Category Archives: Indigenous & Traditional

Book Review: The Nutmeg’s Curse by Amitav Ghosh

By | August 17, 2022

Amitav Ghosh’s The Nutmeg’s Curse is a lucid, well-written synopsis that rapidly introduces the reader to the legacy of the colonial and imperial narratives that destroyed Indigenous ways of living with the natural environment and the living planet, for profit, trade, and glory. I was moved last night to bookmark various passages from Ghosh’s book… Read More »

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 »

Applying the Systems Test to the Regional Informal Economic System

By | December 13, 2021

If the informal economic system, as seen in east Africa, is a system, and there are social practices at both the rural end of the interconnections and flows that comprise the functioning of the system, then taking a systems approach to food security would facilitate not only the increase in stocks i.e. the yield of… Read More »

Sensemaking in extreme conditions for enhancing resilience: Literature Review

By | April 27, 2021

Here, I want to explore themes of resilience and sensemaking together in extreme conditions. For now, I have considered the systemic shock of the global pandemic as an increase in volatility, complexity, and uncertainty of operating conditions, from the perspective of the informal urban food system in Nairobi, Kenya. Therefore I have deliberately excluded literature… 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Competitive Advantage & Customer Relationships: Lessons from Market Mummies of Ghana

By | August 29, 2018

How would you differentiate yourself in this informal retail market? Ghanaian market research guru Gerry van Dyke took a closer look at the market ‘mummies’ – Mama Biashara, as we call her – and their consumer marketing techniques in the “non-label environment”. His findings form an excellent foundation for understanding marketing and customer relationships in… Read More »