Category Archives: Rural Economy

Day 2, Exploratory Discovery and Sensemaking in rural Ostrobothnia, Finland #taiketukee

By | May 26, 2022

For design before design, I prefer immersion in the field location and alternating thinking and writing with observations and interviews in order to tightly frame the problem space and the social design challenge. My RQ is whether the application of the guiding first principles of the Scandinavian tradition of participatory design research (also known as… Read More »

Mobile telephony and low income customers: Market conditions drove product development and pricing

By | April 25, 2021

Many who were around and as obsessed by the entry of mobile telephony in the global South during the early years of this century will recall this eyecatching graphic used to illustrate the announcement by Cameroonian researchers Victor and Irene Mbarika that can now be pointed to as the moment Africa’s mobile revolution was born:… Read More »

Situating one’s rant within business model typology for rural and low income markets

By | April 24, 2021

After yesterday’s post on stripping out social considerations to allow for a pragmatic economic assessment of viability prior to investing in infrastructure for service delivery to rural customers, I looked up literature on the general theme. Site selection as a keyword brought a slew of articles focusing on GIS technology, primarily from the lens of… Read More »

Is a business inclusive if its doing business in rural Africa? Why modeling economic capacity matters

By | April 23, 2021

Whether a business thinks of itself as inclusive or not, it must consider the sustainability of revenue streams and their expected duration, prior to committing themselves to infrastructural investments in rural locations of the global South. Those that position themselves as inclusive businesses – regardless of size, must consider the value being created for their… Read More »

Coronavirus side-effect: Transformation of China’s business models, logistics, and service delivery

By | February 29, 2020

Just the way the SARs epidemic kicked off China’s e-commerce revolution back in 2003, the ongoing COVID-19 containment strategies maybe triggering an even larger transformation of the Chinese economic ecosystem. I went looking today for the earliest signals of what might be underway. Rural China is facing the biggest challenge right now as the spring… Read More »

Less Technologically Advanced Societies are not necessarily backward or primitive: Assume at your own risk

By | December 26, 2019

This illustration by Jeroen Meijer of Jam Visueldenken of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was created for our team during a workshop to capture the insights from a feasibility study on agritech we had completed for the Dutch government’s sustainable agricultural value chain development at Wageningen University’s Economic Research unit back in mid 2013. I’m pulling it… Read More »

Is Design Prepared to be Responsible?

By | November 7, 2019

Last week, I was invited to join a 60 strong group of pan African thinkers in law, human rights, gender, debt and related issues to convene in Nairobi to explore the concept of predatory lending now being delivered direct to your handheld device. As a human centered designer, I was rocked back on my heels… Read More »

The Perfect Storm: A Continent, A Phone, A Business Model

By | July 20, 2019

In the mid 1990s, in a small city in northern Finland, engineers and designers began work on the product development of a mobile phone that would eventually become one of the best selling Nokia models ever – the 3310, released in Europe and the Far East in the year 2000. The continent of Africa was… Read More »

New Market Opportunity: The Digitalisation of African Agriculture

By | July 12, 2019

Just over two weeks ago, I analyzed a report on the Digitalization of African Agriculture on twitter. Bandwidth heavy PDFs aren’t user friendly for mobile first or mobile only browsing environments, such as prevalent across much of the African continent, and ‘granulating’ reports is something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing quite regularly for… Read More »