Category Archives: About

In the process of launching a new venture

By | August 2, 2022

In East Africa’s regional informal trade networks, the business development strategy that works for the constraints and conditions of the operating environment is one of selective diversification in lines of business, and, upgrading from B2C retail to B2B micro-wholesale. It was an aspiration for every ambitious shopkeeper, to have women come and purchase from her… Read More »

Analysis of the mobile phone’s impact on cash flows and transactions in the informal sector

By | October 21, 2016

As we saw, Mrs Chimphamba needs to juggle time and money as part of her household financial management in order to ensure that expenses can be met by income. We also saw that the mobile phone was made viable and feasible by the availability of the prepaid business model that gave her full control over… Read More »

An Introduction to Human Centered Design for Policy Makers in International Development

By | May 11, 2015

I’m making available the article based on our work with the Dutch government a couple of years ago. Download PDF

Part 4: The visual documentation of the original research on rural economic behaviour

By | November 1, 2013

I have uploaded a PDF synopsis of the fieldwork conducted during the original Prepaid Economy research including approach and methodology.  Also documented are the different ways those in the rural economy manage their ‘investments’. These images support the observations documented in Part 2 and my thoughts on rural Indian cow ownership have been fleshed out… Read More »

Reflecting on this blog’s genesis after 5 years

By | August 20, 2013

I started this blog in late December 2008, in earnest and every day during the first prototype fieldwork for The Prepaid Economy project, one of the iBoP Asia Project’s first batch of Small Grant winners from the ASEAN region. For the first 5 months of 2009, this blog was on the mainpage of my website… Read More »

Why is design important?

By | September 4, 2012

Design is first and foremost a philosophy, based on a system of values, which seeks to solve problems. What are we creating? Why and for whom? Are we correctly framing the problem to be solved? These are the questions to which the answers are then manifested tangibly in the form of a new product, service… Read More »

Pondering a new prepaid research focus

By | December 7, 2011

Ever since I completed the first Prepaid Economy study which looked at how those on irregular income streams managed their household finances – focusing on rural Philippines and India – I’ve been curious about rural Kenya. I’ve long wanted to delve into the impact, if any, of the mobile money systems that have rapidly gained… Read More »

About Emerging Futures Lab and Team

By | January 19, 2009

Emerging Futures Lab Founded in November 2007, the Emerging Futures Lab (EFL) is a small multidisciplinary team that aims to increase the understanding the people at the base of the pyramid across the developing world in order to improve the success rate of new ventures, products and services intended to serve this market in a… Read More »

Project 1: Payment strategies for irregular incomes at the BoP

By | January 19, 2009

What insights can we derive from observing and understanding how those at the BoP currently manage their household budgets to inspire new transaction models or pricing strategies for businesses wishing to serve the poor more effectively, yet profitably? The focus of our exploratory and user research in the field will be to understand the challenge… Read More »