The Appropriate Technology Collaborative

  • MI


3796 Plaza Drive
Ann Arbor
United States

About Us

The Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC) creates new sustainable technologies that promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for low income people worldwide. We design, develop, demonstrate and distribute affordable technological solutions that empower people and promote dignity. ATC works in collaboration with local talent and other nonprofits (NGOs) to create market-based solutions that are culturally sensitive, environmentally responsible and locally repairable in order to improve the quality of life and reduce adverse impacts on the environment.

Since ATC’s inception, ATC has provided technical support and volunteers for collaborations in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and India, working side-by-side with communities to build, install, test, and monitor solar lighting; a system for providing drinking water and irrigation; a Solar Vaccine Refrigerator (SVR); a treadle pump; an acoustic engine; slum city infrastructure and inexpensive medical diagnostic tools.

Throughout these projects, ATC recognized the need to enter into full collaboration and co-creation with our clients in less economically developed countries in order to design and build technology that have a lasting effect on quality of life for our partners. The result of collaboration is both we and our clients continue to grow. Our clients become more and more self-sufficient in identifying and solving their own problems. ATC confronted a steep learning curve as we developed the skills of meeting with local residents for hours, days weeks and months to listen to their concerns; understand their culture and value system; brainstorm with them as partners; and determine technological solutions for their problems that will cause the least disruption to their culture and way of life. These overarching goals infuse everything ATC does.

“Dignity is more important to the human spirit than wealth.”

Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen Fund

If you're interested in joining us for a week or 2 week volunteer trip in Guatemala, check out our volunteer page on the website:

We also selectively work with Interns in our office in San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala or Ann Arbor, Michigan. Send us an email about yourself and the work you're interested in doing. We'll see if we can work something out!

Latest Listings

Strengthen ATC’s online presence, communications and content (Volunteer Opportunity)