Design for the Other 90% Exhibit + “Micro-Giving” Global Needs Index to Connect Rich to Poor/Fullfill Global-to-Local Requests

01 Poverty, 02 Infectious Disease, 03 Economy, 04 Education, 06 Family, 07 Health, 12 Water, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Geospatial, Gift Intelligence, International Aid, microfinancing, Mobile
Link to online exhibit

“The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.”
—Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises

Exhibition on view National Geographic Museum, Washington, DC through September 6, 2010

Imagine connecting item & service-requests to those lacking basic needs into a global online and mobile market forum like a merged with Kiva+ SMS/txt message capabilities, something like Ushahidi, Wikimapia, as well as GoogleEarth-like & SecondLife-like 3D map to post photos and messages of requests and successful transactions without a centralized “middle-man” who manages everything.

Example: An African farmer needs a part for 1950’s Romanian pump. An aid worker posts need via UNICEF Rapid SMS. A Romanian engineer volunteers to make the part; a German pays for FedEx from Romania to Nigeria; a tourist commits to personally delivering it and posting a photograph of the farmer and repaired engine online to close out need.

It would be designed so that anyone could add “affordable” items (that meet a particular criteria) to the list. Please email earthintelnet |at| if you have suggestions. For more info on the concept, see page 7 of the Earth Intelligence Network overview draft and this global range of nano-needs graphic. On 7/21/10 Craig Newmark of sent this email: “..a number of people say they're working on similar efforts,” but he did not specify. Another great example is Practical Action's “Practical Presents” store where a goat, fish cage, farm tools, and many more products can be purchased for donation.

Global Range of Needs Index/Map/Forum could include the following items:
+ Cheap colloidal silver-treated water filters: see Potters Without Borders & Potters for Peace

+ Lifestraw, the one person water filter that can be worn around the neck

+ Saline water condenses into drinkable water using the WaterCone (video) (product info)

+ Various water storage products (bladder & plastic lined pond)

+ Peanut butter project (child malnutrition) connected with UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, USAID, etc and PlumpyNut

+ Affordable burn-proof stove | Guatemala Stove Project | stoves fr the Congo |

+ Hand-Crank Battery-Free Dynamo Flashlight | “Light Up the World” solar powered battery L.E.D. lighting

+ List of innovations here from the Honey Bee Network

+ Cell phones (regionally compatible) / One Mobile per Human / One Mobile per Child / instead of just One Laptop per Child (see the $12 computer project) There are phone donation campaigns but the closest one found so far aims only at health care workers. And this wireless, local, do-it-yourself, telephone company toolkit.

+ KICKSTART water pumps for crop farming

+ Micro-irrigation systems for small plots (mentioned in this video at the chapter 6 mark), also called PEPSEE systems (also see DripTech)

+ Moringa seeds/leaves (nutrients + water filtering)

+ “Pot-inside-Pot Cooler” filled with sand and water (see 36 sec video). When that water evaporates, it pulls heat from the interior of the smaller pot, in which vegetables and fruits can be kept. See this African “refrigerator” called Zeer Pot (also: link1 | link2 | link3) which can keep meat fresh for five days mentioned in the book Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.

+ Shoes (

+ Shelter (mini-domes) and (video in Haiti), Open Architecture Network, rammed earth, tires, and plastic bottle innovation, Earthship Biotecture, Grassroots United, and Uber Shelter (video).

+ 10 cent blood-type test, 99 cent ovarian cancer blood test

+ Toothpaste & toothbrushes or teeth-cleaning twigs | African twig brush/chew sticks (sell to Westerners, sold here) | traveler feedback on chewsticks | Miswak | Other African info and some historical perspective on chew sticks

+ Solar dynamo radios + Farm Radio (African rural poor)| Healthy Radio

+ Bicycles / bicycles for humanity (and locks!) ONE | TWO

+ Devices powered by bicycle (Global Cycle Solutions)

+ Durable versatile safer wheelchairs Video 1 | Video 2 | Whirlwind Wheelchairs International (open source)

+ Low-cost infant warmers

+ Affordable prosthetics, eyeglasses, mobile eye exam lense

Other needs: medical supplies ($3 negative pressure pump, telemedicine microscope, Rice Univ project list), seeds & fertilizer, toilets (see this loo, & one-time use bags), electricity and medical equipment in Afghan hospitals, products for the elderly, games for children, and services such as the needs for software to be developed where there is a desire for “Code in Country” (CIC), and a global “classifieds” tool for job-hunting via mobile SMS ( but with more reach and aware to those without a web connection).

Also: An index itemizing ALL tax dollar use foreign and domestic, not just this overly complicated search system from GPO Access (open data/open gov) for all to see online and in print and all free public access (paid with tax dollars). A tax ecosystem viewed by citizens, feedback to redirect funds/reconfigure the system, cut the American “over-budget obesity” for smarter, more effective spending in the public interest.

Items listed at the Design for the Other 90% exhibit include:


South America

North America

Central America


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