ETHOS Conference in the Pacific Northwest
The 15th annual ETHOS conference was held last weekend, January 24-26, in Kirkland, Washington. ETHOS (Engineers in Technical and Humanitarian Opportunities of Service) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to facilitate research and the development of appropriate technology by forming collaborative North-South partnerships between universities, research laboratories, engineers, and non-governmental organizations in foreign countries. Each year it brings together a diverse set of actors from the cookstoves sector to discuss best practices from the lab and field around cooking technology design and performance, user acceptance and promotion of stoves, and policy and finance issues.
Presentations topics at this year’s conference ranged from best practices for emissions and efficiency testing and recent breakthroughs in design to consumer research and experiences from the field with earthen stoves. There were lively discussions on how cookstoves are actually used by consumers and the advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized models for production and distribution. Dean Still from Aprovecho Research Center shared their progress on efficient stove designs, with the exciting announcement that “we’re closer than I thought!”
Overall the weekend provided a great opportunity for those working in the cookstoves sector, from newcomers to pioneers of the movement, to interact and share information in a collegial environment. The Seattle-area weather cooperated and allowed for a rain free stove demonstration and lighting to conclude the conference.