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Appropedia Foundation or Appropedia
Founded 2007 (501c3 status)
Founder Lonny Grafman, Chris Watkins, Curt Beckmann, Catherine Laine, Andrew Lamb
Focus Rural and Indigenous Communities
  • Arcata, California
Area served
Product Open appropriate technology wiki
Method Appropriate technology and sustainable development

Appropedia is a wiki website for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development, with a particular focus on appropriate technology.[1] Appropedia has been used by a number of nonprofit organizations and individuals working in sustainable development, including Demotech[2] and the Full Belly Project.[3]

Appropedia runs on the software MediaWiki. Currently it houses over 7,000 articles and has received more than 26,000 uploaded files (11 August 2015).[4]


Appropedia wordle constructed from the 5,000 most popular content page names.

After years of other online and offline sustainable collaboration projects, Lonny Grafman started Appropedia in April 2006 with a focus on appropriate technology, defined very broadly. He was assisted by Aaron Antrim and Gabriel Krause in the decision to use the MediaWiki engine for Appropedia. Curt Beckmann then joined Appropedia later in 2006.

Contact with WikiGreen in December 2006[5] led to a quick decision to join forces. It was decided to use the name Appropedia. This merger led to a large increase in content, including permission from various publications, and some content from CD3WD (CDs for the 3rd World).[6]

Since then Appropedia has imported content from other sites:

  • International Rivers Network gave permission for several pages worth of content.
  • Practical Action gave permission for over 100 articles
  • Demotech (nl), an organization in the Netherlands, has built many pages.
  • The wiki for the organization Village Earth was merged in March 2007.[7] This was the original wiki on appropriate technology.
  • The How To Live Wiki, run by Vinay Gupta, merged much of its material into Appropedia in March 2007, and Vinay joined the Appropedia team.
  • The Sgoals wiki, focused on sustainable business practices, joined in mid-2007.
  • The Students for Global Sustainability Wiki merged in January 2008.
  • CCAT, the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, partnered with Appropedia to move their project pages to Appropedia in April 2008.
  • In 2012, use of the Semantic MediaWiki extension was added.

Use as source[edit]

Papers and books that have used information from Appropedia as source material include:

  1. Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs by Joshua M. Pearce was published in 2014 by Elsevier (ISBN 9780124104624).
  2. Kreye, Melissa M. "Metal accumulation in gill epithelium and liver tissue in steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) reared in reclaimed wastewater", Thesis (M.S.) – Humboldt State University, Natural Resources: Wastewater Utilization Program, 2008.
  3. Urmila Balasubramaniyam, Llionel S. Zisengwe, Niccoló Meriggi, Eric Buysman, Biogas production in climates with long cold winters, Wageningen, May 2008.
  4. James A. West and Margaret L. West, "Using Wikis for Online Collaboration: The Power of the Read-Write Web", Jossey-Bass (December 15, 2008).

Use as pedagogical tool[edit]

Appropedia has also been used by proponents of open source appropriate technology such as Prof. Joshua Pearce in service learning,[8] including in language education[9][10][11] and engineering education.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joshua M. Pearce, Lonny Grafman, Thomas Colledge, and Ryan Legg, “Leveraging Information Technology, Social Entrepreneurship and Global Collaboration for Just Sustainable Development” Proceedings of the 12th Annual National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Conference, pp. 201–210, 2008. Full text:"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  2. ^ "Demotech, Design for self reliance". Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Agricultural Development & Technology – Full Belly Project". Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  4. ^ "Appropedia". 2015-08-11. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  5. ^ "User talk:Chriswaterguy – Appropedia: The sustainability wiki". Appropedia. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  6. ^ " – – cd3wd – High Quality Technical Development Info for the Third World – and the SEEV fraud-proof voting system for the Third World – last updated 2011/03". cd3wd. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  7. ^ Village Earth. 2007. Village Earth joins the Appropedia wiki community Archived December 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.. Appropriate Technology Project Blog.
  8. ^ J. M. Pearce, L. Grafman, T. Colledge, and R. Legg, “Leveraging Information Technology, Social Entrepreneurship and Global Collaboration for Just Sustainable Development Archived February 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.” Proceedings of the 12th Annual National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Conference, pp. 201–210, 2008.
  9. ^ E. ter Horst and J. M. Pearce, “Foreign Languages and the Environment: A Collaborative Instructional Project”, The Language Educator, pp. 52–56, October, 2008.
  10. ^ J. M. Pearce and E. ter Horst “Appropedia and Sustainable Development for Improved Service Learning”, Proceedings of Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2008.
  11. ^ Joshua M. Pearce and Eleanor ter Horst, “Overcoming Language Challenges of Open Source Appropriate Technology for Sustainable Development in Africa”, Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 11(3) pp. 230–245, 2010.
  12. ^ Joshua M. Pearce, “Appropedia as a Tool for Service Learning in Sustainable Development”, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 3(1), pp. 45–53, 2009. Q-Space pre-print
  13. ^ S. Murphy and N. Saleh, "Information literacy in CEAB’s accreditation criteria: the hidden attribute", In Proceedings of The Sixth International Conference on Innovation and Practices in Engineering Design and Engineering Education, 2009. Hamilton, ON July 27–29, 2009.

External links[edit]