Tag Archives: africa

Resilience of informal urban food systems: Does a systems thinking approach make a difference?

Sterk, van de Leemput, and Peeters (2017) help me start off this sensemaking exercise by clearly distinguishing the difference between engineering resilience and ecological resilience with respect to a system. This was useful to establish the direction of exploration for informal urban food systems. Specifically, Sterk et al (2017) state that ‘engineering’ resilience  focuses on […]

Posted in Literature review, Perspective, Research, Systems, waymarkers, Work in Progress | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Biashara Economics, East African Community, Economy, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Literature review, Perspective, waymarkers, Work in Progress | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections on Kate Meagher’s work

Meagher’s work (1990) clearly demonstrates that what I would go on to see 25 years later at the borderland of Uganda and Kenya, she had already seen at the borderland of Uganda and then Zaire (now DRC). Possibly the only difference in our interpretation and narratives is due to our own positional frame of reference […]

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Strategy Tools for Value Creation by Including Informal Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

There is a lot to unpack in the title of this post and not all of it might happen here today. Consider this the amuse bouche of my current thinking and writing, with the unexpected side effect of releasing the first faint sounds of music that’s been long hidden in my keyboard. The phrasing of […]

Posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Design, East African Community, Economy, global, Literature review, Perspective, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Work in Progress | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile telephony and low income customers: Market conditions drove product development and pricing

Many who were around and as obsessed by the entry of mobile telephony in the global South during the early years of this century will recall this eyecatching graphic used to illustrate the announcement by Cameroonian researchers Victor and Irene Mbarika that can now be pointed to as the moment Africa’s mobile revolution was born: […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Work in Progress | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Theoretical background for contextualizing User Agency in Participatory Processes

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 […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Design, Design Methodology, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Less Technologically Advanced Societies are not necessarily backward or primitive: Assume at your own risk

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 […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, UCSD, Value | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

When digital ecosystem development is far faster than physical ecosystem development

I have the advantage of having seen the evolution of the crop of company sponsored student projects (10 to 12 annually) for at least 7, if not 8 of the annual PDP Galas at the Design Factory (which is only 10 years old) New product development direction is moving towards artefacts and services that integrate […]

Posted in Perspective | Also tagged , , , | 1 Response

Is Design Prepared to be Responsible?

Last week, I was invited to join a 60 strong group of pan African thinkers in law, human rights, gender, debt and related issues to convene in Nairobi to explore the concept of predatory lending now being delivered direct to your handheld device. As a human centered designer, I was rocked back on my heels […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Design, Ecosystem, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Rural Economy, Strategy, Systems, Technology, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Perfect Storm: A Continent, A Phone, A Business Model

In the mid 1990s, in a small city in northern Finland, engineers and designers began work on the product development of a mobile phone that would eventually become one of the best selling Nokia models ever – the 3310, released in Europe and the Far East in the year 2000. The continent of Africa was […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Airtime, Analysis, Articles on Design and Innovation, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, global, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Mobile platform, perfect storm, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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