24 Nov Dave Franchino presents alternative fuel technology at humanitarian conference
Madison, Wis. — Dave Franchino, president of the innovation firm Design Concepts, Inc. and one of the founders of Sologear, LLC, will present at “Beyond Firewood: Exploring alternative fuels and energy technologies in humanitarian settings.” Beyond Firewood, an international research conference organized by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, will take place in New Delhi, India, December 11 – 12, 2008.
Beyond Firewood is the first major international conference investigating the use of alternative fuels in an effort to combat violence against women in refugee or internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Within IDP camps, women face incredible danger and brutality — rape, assault and murder — as they collect firewood for cooking or for sale. The conference introduces researchers and technical experts to humanitarian agencies addressing the safety of women in these settings.
Franchino and Sologear, LLC co-founders Chad Sorenson, Mark Schweiger and Tom Bush have developed a proprietary solidified ethanol fuel that is a replacement for traditional charcoal in barbecue grilling. Developed with input from Design Concepts, Inc., Sologear’s uGO„ FlameDisk„ provides 40 minutes of quick, clean and safe heat when used in a conventional grill. The FlameDisk was introduced to the US test market in the summer of 2008 and is slated for national expansion in the spring of 2009. Franchino has been invited to introduce the ethanol fuel source to relief agencies attending the conference and explore the possibility of its use as an alternative to firewood in humanitarian settings.
A motivation to apply this unique technology to social problems came from a recent conference sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy, June, 2008. Franchino, along with 19 leaders of strategy and design firms throughout the world, met to discuss the application of design thinking strategies toward addressing social issues.
“The conference encouraged us to look for areas where design solutions can have an impact that goes beyond the traditional marketplace,” said Franchino. “We’re honored by the invitation to speak at Beyond Firewood and our entire company is hopeful that the FlameDisk technology might help address the rampant and horrific gender-based violence in and near IDP camps throughout the world.”