Category Archives: Scarcity

Global consumer data shows demographics have changed completely

The past half decade‘s worth of financial crises and increasing scarcity of resources have led to an increasing equalization in the global water level. Instead of the high tide that would lift all boats, the leveling off of growth is leading to an entirely different equation of purchasing power parity. Tomorrow’s equilibrium seems to imply […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Emerging Markets, Frugality, global, Marketing, Perspective, Research, Strategy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the new home of The Prepaid Economy blog

  Instead of two separate locations, all my research, fieldwork, analysis and synthesis as well as news snippets covering all aspects of The Prepaid Economy project, systeme D, the informal and rural cash based markets of the developing world will now be available here together with the original Perspective blog. The Research category will pull […]

Also posted in Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Banking, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Expenses, Flexibility, Frugality, global, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged | Leave a comment

Global REculture: scraps of iron, steel and aluminium, recycling, smelting, foundaries.

Hammer heads made out of an old motor vehicle’s axle. Nairobi Jua Kali study Sept 2010 This post was written by niti bhan and rss originates from

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David is a maker; he sees his creations in his dreams

David with his combine harvester, Karantina, Kenya 15 April 2013 David is a maker. An artisan and craftsman who makes furniture as a carpenter in his day job, he’s nonetheless driven by visions of what he sees in his dreams to build these toys made out of scraps of wood, metal and plastic. That green […]

Also posted in Africa, Design, Frugality, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, Photography, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Vignettes from Singapore’s past: Independent Women

Look up more on Samsui women , pioneering globe trotting. independent employment for women. The Samsui women were a proud and independent lot. Prostitution, opium peddling and various vices were common with other women mired in poverty. However, Samsui women chose to be engaged in hard labour with little pay instead of being lured into […]

Also posted in ASEAN, Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Migrant worker, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mainstreaming REculture into the materials supply chain

In July 2009, I was inspired by my then working space in the Research wing’s open office at the Aalto University’s Design Factory in Espoo, Finland, to launch a group blog called REculture: Exploring the post-consumption economy of repair, reuse, repurpose and recycle by informal businesses at the Base of the Pyramid In a post […]

Also posted in Analysis, Ecosystem, Frugality, global, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Systems, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Time to plan the obsolescence of consumerism

Consumers did not exist prior to WW2. People did. It was after the postwar boom in the United States that a variety of existing professions evolved and morphed to meet the needs of Big Business as industrial production and wealth increased. Consumers were created to meet the unmet needs of the producers. The Waste Makers, […]

Also posted in Analysis, Culture, Design, Frugality, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Perspective, Systems | Tagged , , , | 3 Responses

“Some NGO gave us a mosquito net”

Kitui, Eastern Province, Kenya July 2012 Serem, Western Kenya, June 2012 This post was written by niti bhan and rss originates from

Also posted in Africa, Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Indigenous & Traditional, Perspective, Photography, rural, Value | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Grassroots innovators and the “build-test-learn” loop

Afrigadgeteers exemplify the customer centric principles of such high tech processes as the Lean Startup (r) method, or so it emerged from an insightful conversation with my Tallinn based friend Siim Esko recently, on Skype of course. He made the connection between the need to experiment and test prototypes for market viability – rapidly and […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Design, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Perspective, Process, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Immersion in rural Kenya

We start the immersion phase of our project tomorrow and leave for our first location in rural Kenya today. Our focus is to better understand household consumer behaviour and our methodology is inspired by the early stage of the human centered design process. Ukambani has been the traditional homeland of the Kamba people for at […]

Also posted in Base of the Pyramid, Business, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frugality, Kenya, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Projects and Reports, rural, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment