This talk from TEDxPittsburgh justifies my holistic strategy to incorporate MFIs into the product development and distribution process:
R Campbell shared a video on William Kamkwamba with me recently. William’s story embodies my goals for power generation in remote parts of Afghanistan using spare parts and local ingenuity.
Among the chief concerns for entrepreneurs in a post-conflict society are security and access to working capital. According to Sarah Haig, interim CEO at the MFI Hope International, this is especially pertinent to Afghanistan where MFI’s have limited access to rural communities due to Taliban threats and inefficiencies relating to low population density. These challenges create an opportunity for a mobile money system similar to Kenya’s M-PESA service.
Professor Joel Wittkamp pointed me to an article on Mobile Banking in Afghanistan published in IDSA’s Fall Edition of Innovation.
In the article, Afghanistan is portrayed as prime candidate for mobile banking due to the social and technological feasibility of mobile phones. Specifically, the author notes that mobile phones are socially desirable as they provide a means for unprecedented mobile dating. Additionally, the current use of mobile phones is already prolific enough to facilitate the diffusion of this system.
I’ve been reading through Design Observer’s “Give the Gift of Design” >, and I found myself looking at a Catapult Design wind turbine project for Guatemala. The article served to validate my current direction for small wind power in developing countries.
These vignettes reveal basic needs for shelter, clean water, and infrastructure.
I’ve been thinking about what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says about Creative Flow. Namely, certain conditions for security and survival are necessary before innovation can be fostered. What about grassroots infrastructure developments for necessities like electricity and running water? More info at Wind Power in Afghanistan
I’ve been ruminating on the idea of incorporating a global product development network similar to this or quirky into my thesis.
Unconventional solutions await–what happens when we connect our hobbies and passions with global need?