Flor Cassassuce

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico,
Fellow Since 2013

Citation

This profile was prepared when Flor Cassassuce was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Flor’s organization, Grupo EOZ, is the first organization in Mexico to develop high-quality technology based on community needs that is accessible to marginalized populations. The community, accompanied by a local rural technology extension agent, identifies their needs in terms of health, hygiene, and economic development. Then, based on their needs, if the appropriate technology cannot be found at a reasonable price Grupo EOZ invents, designs, develops, and continually improves a corresponding technology. The community technician is also in charge of training, follow up, technical support, and maintenance for families. Given the low, near symbolic costs of Grupo EOZ’s technologies and their tailoring to communities’ needs, families have a stake in improving the quality of their lives through appropriate technology.

The model’s employing of local community members for technical support and promotion also serves to create sustainable, high-quality local jobs. The inventions that Grupo EOZ engineers are not only solutions for improving the health situations in rural communities, they also become tools that give local families ways to increase their income and overcome poverty.

Grupo EOZ’s role does not end at the development of the technology. The organization also serves as a key actor in connecting technology authorities with marginalized communities that have had traditionally limited access to them, including government municipalities, local community stakeholders, international and local universities, and other social organizations working in the field. Grupo EOZ serves to catalyze linkages between key influencers to provide an integral approach to improving the quality of life for marginalized rural communities. Due to local labor and resources, EOZ’s model can be replicated in any rural area.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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