Category Archives: Ecosystem

Africa’s Delivery On Demand Apps are Transforming the Informal Economy

When women in rural Rwanda can buy sanitary napkins and contraceptives, on demand, simply by pushing a few buttons on their phones, you know the digital informal economy is here to stay. And, its not just imported apps and social enterprises pushing this digital commercial activity. The “uberization” of the African informal economy is well […]

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What happens when the informal economy is not criminalized? : Case of Hargeisa, Somaliland

In Hargeisa, the role of the informal economy during and after conflict has been vital to conflict prevention and peace-building. A recently released report by Cardiff University and Somaliland research partners on their work related to the role of urban informal economies in conflict zones offers us perspective from another angle. A little thin on […]

Also posted in Africa, Biashara Economics, East African Community, Economy, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, urban, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pondering India’s Cashless Future

Chhotu here accepts digital currency payments via the mobile platform on a daily basis. His QR code is prominently displayed upfront next to the bottles of sauce, and a sticker displays the icons of all the payment apps acceptable to his Bhim app. The Bhim system, launched by the Government of India, is a godsend […]

Also posted in Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Banking, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, India, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, South Asia, Strategy, Technology, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons from the Informal Economy: Managing on Irregular Payments in the Gig Economy

Last week, an unusual report was released in Great Britain. Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), together with the Resolution Foundation, addressed the question of earnings volatility in the UK, a first for a developed country with a formal economy. Their research and analysis made use of anonymised transaction data from over seven million LBG accounts. That […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Banking, Biashara Economics, Business, Economy, Emerging Futures, Frameworks, global, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Systems | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chinese investments in African tech will transform the fintech landscape

A recent article brought to my attention this report on the pattern of funding experienced by fintech startups in East Africa and India with rather damning results. 90 percent of the capital invested by “Silicon Valley-style” investors went to startups, technically in East Africa, with one or more North American or European founders. These results […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Compétitivité, Economy, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Loans, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Risk, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Financial Patterns at the Last Mile of the Farm to Fork Value Chain

This value web illustrates the last mile of the farm to fork agricultural value chain in the state of Maharashtra, India. We’d mapped it during our project/s for the Dutch government back in mid 2013, where we’d introduced human centered design thinking for sustainable agricultural value chain development. Subsequently, I led a multidisciplinary team conducting […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, India, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rural Household Financial Management on Irregular Incomes

While all farms are not alike, and scale and variety and geography differs, the pattern of household financial management holds its fundamental logic across continents. As we saw previously, an experienced farmer tends to fall somewhere in between a salaried employee and an odd job labourer in their ability to predict with any reasonable degree […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, ASEAN, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Economy, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Livestock, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Philipines, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Savings, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will the global trade war lead to more sustainable (and local) consumer products?

In a study titled “Competing In the Age of Multi-Localism”, ATKearney said mounting trade tariffs and other pressures have upended the global strategy – think mass-market production and achieving economies of scale – that has been a business hallmark since the early 1990s. “It’s no longer a viable strategy for many companies,” the study said. […]

Also posted in Business Models, China, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Distribution, Emerging Markets, global, India, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Platforms, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Strategy | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Mobile as a Post Industrial Platform for Social and Economic Development: Top 3 Trends in Africa

Just over a decade ago, in San Jose, California, I was invited to speak as the Closing Plenary for the CHI 2007 25th Anniversary Conference. The theme was “Reach Beyond”, as this was the 25th Anniversary conference of the Computer Human Interaction society, and as the closing plenary, I was tasked with articulating the vision […]

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The Informal Industrial Ecosystem: An Introduction to REculture

This article introduces and explains some things I’ve been seeing in the informal industrial ecosystem in the developing world context for almost a decade now. First noticed in 2009, I then named it REculture, a neologism to capture the vast and complex ecosystem I saw in the revenue generating facility of recycle, replace, repurpose, reuse […]

Also posted in Articles on Design and Innovation, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Frugality, global, Perspective, REculture, Research, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment