Design is what links creativity and innovation. It shapes ideas to become practical and attractive propositions for users or customers. Design may be described as creativity deployed to a specific end
This writer remembered reading this definition of design by Sir George Cox many years ago, yet it hadn’t resurfaced until reading about a socially-conscious organization, charged with a mission to help millions of people across the globe by utilizing a relatively simple design; the wheel.
When New York based business graduate Cynthia Koenig discovered that one in six people lack reliable access to water she decided to do something about it. Her solution: The WaterWheel, a 25-gallon drum (shown above) that can be pushed or pulled and takes away much of the burden of carrying water on the head, which is the traditional timely and physically laborious method women use in many parts of the world. The WaterWheel allows rolling of 50 litres of water over carrying 19 litre jugs, alleviating physical harm and freeing up time. And so the company Wello was born.
According to Koenig, for one in six people on this planet getting water requires hours of waiting, walking, and carrying. This necessary work is most often done by women and children. The WaterWheel allows women to better utilize their time to make a living, and attend to other home duties and allows children to play or go attend school. This puts the positive aspects very simply and only scratches the surface of the magnitude of change and social reform that the mere presence of the useful and productive WaterWheel can bring about. It’s an innovative design with the capability to reach millions and a beautiful literal translation of Sir Cox’s definition of design.
Koenig, at the helm of Wello considers herself a social entrepreneur, a new wave of entrepreneur who has innovative solutions to society's most pressing social problems and still desires to make a profit, a win-win approach to social needs.
Wello is currently piloting the WaterWheel in parts of India with an intention to go global, particular after interest was shown by the United Nations. To learn more about the Wello WaterWheel check out http://wellowater.org/.