International Journal of Applied Science and Technology

ISSN 2221-0997 (Print), 2221-1004 (Online) 10.30845/ijast

An Interactive Learning Space for Technological Innovation in Rural Cusco, Peru
Msc. Ursula Harman, Eng. MBA Miguel Hadzich

One strategy of the university as a knowledge-creating institution to strengthen its relationship with society is through technological innovation to meet different necessities in rural communities of the highlands of Peru. Even though many of the initiatives that deliver technology from the academia to the rural sector have worked under the approach of technology transfer which is a methodology that has limitations in generating community engagement, they can also create an appropriate scenario to foster mechanisms of an interactive participation between the actors involved. This paper will discuss why an environmental-friendly housing model built in a rural community in Cusco, Peru named Ecological Home for the Andes (EHA) which represents an example of an interactive learning space for technological innovation, is an opportunity for community empowerment in the foreseeable future. First, it will be described the intervention supported by different strategies like multidisciplinary research, technology development and dissemination and international service learning in engineering. Then, it will be analysed the impact and lessons learned of this initiative under the concept of social learning to finally demonstrate that interactive learning spaces such as the EHA can provide more understanding about the relationship between technology and social inclusion, allowing to reflect on its strategic importance to address poverty in the Andean rural sector of Peru.

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