Andrea Schultheis*, the mission of the AT Association (German: AT-Verband) is to support and promote appropriate technology. Can you tell us what this term actually means? What makes a particular technology ‘appropriate’?
Andrea Schultheis: In short, AT stands for a qualified technology practice that enhances conscious choice on the part of users, enabling them to develop or apply technical solutions that are in their own genuine interest. Since the 1970s, the meaning of AT has departed from the idea of “small is beautiful” and terms such as capital saving, labor intensive, self-help or community technology in the sense of “intermediate technology”. Today, the term “appropriate technology” is also used in developed countries to describe the use of technology and engineering that has less negative impact on the environment and society. A technology should, therefore, be both environmentally sustainable and socially appropriate.
*Andrea Schultheis is member of the AT Association, project partner of the “empowering people. Award”