Category Archives: ASEAN

The Global System’s Fulcrum has Changed in Location and Trajectory

By | November 15, 2020

Where, the innovation flowed outwards from age old centers of world system changing such as the Bay Area of the US Pacific Coastline or more recently, in the first visible shift this century, from the Pearl River Delta region of mainland China, now has shifted its locus of pivoting the levers of the system into… Read More »

Book Review: Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel

By | July 5, 2019

Although the book I’ll be reviewing today was first published in the year 2007, I only came upon it this year in a used bookstore. Raj Patel’s Stuffed and Starved lays bare the innards of the world’s food distribution systems and the market dominance of the megacorps in the business. The Guardian’s original review captures… Read More »

Rural Household Financial Management on Irregular Incomes

By | October 18, 2018

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… Read More »

2017 is the Year Mobile Service Operators Became Banks

By | November 4, 2017

South African business headlines read MTN takes on Vodacom for title of Africa’s biggest digital bank and usher in a whole new era for banking and finance on the mobile platform. Having watched this space impatiently for more than a decade, seeing this was a landmark worth noting. The number of mobile-money customers in the… Read More »

Savings Groups : Observations on Economic Cooperation and Collaboration in Rural and Informal Conditions

By | October 29, 2017

Recently, I was interviewed on communal rural economic behaviour, particularly socially cooperative ones  such as informal savings and lending groups. The questions posed were: How has your opinion of savings group changed over time? Why in your opinion, are people in Africa and Latin America countries (developing countries) predisposed to forming savings groups? What is… Read More »

Financial Behaviour Patterns Observed Among Households in Rural Informal Economy in Asia

By | July 24, 2017

This is the original working paper of the research conducted on rural household financial management, in developing country conditions, pioneering the use of methods from human centered design for discovery, during Nov 2008 to March 2009, aka the Prepaid Economy Project. It was peer reviewed by Brett Hudson Matthews, and I have incorporated his comments into… Read More »

Seasonality as an element of contextual planning for emerging consumer markets

By | September 6, 2016

Growing up as a Hindu expat in multicultural ‘West Malaysia’ of the 1970s and 80s, it was a matter of course that every festival would be a big occasion. We had Christmas in December, and Chinese New Year soon after, to be followed by Hari Raya (Eid) and Deepawali – each of them deserving of… Read More »

Finally, the silver bullet of micro-finance can be buried in peace

By | January 15, 2016

Six years ago, in March 2009, after my return from The Philippines where I’d first conducted fieldwork using design ethnography methods to understand household financial management at the erstwhile Base of the Pyramid in a rural region, I had written: Another eye opener was hearing the story about a micro-finance loan for enabling local women… Read More »

China’s revival of ancient trading ties along the historic Silk Road

By | April 22, 2015

The South China Morning Post has a great infographic on a favourite topic of mine – the Great Silk Road. Some related posts: On the new Silk Route – Experiencing Africa’s informal trading network with China The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World