About us

Collaboration for Community-Driven Development

Our vision

Grow self-sufficient economies using appropriate technologies that improve the quality of life.


Our mission

We collaborate with local communities to design technologies and programs to alleviate poverty.

Our principles

Collaboration inspires creative new solutions and multiplies our impact. In the communities we serve, volunteers work hand-in-hand with local citizens, growing an international alliance for green solutions.

A simple solar light means children studying, women weaving (earning money), and community leaders who can more easily meet to make plans.

Great ideas come from anywhere, not just those with fancy engineering degrees. We welcome anyone with heart and hustle to join us.

Our collaborative believes the best tech has the power to inspire while also being wildly affordable and environmentally sustainable.

Participation inspires ownership, creating real, lasting change. Today’s struggling villager can become tomorrow’s empowered small business owner.

When women are empowered with economic opportunity,  whole communities can break out of poverty. Many of our projects are specifically tailored to engage and support women.

Our donors know exactly who is benefiting from our work via project documentation, signatures and photos from the field.


Our History

Since 2008, ATC has worked with engineering professionals and university students to design appropriate solutions to common development challenges.

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our office is set in the midst of the tool library at Maker Works where we work with volunteer engineers to build and test new appropriate technologies.

Our community network in Guatemala provides an ideal test site for developing world contexts. We collaborate with community members to design, build and test new technologies and programs to suit their daily realities.

We share our designs open-source from our Design Library to empower grassroots organizations with appropriate, affordable solutions to development problems. Our designs have been downloaded 7,500 times with responses from communities in Papua New Guinea, India and 41 other countries.

In 2011, ATC began exploring solar power and wind power solutions to address Energy Poverty in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Over the course of the following 6 years, Mayan Power and Light was born of community requests for solar power and high demand for job opportunities for the new generation of educated women.

ATC designed the Mayan Power and Light (MPL) program in direct partnership with local organizations and community representatives who informed our programs based on their experiences on the ground and participant feedback. Pilot projects naturally led us to design the innovative MPL program as it is today.


We have a long time commitment to John and this organization and to John's family who has so strongly supported him in this work. Also and very importantly the justice focus of this work along with the very creative use of technology and linking it all to oppressed people in the third world as well as here in the U.S./Detroit. One can't find many giving opportunities as "right-on" as this one.