Prof Smith research is based on invent cheap, low-tech devices that use local resources, so communities can reproduce her efforts and ultimately help themselves. That is just worth being imitated indeed.
I quote from their website: TED is nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.