Madison Student’s India Project Covered in His Home Town Paper

Indo-American Aquaponics Institute Sweet Water Foundation Partnerships

Sec 1: Introduction

The Aquaponics & Spirulina Eco-Park (ASEP) at Village Ullon has been
developed by the Indo-American Aquaponics Institute (IAAI) which is
affiliated to ARTS as a demonstration component of the Incubation Hub
Project, being funded by NABARD, and has the following divisions:

  • Aquaponics Division

Aquaponic Systems

Badging and Badge Systems Development Program

  • Spirulina Division

Spirulina Systems

  • Training Division

Seminars & Workshops
Distance Education Center

  • Nursery Division

Insect Hotel

  • Dissemination Division

Backyard Aquaponics Center
Agri-tourism & Eco-Park Program Development
Holistic development model

Sec 1.3: Who we are

The Indo-American Aquaponics Institute (IAAI) represents a global
coalition of development professionals and experts in their own fields of
work, led in India by Dr. Subhrankar Mukherjee, Director, IAAI and
Secretary, ARTS and on the American side by Mr. James Godsil,
Co-founder Sweet Water Organics (SWO) & President, Sweet Water Foundation

The Society for Appropriate Rural Technology for Sustainability (ARTS),
the lead organization in India, is a knowledge-based and technology driven
non-profit NGO, committed to participatory practices for sustainable
development []. The ARTS Team also has Mr.
Santosh K. Mukerji, former Managing Director of the State Bank of India as
its Advisor. Professor S.P. Mukherjee, Governing Body Member (GBM),
ChairmanIAPQR and Centenary Professor in Statistics, Calcutta University,
is our Mentor. Mr. Sandip Bhatia, Honorary Chairman, has more than 30
years of administration and management experience. Mr. Kapilananda Mondal,
President, microfinance expert and CEO/Secretary of VSSU, an NGO in
Special Consultative Status with United Nation-ECOSOC, provides project
leadership for our village-based programs near the Sunderbans, West

Sweet Water Foundation (SWF)

[], the lead organization in
USA, has a vision of engaging individuals interested in the construction
of a variety of small scale Aquaponic systems, evolving into an Innovation
Hub, housing as many different variations of systems (aquaponics,
hydroponics, compost, vermicompost, water catchment, solar, etc.) that
individuals inspired by Sweet Water Organics (SWO) can design and build,
under periodic guidance and continued inspiration of SWO/SWF. The SWF team
has an impressive team of Aquapons, led by Executive Directors Mr. Jesse
Blom and Mr. Emmanuel Pratt.

Sec 2.2: Badging and Badge Systems Development Program

IAAI/ARTS is partnering with Sweet Water Foundation (SWFs) of Milwaukee,
in a research project on badging systems, which allows teachers and
students to reformulate the abstract methods of conventional pedagogy into
new and interesting ways of hands-on discovery. We shall attempt to
first translate and document the localization programs for SWFs badging
systems, in India, followed by a validation of the localized programs for
the general effectiveness of these badges and badging systems. Finally, we
shall study and formulate theoretical insights, design principles and
conceptual frameworks that will help SWF to refine the existing badging

Concept/Rationale of the Project:

We believe that a pedagogical system that leverages badges and badging
systems will enable students of all ages to receive a quantifiable
recognition of their skills, acquired across multiple and diverse learning
opportunities. This will encourage students to collaborate with their
peers and promote interactivity for the common good. The Pedagogy Model
of SWF is also based on the premise that Aquaponics provide an opportunity
to simultaneously address the economic, educational and food
security/hunger challenges in urban communities.

We wish to implement SWFs Pedagogy Model based on the badging system,
in India, by utilizing aq-uaponic systems as learning tools. This will
enable educators in urban and rural communities in India to teach a wide
range of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content
while empow-ering learners with the capability to supply healthy food to
beneficiary communities. Dr. Mukherjees work in the field of implementing
PPSD and disseminating VEs AT Library in village-based communities makes
him uniquely qualified to lead this research proposal for advancing SWFs
digital badging and badge systems, to develop effective Aquaponics human
resources, in India.

Scope of Project:

The scope of the present research project is restricted to India. The
cities of Kolkata, Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad and New Delhi—uniformly
covering the eastern, western, central, southern and northern regions in
India, respectively—have responded well to ARTS/IAAI initiatives for
dissemination of Aquaponics, and will therefore also be open to SWFs
digital badges and badging systems.

The Central Institute of Fisheries Education in Mumbaithe premium
fisheries education institution in Indiahas recognized ARTS as a leader
in the Aquaponics field in India, and has requested that ARTS build an
Aquaponics and Spirulina Eco Park (ASEP) at their campuses in Versova,
Mumbai and Salt Lake, Kolkata. The Executive Director of the National
Fisheries Development Board in India has asked us to build a similar ASEP
at their Head Office in Hyderabad. We have also been requested by (a) Mrs.
Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi; (b) Fr.Ranjit Toppos, Assistant
Director, Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi; and ©
several other prominent institutions and private entrepreneurs in India to
build suitable Aquaponics facilities for them.

These multiple demonstrations of institutional, public and private
aquaponic systems and technologies in urban, peri-urban and rural areas
will doubtless create an enormous interest in the public mind, to adopt
this new technology in India. For instance, following the building of the
first village-based ASEP at Vil-lage Ullon in the Sunderbans, ARTS/IAAI
has an ambitious three-year plan to develop 1,000 commercial
implementations of Backyard Aquaponics, in average sizes of 1,000 sq.ft.
each. Finally, IAAI’s vision document states that … IAAI aims to make
Aquaponics one of the fastest growing economic activities in India within
a decade.

Such an explosive Aquaponics program in India is going to need an army of
trained Aquapons to lead the charge. Therefore the scope for implementing
and leveraging SWF’s innovative digital badges and badging systems is

Objectives of this pedagogical research project:
The primary objective of this research project is to discover what enables
the teacherand by extension, her students prospective employersto
better gauge the specific Aquaponics skills that her students have
mastered, as a result of exposure to SWFs badges and badging systems, in
the Indian context.

A secondary objective is to ascertain the socio-economic, socio-cultural
and socio-technical impact of re-placing the conventional letter grades or
marks that are awarded in conventional pedagogical systems by digital
badges, particularly towards promoting a collaborative environment.
A tertiary objective is to determine what spurs collaboration and
interactivity between peers in a badging system, especially when there are
clusters of less motivated students in the program.

MethodologyPlan of Work & Approach:

SWFs Pedagogy Model—which leverages digital badges and badging
methodologies—is based on aq-uaponic systems, as aquaponic technologies
are self-contained mini-ecosystems that support research-based learning
strategies, including: (a) accessing content in multiple STEM disciplines;
(b) developing expertise in a highly technical field; and © observing
relationships between various parts of complex systems.

In this research project, ARTS wishes to introduce SWF’s pioneering
innovations in digital badge tech-nologies, which will have a measurable
impact in India. The introduction of Aquaponics and digital badges in
India will require research and the development of localization programs
that will enable the transfer of concepts, appropriate technologies and
management systems. These translation processes can become dif-ficult when
confronted by cultural and linguistic barriers. We believe that ARTS/IAAI
is therefore well positioned to collaborate with SWF to conduct research
and development work on digital badges and badging systems, based on (a)
our strong connections to the US; (b) a thorough understanding of
multi-disciplinary approaches; © demonstrable experience of working at
the grassroot for developing and im-plementing participatory, bottom-up
approaches, and lastly but not the least, (d) our proven commitment to
this research project.

The following textual depiction of the Input-System-Output control
diagram shall determine the research methodology in this project:


   Project staff and human resources;
   Travel, for SWF staff to visit India, local and extra expenses for

remote data collection, and vehi-cle maintenance expenses;

   Supplies for research, assessment and accreditation systems, and

capacity building programs;

   Community participatory management;
   Coalition partnership: SWF, ARTS/IAAI and other public private

partnerships (PPPs).


   Research, analysis, use of questionnaires and equipments for carrying

out the research operations, including building of model Aquaponics
facilities and essential research infrastructural facilities;

   Construction of Aquaponics training facility, for hands-on training

and communications, test labo-ratory and measurements;

   Creation of a public forum, for dissemination and community outreach.


   Digital badges—which may be displayed across time and space on

rsums, websites, blogs and applications—are awarded for a wide range
of competencies across multiple pathways, disciplines and dynamic
learning opportunities, for learners to gain competencies and skills;

   Badges are especially effective in quantifying skills in hard and

soft technologies, by providing a more granular and vivid description
of what a student has actually learnt, compared to standard-izedtest
scores or marks/letter grade.

United Nations Global Compact City Report on Sweet Water India Kerela Project

Update Links re Sweet Water Kerela Partnerships

Link to Youtube video of the aquaponic system in Kerala before planting

One minute video using time lapse photos of the system build out and mural painting

These photos on this website are great too

Report on Sweet Water Growing Networks Kerela India Project From Indian Newspaper

Shajan John and Chaya Nayek’s Kerela USA Aquaponics Initiative

A Boston Sustainable Agriculture Examiner story -

The prezi about this project.

Kerala, India partners that we have agreed to work with for the moment are;
Educational Partner: St. Albert’s College, Ernakulam. Department of Aquaculture, Dr. Ajith Thomas John. (
NGO for Social Engagement and dissemenation at the local level when our localization effort reaches a level of confidence we are aiming for is Kottapuram Integrated Development Society - KIDS (

Summary of Links Validating Indo American Aquaponics Collaboration

There is an increasing amount of on-line validation of Indo American aquaponics collaborations, sparked by the US State Department sponsorship of my 3 week Sweet Water tour to Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Rathnigiri, Kolkata, with a focus on visits to faculty and grad students at a number of Central Institutes of Fisheries Education(CIFE).

  • Here is a State Department story regarding my visit to India:

Less than a half year following my visit, Shajan John of Cochi, Kerela, but also Milwaukee School of Engineering(MSOE), and Dr. Subra Mukherjee, of Kolkata, and adjunct professor from U. of Colorado with close ties to the U. of Calcutta, have orchestrated projects of great possibility.

  • Shajan has won some start-up funding to support his touring some Indo American trade shows and partnering with the Sweet Water Foundation to begin the training of 10 U. of Madison students for a 5 week foundation laying project in Kerela, with a focus on schools and eco-hotels.

  • Dr. Mukherjee has assembled the most comprehensive aquaponics compilation I’ve ever seen for his Congress on Urban Green Space(CUGS) Delhi presentation:

  • United Nation Collaboration

  • IBM Smart Cities Grant and Report Advocating Globalization of Aquaponics

  • MacArthur Foundation Mozilla Duke U. of Cal. $175,000 Life Long Digital Learning Competition Award

  • Voice of America Support

  • “Harvard Business Review” and “The Economist” Accolades

An innovation zone

The emerging urban aquaponics effort in Milwaukeecreating an innovation zone linking science, start-ups, and the community. It connects water researchers at the University of WisconsinMilwaukees School of Freshwater Sciences (the nations first) with entrepreneurial urban farms occupying abandoned factories. Aquaponics combines hydroponics, in which plants are grown in water instead of soil, with fish farming, and uses 80% to 90% less water than other food-growing methods. The fish waste makes fertilizer for the plants, whose roots help filter the water for the fish. Milwaukees Sweet Water Organics, for example, produces thousands of fish and over 70 kilos of lettuce and other greens every week in large tanks in a former crane factory. The company was launched with angel capital in 2008 and used federal stimulus money to convert the building. Cofounder James Godsil was part of a network that wanted to build a new industryand also get healthful food to poor neighborhoods.

By mid-2011 proposals were in place for an Aquaponics Innovation Center, backed by Milwaukees mayor with analytic support from IBM, to link universities and K12 schools for technology transfer, skills development, and market building. The vision is to increase the locally grown food supply, demonstrate more efficient water systems, create jobs for urban residents, and generate enterprises with export potential.

Whats right with America can fix whats wrong

For all this gloom, the Reviews gurus argue that, as Bill Clinton said in his first inaugural address, there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. The country has huge strengths, from its world-beating universities to its tolerance of risk-taking. It has a highly diverse market: firms that seek cheap labour can move to Mississippi, where wages are a third lower than those in Massachusetts. Rosabeth Moss Kanter of HBS points to the extraordinary amount of innovation that is going on not just in Silicon Valley but across the country. For example, water researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have linked up with urban farmers who occupy abandoned factories. The fruit of this alliance is firms such as Sweet Water Organics, which produces fish and greens in a former crane factory.

  • Asian Market Commercial Magazine Coverage

  • Sweet Water Mainstreaming Aquaponics in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, National Public Radio, and NBC Nightly News

Media Mainstreams Sweet Water Aquaponics

  • State Department and Commerce Supporting Sweet Water and Growing Power

  • IBM and Water Council Endorsement
(scroll down a bit to the short film)

  • NBC Nightly News Coverage

On Sweet Water Organics, i.e. The Farm

On the Sweet Water Foundation, i.e. The Academy

  • New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Shepherd Express, Milwaukee Journal and more Enthusiastic Articles

Engaged Indian Engineer Professors Advancing Aquaponics Projects

Godsil Sunday Noon Tours To Include India Exchange Project Report

Will be renewing my Sunday noon tours to share the Sweet Water story and
bring in some revenues for the Sweet Water experiment in large scale urban
farming, democratizing and internationalizing aquaponics and vermiculture,
and developing new modes of hands-on learning for learners young and old.

Noon Sunday $10 per person(kids either free or half price)

India American Learn Work Tour Project
For resilient Americans up for some inspiring learning, work, and touring
in India with a price around $2,500 for a month(add $1,500 or more for airfare),
with some very bright and inspiring sustainability folks who are also the inheritors
of centuries of small scale organic farming.

To be discussed in final leg of the tour!

Here are some pics from recent Sweet Water India visit.

Send an e-mail for advance on line info.

Bring your visiting family!


Indian Tour Photos
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Orissa Indias Chilika Prawn Farmers

When I met with The Peoples Bijay Barel, Ranjan Panda, and the community of Chilika, whose initially successful transformation of farm land into Prawn ponds met with the death by disease of each and every prawn and a severe crisis of livelihood, I had to forthrightly confess my near total ignorance regarding the art and science of prawn farming. But I made a commitment to do my best to harness the power of the internet and the expanding interweaving webs of Sweet Water partners to address their challenge. This site is part of that commitment and, in the way that I pray, I pray that it provides a collaborative platform to connect people with ideas and resources that will transform this problem into a series of new possibilities for the farmers of Chilika, and others who face similar obstacles.

Please send an e-mail to [email protected] if you would like to explore helping out with this project.

Chilika Correspondance
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University of Kolkata Gathering
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India and America Sharing Resources

A friend who has been in charge of superfund cleanup sites (including surface water and stream contamination) recommended resources from EPA.

Ground and Surface Water remediation

Groundwater remediation

Groundwater technical support center The last site names two contacts who might lead an interested party to a list of professionals engaged in this effort, perhaps they can lead to a list serv. It is a very technical section of EPA, and their responsibility is to the U.S. rather than to abroad, but perhaps they would agree this is a global issue and engage good minds in distant places.

Best wishes and heres hope new generations will solve more problems than create problems.

Jama Crawford
Shared Harvest
Durango CO
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Indian Media Coverage of Sweet Water Tour
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Background Reading?

Open Source Correspondence Re India & The World Aquaponics Experiments

Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on January 17, 2013

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