Category Archives: About

Emerging Futures Lab celebrates 10 years this week!

This is a special week – emerging futures lab celebrates its 10th year! Follow the tag EFL10 for a retrospective of work over the past decade.

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

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 […]

Also posted in Airtime, Analysis, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Collection, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Expenses, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Savings, Scarcity, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Livestock, Philipines, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Reflecting on this blog’s genesis after 5 years

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Collection, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Flexibility, global, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, Philipines, Projects and Reports, Research, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is design important?

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 […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Platforms, Process, Projects and Reports, Strategy, Systems, UCSD, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Response

Pondering a new prepaid research focus

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mobile platform, Research, rural, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

About Emerging Futures Lab and Team

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 […]

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Project 1: Payment strategies for irregular incomes at the BoP

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 […]

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The iBoP Asia Project Small Grants program

The Ateneo School of Government, with the International Development Research Centre, is implementing a project entitled Science and Technology Innovations for the Base of the Pyramid in Southeast Asia. By building partnerships with and among research councils, government agencies, business institutions, and other relevant organizations in the region, the Project aims to create and promote […]

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