. Over six years, the model has proven to work and now manages over $26MM in 23 countries. In addition, PWX AnalytiX -- the first set of business intelligence tools for the water sector -- was launched in September.


The Tech Awards is an international awards program that honors innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity. The Tech Awards recognize laureates in five categories: Environment, Economic Development, Education, Equality, and Health. “The Tech Awards recognize people whose passion and ideas may change the world,” said Rajesh Shah, inventor of PWX. “We are happy that two laureates are from the water sector.”

“The global challenges of the day have become increasingly strident, more deeply rooted,” said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. “Still, there is hope. These incredibly impressive Laureates have all proven to be equal to, or better than, the challenge to make the world a better place. By celebrating their accomplishments today, we are encouraging future innovators to work toward solutions to make the world healthier, safer and more sustainable.”

Rajesh continued, "The fact that A Single Drop for Safe Water is also a laureate shows that it is recognized that grassroots community based projects are recognized as a way forward. Similarly other PWX partners such as Gram Vikas and Barefoot College have won Tech Awards in prior years. PWX helps aggregate and connect the hard work of these organizations on the ground. Their work is hard to scale, but PWX can support and help hundreds of such partners, showcasing their work and also enabling us to see how much progress we make collectively".

Mark Steele, Creative Director BPN, said: "The awards were really a double win for PWX and Blue Planet Network. A model for project implementation received an award when A Single Drop won ... and our model for aggregating and connecting these models of implementation to make them even more effective was recognized with our Intel award. This validates that our approach is powerful on both levels."

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About The Tech Museum

The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. Located in San Jose, California – the Capital of Silicon Valley – its mission, as a public-benefit corporation, is to inspire the innovator in everyone. Through hands-on exhibits, educational programs, The Tech Challenge team competition for youth, and the internationally recognized The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum honors the past, celebrates the present, and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. For more information about The Tech Museum, visit www.thetech.org.

About Blue Planet Network

Blue Planet Network is a San-Francisco based 501(c)3 non-profit enabling safe drinking water projects for the billion people around the world in need. Founded in 2002 by Jin Zidell, the organization conducted the Blue Planet Run 2007 – the first-ever around-the-world relay race to raise funds and awareness for water projects, and the largest single event ever devoted to safe drinking water. Blue Planet Network's mission is to unlock the global capacity and creativity of individuals, philanthropies, businesses and expert water organizations to solve the global safe drinking water crisis. To learn more about Blue Planet Network or to make a donation, please visit www.blueplanetnetwork.org.

About Peer Water Exchange

The Peer Water Exchange, a Bangalore based non-profit, is a pioneering effort to enforce collaboration marshaling resources cost-effectively to make decisions efficiently and transparently. A peer-run participatory decision-making system, PWX has proven that crowdsourcing the expertise in the field is extremely valuable and can be used within a robust network to scale up the management of thousands of diverse, customized grassroots water and sanitation projects. In addition, PWX is a cost-effective approach to monitor and measure the long-term impact of small projects to ensure that we are truly making a dent in the global water crisis.

For further information, go to the PWX website or email PWX.


Photos: © Charlotte Fiorito Photography, All Rights Reserved
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