Why do we need infrastructure?
Infrastructure provides the facilities that support human life. It includes things like electricity lines, sewage pipes, cell phone towers, roads and bridges, schools and hospitals. We rely on infrastructure to design and create new products, known as innovation. Innovation means we can keep providing products and services and industry can thrive.
But not everyone has access to infrastructure and without infrastructure people can’t innovate or contribute to industry.
So what can we do to help?
We need to make infrastructure and innovation more widely accessible. This can be by increasing funding to build and repair infrastructure, carrying out research to upgrade infrastructure and make it more environmentally friendly, improve access to credit and sharing knowledge between countries.
There are lots of ways that anyone, including you, can make a difference to improve industry, innovation and infrastructure. For example, you could: start a club that builds 3D models of towns and plans the infrastructure that is needed or host a ‘Fiver Challenge’ at school to help raise awareness of what is needed to innovate.
Everyone can take action to make real change. What will you do?
There are lots of charities that need your help to improve access to industry, innovation, and infrastructure.
For example, Campaign for Better Transport improve public transport so people can travel around the UK safely and efficiently, Clean Air Task Force help develop technology to encourage businesses to do things in a way that pollutes the air less, and Charity:Water brings clean water to people in need.
See how you can support them in their amazing work.
Let’s say that you decide to start selling cookies at school.
To start your cookie-selling business, you’ll need access to some basic things that you might take for granted:
You can see now how difficult it would be to start selling cookies if there was no running water, no electricity, no internet in your house and you didn’t go to a school that taught you the skills that you need.
All of these things together are called infrastructure. When you’re thinking of infrastructure, you can think of:
In a nutshell, infrastructure provides the facilities that support modern human life and make everything work as it should.
Without infrastructure, people wouldn’t be able to innovate. Innovation is the heart and soul of our modern civilisation. This is when people design and create new products and technologies. Innovation is necessary to make the world a better and safer place for everyone.
Innovation makes it possible for industry to thrive. This is when products are made and services are provided. Your local supermarket is part of the retail industry (selling goods for people to buy). Your hairdresser or barber is part of the beauty and fashion industry, while your doctor is part of the medical industry. Industry provides a way for people to get jobs and to earn money, pulling people out of poverty and making people’s lives better and safer.
So, industry is fed by innovation and for innovation to happen, infrastructure is needed. Industry, innovation and infrastructure are vital for any country to succeed and give people decent lives.
Some people can’t access basic infrastructure. This makes it difficult for them to innovate and contribute to industry. Can you imagine having an idea for selling an awesome computer game but not having internet or electricity or not even being able to go to school and get an education so that you can build the computer game?
Take a look at some basic infrastructure problems people have. As you read, imagine what your life would be like without these things.
250 million children are out of school today. This means that they can’t learn basic skills like reading and writing – skills they desperately need to engage in industry and innovation.
At least half of the world still can’t get treatment for basic health problems. These people are likely to get sick more often and take longer to recover when they’re sick, forcing them to take time off work or school.
1.6 billion people don’t have safe drinking water. It’s really important to have water for cooking, cleaning, drinking, washing and flushing the toilet. When people don’t have clean water nearby, they need to walk to fetch water and sometimes that is very far. They lose time they could have spent working or going to school. Sometimes the water they fetch is dirty and it makes them very sick so they need to take more time off work or school.
2.6 billion people don’t have a reliable supply of electricity. When you have no electricity, you need to work and study in the dark and you can’t work or study at all if your work needs to happen on a phone or computer. You can’t charge and use electronic devices such as phones, keep food cold in a fridge or use lifesaving medical equipment in hospitals.
1 billion people do not own a mobile phone and 3.6 billion people (nearly half of the people on Earth) do not have access to the internet. Mobile phones and the internet allow people to access information that they may need to work and innovate. They also allow people to communicate with each other, sharing thoughts and ideas and helping each other. Without telephones and the internet, people and communities cannot benefit from the sharing and transferring of knowledge and amazing inventions.
1 billion people do not have reliable access to roads. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 85% of the roads are unusable in the wet season. If people can’t always use the roads, they are isolatedAlone and away from everyone else. for some parts of the year. They may not be able to get critical supplies (such as food and medicines), get to work or take things that they made to be sold somewhere.
1.7 billion people don’t have bank accounts. Often this is because banks don’t want to lend money to extremely poor people. The banks feel that they can’t be sure that these people will be able to pay them back. Researching and developing new ideas is very expensive and if you don’t have a bank account and can’t borrow money, it becomes nearly impossible for someone to develop their ideas and take part in industry.
The final estimated price is :
Everyone needs to support industry and innovation so that they can support modern human life and everything can work well. To do this, there needs to be quality reliable, sustainableDoing something in a way that it is possible to carry on doing it that way for a long time – you’re not hurting something or going to run out of something you need. and resilient infrastructure.
To ensure that everyone around the world has the infrastructure that they need to lead healthy and productive lives, money is needed for infrastructure systems.
Countries that are well developed already have a lot of infrastructure in place. They can now spend their money on making the infrastructure more planet-friendly and fixing it when it starts getting worn out or breaking.
Countries that are still developing often don’t have a lot of infrastructure. The first step is to build it. Countries with more money can lend money to countries with less money to help them build infrastructure and get up to speed.
Infrastructure needs to be improved and made more environmentally friendly. So, scientists and engineers need to look for new ideas and technologies.
For example, some of the following things have been invented:
These can deliver medicine and other essential supplies to people who live in areas that are far from a city.
These that can help construction workers lift heavy loads without getting injured. This helps them build infrastructure faster and easier.
This makes it possible for people to print plastic examples of the things they invent without needing to spend a lot of money. They can then test these plastic examples and show them to people who can help them start selling their invention.
Borrowing money needs to be made possible, especially for the world’s poorest, so anyone can afford to explore and develop their ideas.
A man named Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work to help do this. Muhammad created a bank, called the Grameen Bank, that lends money to women who are living in poverty. To make sure that loans are paid back, the Grameen Bank has a set of rules. Here are some of them:
Grameen Bank has lent money to 2.3 million borrowers, opening doors and opportunities for so many people and changing their lives.
Sharing the knowledge that more well-off countries have, as well as the technologies they’ve already created, with countries that are still developing. This helps the countries that don’t have so much money to find their feet and develop more without spending so much trying to figure things out.
Now that you understand a bit more about Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, it’s time to make a difference. When you help someone in this area, you aren’t just making it possible for them to eat for a day – you are giving them the chance to feed themselves for the rest of their lives. If you want to do something practical to help, the power is in your hands. Take a look at some ways you can take action right now.
If you have any other ideas of SuperKind things people can do to improve industry, innovation, and infrastructure, we would love to hear from you here.
Here are some amazing young people who cared about Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and took action to make change happen. These change makers were all passionate about the same cause but used their unique skills to make change happen in different ways.
Everyone can help make a difference. Consider what your unique superpower might be. Are you someone with a strong voice who likes to spread awareness by talking to everyone you meet? Or do you prefer a behind the scenes approach – making sure that donations are collected to take to those in need?