TreeHugger is at the INDEX: Design to improve life Awards in Copenhagen. The challenge is to "Inspire, Educate and Engage in designing sustainable solutions to global challenges." Here are the winners; greater detail will follow.
This one was also a surprise. You look at it and say OK, a training baby. Then, during the press awards presentation, they demonstrated it in action and you could see this is just like the real thing. It even cries! You can see immediately that something like this, designed to be affordable and accessible, could make a big difference.
Every day, 3,000 newborn babies die from birth asphyxia along with 1000 birthing mothers. The enormity of this challenge is stressed by the fact that it is included in no less than two Millennium Development Goals.
In addressing this challenge, in very different and often impoverished communities in developing countries, Laerdal Global Health have taken a unique approach by combining industrial design with education. The learning kit facilitates interactive learning, providing practical hands-on training.
Why the judges liked it:
The obvious and globally recognizable design amounts into an understandable tool that offers to strengthen and improve any learning situation. Jury member Katinka von der Lippe shares her views "The Natalie Collection is a low cost, practical, hands-on training kit for the most important and critical moment in life - when a baby is being born. The company behind it, Laerdal Global Health, has a great team of designers focusing to help low resource countries significantly reduce infant, child and maternal mortality. The Natalie Collection is a great example of how design can improve conditions both locally and globally. It has a simple, straightforward approach, which invites participation and teamwork. The learning process becomes more playful, and the learning goes much faster when the midwives or birth assistants are part of a role-play.
What they are doing with the prize money:
Laerdal Global Health will donate the award money to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) in support of distribution of the Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Breathe training programs among its members in developing countries.