Archimedes of Syracuse (c, 287 – 212 BCE) was an ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. He is a bit of an inspiration for our team for his energy, innovation and “blow what people think” passion.

His invention that enables water to be moved uphill is so simple (the Archimedes screw), yet has transformed agriculture in local communities around the world to this day. Archimedes' work on levers caused him to remark, “Give me a fulcrum and a long enough lever and I will move the world”, and his design of the block-and-tackle pulley systems allowed merchants and sailors to lift weights otherwise too heavy to move.

Eureka! Even this evocative cry, that has a place in both Australian and Californian gold rush folk-lore, originates from our dear Archimedes. Whilst some speculation surrounds the actual historical details, it is reported that when Archimedes noticed how the water level of his bath rose as he entered, the puzzle of the King’s fake gold crown became clear. He then jumped out of the bath and ran down the main street crying, “Eureka! (meaning, ‘I have found it!). Such was born what became known throughout the ages as the Archimedean Principle, the sudden innovation of a brilliant mind, and a bloke not afraid to do a streak down the middle of the road.

So why have this odd-ball, eccentric boffin as a bit of an inspiration? Well, it’s not because he was perfect; let’s be honest, some of his inventions were militarised and deployed into the arms race of the times. Rather, we like the old Archimedes because he seems to have combined an academic mind with a lateral thinking intellect and applied it to down-to-earth practical problems of his local community. His inventions and discoveries made a real difference in the lives of ordinary people faced with apparently insurmountable problems. His figurative and practical use of the lever and fulcrum really did move the world.

Our team at Fulcrum Aid has a passion to restore balance in circumstances of extreme inequality. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, all the resources, all the networks. We just aim to be the fulcum, “the fixed point on which a lever turns; a means of making any kind influence effective.”

  

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