Category Archives: Kenya

One year anniversary of experimenting with design and innovation tools for vegetable vendors in Nairobi’s slums

By | July 7, 2021

Felix Omondi, our lead innovation facilitator, reminds me today that its the one year anniversary of the first participatory design workshop held with mama mbogas in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s informal settlements. Categorized by us as the “tomato group” of B2C (business to consumer) vegetable vendors (mama mboga in colloquial swahili), these 8 ladies were… Read More »

Contextualizing design of remote interventions for local food systems resilience strategies in literature

By | May 26, 2021

I began my academic explorations on this blog a couple of months ago with a post on the power of sensemaking to transform the context and frame of reference, and thus provide a means for empowering one to make decisions for a decidedly unknown near future, where increased uncertainty and volatility have become the norm.… Read More »

Reflecting on Béné’s review of important concepts for local food systems resilience in context of systemic shocks

By | May 13, 2021

Béné’s (May, 2020) review last year of the most important concepts for thinking about resilience of local food systems, in context of the pandemic and other shocks provides frameworks for situating empirical data on the resilience strategies employed by informal economic actors in the last mile of Nairobi’s urban food system specializing in fresh produce… 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 »

IMD Case Study – how Mpesa’s adoption transformed Safaricom

By | April 26, 2021

There is a case study on Safaricom that supports my viewpoint – that first one must consider the operating environment pragmatically prior to design and delivery of services for low income markets for a successful outcome that then drives the transformation of both the customer base and the corporation, giving rise to new ecosystems and… Read More »

Theoretical background for contextualizing User Agency in Participatory Processes

By | April 12, 2021

Scandinavian participatory design practices are not distinguished by particular methods but rather by political commitments to societal concerns and relationships with participating users and communities. Pelle Ehn writes:`In the interest of emancipation, we deliberately made the choice of siding with workers and their organisations, supporting the development of their resources for a change towards democracy… Read More »

Looking back at 2020 from Mama Mboga’s eyes: The Pandemic as Natural Disaster

By | December 4, 2020

I am moved today by my work to look back at this agonizingly long year of separations and losses and delays for peoples around the world. Uncertainty and complexity have both increased, and economic volatility has become the order of the day, regardless of the development status of the region or location. More people in… Read More »

Closing the Circle: Can integration of the flows in the post consumption ecosystem of Global North & South aid resilient recovery for all?

By | November 30, 2020

It was in July 2009 that I first attempted to visualize the significantly large subsector of informal recycling that fed the informal industrial ecosystem with re-processed ‘raw’ materials for their manufacturing output. The first draft was based on what I’d seen and documented in The Philippines, and in India, during the fieldwork for the ‘prepaid… Read More »

From Flat to Fragmented: Observing the Impact of Sudden Jump in Complexity on Startup’s Development Journey

By | February 24, 2020

With increasing diversity of factors that impact the product development journey comes increasing complexity in managing the product development process. For startups in particular, there is little difference between the startup’s development journey and the product development journey. Consider the phases of the startup development journey as illustrated by StartupCommons below: Validation and Growth phases… 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 »