Category Archives: Systems

The Resilience of Innovation under Conditions of Scarcity

Innovating beyond the traditional tin lantern – a simple wick attached to the can – Kouassi Bafounga cuts shapes from tin cans and fixes them together with glass, string and a little petrol to produce storm-proof lanterns. Last year, Bafounga was one of 11 winners in a “Fab Lab” innovation competition run by the French […]

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Trading economics: a new theoretical system

From the Financial Times, a snippet from a guest post by Wang Zhenying, director-general of the research and statistics department at the PBoC’s Shanghai head office and vice chairman of the Shanghai Financial Studies Association, summarising the arguments in his new Chinese-language textbook on economics. “Trading economics” is one new theory emerging against this backdrop. […]

Also posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, China, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Leveraging Disability as Competitive Advantage: The Wheelchair Cargo Movers of Uganda

Only in Busia do wheelchair owners from all over Uganda congregate as it is to their economic advantage to do so. Documented, and observed were the handicapped professionals who crossed the border numerous times a day ferrying goods. In the past 25 years, the Busia tricyclists have created a strong community with initiative and resourcefulness […]

Also posted in Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Distribution, East African Community, Economy, Income, Migrant worker, Perspective, Research, Uganda, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Mobiles at the Border Post: Anti-Atlas of Borders Exhibition Slides (Jan 2016)

In January 2016, our submission for the Anti-Atlas of Borders Art Exhibition in Brussels was accepted for a commission of 500e. We were thrilled and surprised since we’d never imagined our work on mobile platforms, technology, and the borderland biashara could be considered from the arts and culture point of view. Here is our story […]

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A Unique Path to Development Seen for the Informal Economy

Just recently I stumbled over this slim book < 60 pages that analyzed existing data sources in order to frame an answer to the research question they posed: How did the informal economy―markets and the private sector―develop in the absence of legal and administrative frameworks to support it? Some of the most intriguing insights extracted […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frugality, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Report Review, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Savings, Scarcity, Strategy, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Household energy consumption behavioural study in East Africa: Cooking (Part 2 of 3)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 2nd part will focus on fuel usage and consumption […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Expenses, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Introduction to rural household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa (1 of 3 parts)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This first part is an overview of household financial management […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, East African Community, Frugality, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

TEDTalk video: Recognizing the value creation and economic contribution of the informal economy

My talk given at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, this August, went live on Ted.com at some point during the night a couple of days ago. At that very moment, I was on a Finnair flight from SIN to HEL, so with a wee bit of delay, here’s the link to the video of the […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, global, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, UCSD, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voices from the Pacific: Mirroring the Challenges of Informal Market Women Everywhere

ABOUT 80 per cent of all market vendors in the Pacific are women, and these earnings make up a significant portion of incomes of many poor households. In spite of their contribution to the local economy and to markets, women are often excluded from market governance and decision-making. ~ The Fiji Times Following up from […]

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

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 […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Leave a comment