Uncapitalistic “Glacial” Innovation

Now this is innovation,

– disrputive, passion driven and socially responsible, sustainable & non-capitalistic – not what management gurus are touting.

Chewang Norphel, Director of the Leh Nutrition Project.
Chewang Norphel, Director of the Leh Nutrition Project.

Glaciers are the sole source of fresh water for the Buddhist farmers who make up more than 70% of the population in this rugged range between Pakistan and China. But rising temperatures have seen the icy snow retreat by dozens of feet each year — to find evidence of global warming, the farmers simply have to glance up from their fields and see the rising patches of brown where, once, all was white. Knowing no alternative, they pray harder for rain and snow.

But Chewang Norphel has gone beyond prayer. The 73-year-old civil engineer has come up with a solution that won’t exactly save the ancient glaciers, but it could stave off a looming irrigation crisis.

Norphel has created artificial glaciers, frozen pools of glacier run-off perched above the farmers’ fields … [read the full article here].


  1. His innovation has been hailed as an elegantly simple and cheap [I’d substitute this word by ‘cost effective’]solution to a devastating problem.
  2. Only local materials are needed, and the villagers themselves can build and maintain them.

I’m so inspired …

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