Demotech is an NGO that develops applications with a focus on third world countries, does research on the transfer knowledge, creates self-reliance by means of technology and stimulates discussions on sustainability.

Reinder Van Tijen has been applying all of the principles of traditional design thinking to his work, even long before the concept was invented. In 1975, he founded Demotech, which focuses on designing for self-reliance in developing countries. By listening carefully to local people, he is able to determine needs as well as the means that are realistically available in a given setting, which allows Demotech to come up with highly context-specific designs that translate high-tech principles into applications that workers and farmers in developing countries can easily understand, build and maintain themselves. Materials that are generally used are bamboo, car tires and reinforcing bars, which are all inexpensive, widely available and do not require specialized tools in order to be processed.
Reinder van Tijen

Our approach to finding solutions to the problems of Sustainability and Development is based on some central principles. As a guide to understanding Demotech, some core concepts are named below.

JOY: We see Joy, enjoying life, comfort, happiness and good feelings as a universal measure of progress in our work. Demotech strives to create More Joy per Person.

DEMOCRACY: The principles of democracy, that all people are equal and deserve fair treatment and dignity are central to our world view. Demotech, its name shortened from ?Democracy supporting Technology? invokes the core values of democracy as a means of achieving joy.

SUSTAINABILITY: It is recognized that the value of our technology and society cannot be measured without taking into account future generations and respect for nature. Demotech demands of its technology that it is fully sustainable, so that joy in the future is protected as strongly as that of the present.

TECHNOLOGY: All human society around the world uses technology, and all technology is social and political. Demotech is inspired by "Technology Within Poverty", and harnesses it to create solutions which by their design create Joy, and promote democratic values in a sustainable way.

KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge is a powerful tool, which is essential to having choices, opportunities, and freedom. Through Open Source exchange, Demotech promotes the free flow of knowledge about her designs, ideas, and activities. This implies a two way exchange, where feedback from all parties is essential to creating new knowledge.

RE-DESIGN: Through a process of innovation, which takes inputs from modern science, local knowledge and demands, and innovative ideas, Demotech creates potential to Re-Design the way we live. Thus, real-life practical solutions are created, ready for use and within the reach of any person in the world.