Tag Archives: design for complex adaptive systems

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 […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trading economics: a new theoretical system

From the Financial Times, a snippet from a guest post by Wang Zhenying, director-general of the research and statistics department at the PBoC’s Shanghai head office and vice chairman of the Shanghai Financial Studies Association, summarising the arguments in his new Chinese-language textbook on economics. “Trading economics” is one new theory emerging against this backdrop. […]

Posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, China, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, Systems, UCSD, Value | Also tagged , , | 1 Response

TEDTalk video: Recognizing the value creation and economic contribution of the informal economy

My talk given at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, this August, went live on Ted.com at some point during the night a couple of days ago. At that very moment, I was on a Finnair flight from SIN to HEL, so with a wee bit of delay, here’s the link to the video of the […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, global, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, UCSD, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Systemic design thinking and complex adaptive systems

Going back to first principles has been a refreshing exercise. Even as our work has taken us into some wholly new places, there’s comfort in knowing that others have thought deeply about the concepts, though not in our context. I’m a firm believer in not re-inventing the wheel. Consider it a working prototype to be […]

Posted in Design, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Platforms, Research, Systems, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Livestock, Loans, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Risk, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, UCSD, Uganda, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India: Dragging the reluctant elephant into a digital, cashless future

My recent immersion in Delhi a mere four months after demonetization (or, notebandi as it’s locally known) was a bit of a letdown. Oh sure, there were numerous, visible changes in the 2 years since my last trip – mostly very clear indicators of India’s socio-economic development – but none of the sense of chaos […]

Posted in Alternative currency, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Culture, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, India, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Research, South Asia, Strategy, Systems, Technology, urban, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unforeseen outcomes of India’s demonetization shine light on the value of our design philosophy

Latest news on India’s demonetization informs us how the rural economy is bearing the brunt of this initiative. The action was intended to target wealthy tax evaders and end India’s “shadow economy”, but it has also exposed the dependency of poor farmers and small businesses on informal credit systems in a country where half the […]

Posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Banking, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Strategy, Systems, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Part 2: Enabling development’s paradigm shift from ‘best practice’ to ‘best fit’

Programming in International Development jumps directly into the Design phase of the projects. This is the root of the challenge they face now as they seek to change the paradigm away from ‘best practice’ to putting the end users at the center of their strategies, with ‘best fit’. I identified this problem in the Autumn […]

Posted in Design, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Process, Research, Strategy, Systems, User research | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An Interdisciplinary Approach to “Best Fit” for International Development: Process and Tools

This post follows on from the previous one which introduced the concept of a ‘best fit’ approach to the ‘wicked problems’ in development. There I posited that consumer facing private enterprises looking at the African market would benefit from considering Development’s thought-leadership in this regard, given their experience in the challenging operating environments of the […]

Posted in Design, Ecosystem, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Strategy, Systems | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pivoting from “best practice” to “best fit”: An interdisciplinary perspective

There has been an evolution in thinking about development practice. Buckley and Ward (2015) found a broad consensus for a shift from a ‘best-practice paradigm’ (Chambers 2011) to one of ‘best fit’ — that is, development interventions that are ‘optimally adapted’ to the socioeconomic, political and ecological context at any given moment (Ramalingam et al. […]

Posted in Design, Ecosystem, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Strategy, Systems | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment