How to Start a Public Invention and Humanitarian Engineering Club at your University

Humanitarian Engineering

EWB-USA Chapters across America

Public Invention Grows out of FOSS

Starting a PIHE Club

What a PIHE Club Should Do

  • Invite speakers to talk specifically about PIHE concepts, practices, and projects. Public Invention will be happy to come speak at your club!
  • Take on real projects that can really make a difference. The organization Public Invention has published a growing curated list of such projects analyzed for difficulty, joinability, and skills that you can use as a starting point.
Screenshot of our Spreadsheet of Public Invention Projects
  • Interact with a local Engineers Without Borders professional or student chapter, or consider starting one!
  • If not ready to do a real research project, take on a learning project to improve your PIHE skills, such as building an open-source device useful for humanitarian purposes.
  • Brainstorm new public invention ideas, and contribute those ideas back to the public invention list of ideas.
  • Invite discussion of the philosophical, religious and ethical aspects of PIHE.
  • Seek out ways engineering and technology can help in your local community, such as:
  • Mapping invasive species,
  • Providing sanitation to the homeless,
  • Recycling plastic with recyclebots into 3-D printing filament,
  • Measuring and decreasing the local carbon footprint, etc.

What the Students Should Get Out of a PIHE Club

  • The joy of sharing a common interest with your fellow students.
  • The satisfaction of helping others, even if that help is abstract and potential, existing in the future rather than today.
  • Learning how technology can positively affect the real world.
  • Understanding the open-source and free culture movements.
  • An introduction to modern project management tools such git, GitHub and GitLab, and Appropedia.

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Public Inventor. Founder of Public Invention. Co-founder of @18F. Presidential Innovation Fellow. Agilist. PhD Comp. Sci. Amateur mathematician.

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Robert L. Read

Robert L. Read

Public Inventor. Founder of Public Invention. Co-founder of @18F. Presidential Innovation Fellow. Agilist. PhD Comp. Sci. Amateur mathematician.

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