By learning through experimentation on approaches that are fundamentally different from how things are going now, new solutions can be created. An integrated combination of Social, Technical, and Economic realms helps the effectiveness of our approach. Gained knowledge is then shared, used, and updated through open source knowledge systems.

Demotech creates an environment for student and professional creative energies towards such experimentation. Demotech develops a general approach, creates examples that clarify the approach, and trains people to apply it. This results in applications that can make a difference. Demotech is about recreating culture through experimentation. In doing so, we try to empower everyone, but especially those that are otherwise left behind. In this sense we can describe our products as frugal innovation - they aim to overcome any resource constraints of their makers and users, as well as the broader community and society.

Although comparable in some aspects our design initiatives differ from "Appropriate Technology", a methodology for technology transfer regarding development:

  1. Adaptation of technology
    Adaptation of modern technology to conditions within poverty is avoided in the design initiatives, as such an adaptation always results in frustrating low quality in functional value. Demotech designs are based on knowledge and means available in the village or urban area. This starting-point asks for a radical new approach, resulting in qualitative better products than people are used to.
  2. Motivating people
    Raising the expectations of the people is enough to motivate them to work on the design initiatives. The technical instruction is not a prerogative. Showing them that they can solve their basic material problems, if new technological tricks merge with the techniques available locally excites people and motivates them to get started.
  3. Transfer of information
    Transfer of information is based on locally available means. The only contribution of the Demotech) development worker is teaching. Demotech designs are composed in a manner that the projects don't require external finance. In this way the users don't become dependent on the influence of money suppliers and can decide for themselves if they want to use the idea or not. For the same reason the design is yes or no passed on to others.
    In practice this turns out to be a powerful tool to promote a large scale application of the new techniques. In a number of well documented cases this led to a large scale application of the ideas without any external help or finance (projects in Indonesia en Nicaragua).
  4. Western technology as an expression of its own culture
    Western technology is regarded by its users and developers as the most effective way of application of the available information. When judging this point of view, it makes sense to regard western technology as an expression of its own culture. For a person being part of the "western culture", it is hard to see the restrictions, that are evident for observers from an another culture. The culture of poverty has its own effective use of knowledge and means. The subsequent development of the knowledge available here and in the third-world is the base of the Demotech design initiatives.