Sunday, October 8, 2017

Observe Design Present

Here is a brief overview of the three day Solar Skyways workshop in Toluca.

Day 1Day 2Day 3
What's the problem?
Build a new model 
100% renewable energy
Follow your bliss
Lightning TalksLightning TalksConclude

Each day will begin with an introduction. In the first session (Observe), teams will be formed and the initial tasks will be accomplished. At the end of the first and second days, each team will give a brief "lightning talk" to the other teams. On the third day, all the teams will present to their advisors, potential sponsors and clients, and then they will conclude. In the vocabulary of international trade, the person with the authority to conclude is the person who makes the deal.     

We now have the tools to create a better world. Let's work together to design and build a new model that works for all of humanity. 

Prepared and presented by Ron Swenson, President, INIST

Solar Skyways Design Workshop in Toluca


Solar Skyways ( is a network of universities around the world developing solar powered podcar systems. The founding university, San José State University in Silicon Valley, created the Spartan Superway in 2012, and recently 25 (mostly) engineering students have started into the sixth year of development. Spartan is the mascot of San José State (Webster's: a person of great courage and self-discipline) ...

    ... so logically, the Spartan appears also in the Spartan Superway logo:

In due course it was discovered that SPARTAN can have another meaning: Solar Powered Automated Rapid Transit Ascendant Networks!

And, inspired by the accomplishments of the Spartan Superway, the Solar Skyways network is developing around the world.


During the time of the Toluca workshop and after, links to pertinent resources will be provided here.

Information Resources


 Competitions and Events

Your Prospective Clients

Perspective on Technology Developments over the years

Prepared and presented by Ron Swenson, President, INIST

Monday, April 17, 2017

ITESM Toluca Homework Assignment 2

ITESM Toluca Sustainable Mobility Seminar Homework 2
2017-04-19 (Wednesday night)
BJ Furman

This homework is designed to help you refine your thinking after Day 2 and begin planning for your final presentation on Day 3.
Here is what I would like you to do before coming to Day 3 of the seminar:
  1. Review possible options to continue your work on SPARTAN systems after the seminar concludes. Several options might be:
    1. Form a team and get sponsorship to enter the Urban International Design Contest (UIDC). See
    2. Come to San José State University and be part of the Summer Research Internship program. More information at:
    3. Do something with The World Design Organization. See [One person to contact in Toluca who participated is Prof. Martha Zarza, Professor of Industrial Design]
    4. Plan a field trip to Guadalajara to visit Modutram. See
Develop a budget for what it will take to carry out the next step and a schedule for the actions you need to take to implement your plan. Add this information to your personal blog.
  1. Add the work that you completed today to your team blog and your reflections on the seminar so far to your personal blog.

Remember that any Power Point slides you create must done using the Assertion-Evidence (A-E) method. More information on the A-E method can be found at

ITESM Toluca Homework Assignment 1

ITESM Toluca Sustainable Mobility Seminar Homework 1
2017-04-18 (Tuesday night)
BJ Furman

This homework is designed to help you get started with designing a SPARTAN mobility system
for urban areas in México. You will need to really ‘dive into’ the concepts that underlie
SPARTAN and begin thinking creatively as you work with your team on Day 2 and 3.

Here is what I would like you to do before coming to Day 2 of the seminar:

1. Watch the ‘Deep Dive’ video ( on
YouTube. This video is a window into how some of the world’s best designers approach
a design challenge with a short deadline. You will do well to apply what you see in the
video to what you need to do during the rest of the seminar.

2. Get familiar with the core concepts of SPARTAN systems by reviewing the work of SJSU
students since 2012:
     a. 2012-2013 work:

     b. 2013-2014 work:

     c. 2014-2015 work:

     d. 2015-2016 work:

[See other applicable resources at: ]

3. Create a short (one or two page) ‘photo essay’ (photos with brief description) of what is
wrong with the current transportation system (cars, buses, trains, subways, etc.) in
Toluca. Look at it from various viewpoints: congestion, safety, comfort, privacy, personal
security, speed (waiting?), pollution, etc. Upload your photo essay to your personal blog

4. Review your project group description, and begin brainstorming, sketching, and thinking
about what you are going to be working on in Day 2 of the seminar so you will be
prepared. Keep in mind the basic requirements for a SPARTAN system:
     a. Elevated network of guideways that uses off-line stations
     b. Automated vehicles suspended below the guideway
     c. System is powered by solar energy with PV mounted on the guideway

Upload any sketches, drawings, photos, or notes to your personal blog page

Friday, April 14, 2017


¡Bienvenidos al Seminario de Podcars del Profesor Burford Furman de San José State University con Campus Toluca | Tecnológico de Monterrey!

En este blog, los participantes publicarán sus investigaciones y resultados para compartir con sus amigos y contemporáneos de todo el mundo que están trabajando en el desarrollo de los podcars con energía solar.

En Silicon Valley los alumnos en la carrera de ingeniería de San José State University están desarrollando un sistema de transporte solar:

Para crear tus blogs de equipo, pueden leer las instrucciones aquí.

Recursos web: