Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Difference Maker

Izhar Gafni invents a cardboard bicycle that may revolutionize transportation

His two-wheeled creation, a $20 bike made out of cardboard, could revolutionize bicycling, especially in the developing world.

(Page 3 of 3)



The bicycle's design is representative of a "new trend by designers to push the limits of common, everyday materials," she adds. "What Izhar Gafni is doing with cardboard opens designers' and inventors' minds to undervalued materials, and new and more sustainable ways of creating useful objects."

Skip to next paragraph

"It's amazing that Gafni has taken something that everyone knows and everyone wants [a bicycle] and reinvented it so that everyone can actually have it," says Sharona Justman, cofounder and co-chair of The Israel Conference, a US-based initiative that showcases the brightest and best inventions from Israel. She plans to feature the bicycle at the group's annual conference early next year.

Ms. Justman, visiting Gafni's workshop, adds that the bicycle is not only an ecologically sound product – as most bikes are – but that it is also a very democratic product. "Because of its affordable price, everyone will be allowed the chance to purchase one," she says.

"It's also a beautiful design," she adds, stroking the red varnished seat.

Clearly proud of what Justman calls "the bicycle that everyone will want," Gafni says that he is now laying the groundwork for several other models, including a children's push bike, a version designed especially for women, and one designed for older children.

"As soon as things get quieter," he adds, he wants to start using his magic cardboard formula to design a lightweight and affordable wheelchair for the developing world.

• To learn more about Gafni's cardboard bicycle project, go to www.cardboardtech.com.

Help innovative projects

UniversalGiving helps people give to and volunteer for top-performing charitable organizations worldwide. Projects are vetted by Universal Giving; 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the listed cause.

Here are three innovative projects you may want to help, selected by UniversalGiving:

Nepal Orphans Home Inc. aims to dramatically improve the health and livelihoods of villagers by introducing briquette stoves. Project: Help supply sustainable technologies in Nepal.

• The goal of Polder Inc. is to help educate the world’s poorest billion people by training teachers in their classrooms to use low-cost technology. Project: Provide support to train teachers in Mali with low-cost video technology.

Kopernik accelerates sustainable development by fostering application of appropriate technology. Project: Volunteer as a Kopernik Fellow.

• Sign up to receive a weekly selection of practical and inspiring Change Agent articles by clicking here.

Permissions

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Endeavor Global, cofounded by Linda Rottenberg (here at the nonprofit’s headquarters in New York), helps entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Linda Rottenberg helps people pursue dreams – and create thousands of jobs

She's chief executive of Endeavor Global, a nonprofit group that gives a leg up to budding entrepreneurs.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!