TED Conversations

Hans Rosling

Director, Gapminder Foundation


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What are your thoughts and questions on "the magic washing machine"?

I will be answering questions on my new TED talk today at 11.30 -1.30 pm EST.
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    Mar 24 2011: I really enjoyed this talk :) Regarding the ending on how this will effect sustainability, in TIME magazine's list of 50 best inventions of 2010, an almost waterless washing machine was featured (http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2029497_2030623_2029701,00.html). I have a strong feeling that this technology will spread fast as soon as it becomes more accessible because it is green without forcing people to change their lifestyles. I think this is the key. You are completely right in that people are always looking to increase their quality of life. The "light-bulb" population is always looking to become part of the "washer" population, and the "washer" population is always looking to become the "airline" population. The "airline" population also is the most consumption oriented. Though many in this population are looking to be green, rarely will they do so if it means compromising their lifestyle. You said so yourself, even the greenest of the environmental activists use a washing machine. Therefore, I predict that more and more inventions such as the almost waterless washing machine will be invented. We must hope that this prediction comes true for the sustainability of our world.

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