March 23, 2023

It Takes all Kinds of Different Minds

The cover image depicts Mustapha Togola, a farmer of groundnut, millet and calpi beans. Photo:: Practical Action

Editor’s note: This article is a reprint of a page that appears in print in Appropriate Technology Magazine, Vol 48, No. 4. It is published here with permission as a part of our collaboration with the magazine. For more, please see the magazine’s site:

The return of AidEx 2021 to live action in Brussels in November is roundly celebrated in this issue alongside a warm welcome for the debut appearance of Development2030 in the Belgian capital.

The organisers, exhibitors and delegates who made it to the Brussels Expo deserve our congratulations for ensuring that this important humani­tarian event remains on the interna­tional development aid calendar, despite the adverse efforts of COVID-19.

Working though the keynote presen­tation by David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, was a privilege. I am usually quite happy to reduce such accounts to their minimum, arguing that we have limited space available within our pages. The challenge this time was to include as much of Mr Miliband’s powerful AidEx message as possible.

His conclusion was compelling: “By remaining true to our values, bearing witness to the abuses we see, putting pressure on violators, using our roles in international forums, and standing in unity in a coalition of countervailing power, we can be a force for a new age of accountability.”

Check out pages 10 & 11 to study his argument in much greater detail.

Siena Castellon

I also want to introduce you to the AidEx Young Humanitarian Hero for 2021, Siena Castellon, a 17-year-old autism and neurodiversity advocate, who also happens to be autistic, dyslexic and dyspraxic and has ADHD.

The headline for this editorial ‘It takes all kinds of different minds’ is her motto, reflecting her belief that we all have different talents, strengths and abilities. She maintains that the most important thing is to be kind, supportive and accepting of others, crucially those who are perceived as ‘different’, thereby making this world a much better place.

Our report on Siena, plus six more remarkable award winners and finalists, runs across pages 12-14. This is followed by reports on AidEx and Development2030 innovation and sustainability winners and finalists.


With the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) taking place in Scotland during the first two weeks of November, it is inevitable that many of the articles deal with climate change and its impact, especially across the developing world.

“1.5 is alive but the pulse is weak,” said COP26 President Alok Sharma, speaking at the end of discussions in Glasgow.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres added that the COP26 outcome was simply ‘not enough to save the planet’.

We also have reactions from several leaders from within our industry, with no punches pulled.

DIHAD 2022

Having announced that Appropriate Technology will have Media Partner status at DIHAD 2022, we carry a detailed report on what delegates can expect when the International Humanitarian Aid and Development event is held in the UAE in March next year. If you are planning to attend as a delegate or an exhibitor, please feel free to contact Appropriate Technology with your ideas and comments.

Find this and other commentary in Appropriate Technology Magazine’s profile on our site. 

Appropriate Technology Magazine is a print publication by Research Information Ltd in Burnham, Buckinghamshire (UK). The magazine is a conglomeration of three, the original Appropriate Technology that was first published y Intermediate Technology Publications, International Agricultural Development and Gate Technology.

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