“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 Craigslist.org 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| gmail.com 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 Craigslist.org 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.
+ Lifestraw, the one person water filter that can be worn around the neck
+ Various water storage products (bladder & plastic lined pond)
+ 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.
+ 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 (Soles4Souls.org)
+ Shelter (mini-domes) and Architectureforhumanity.org (video in Haiti), Open Architecture Network, rammed earth, tires, and plastic bottle innovation, Earthship Biotecture, Grassroots United, and Uber Shelter (video).
+ 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
+ Devices powered by bicycle (Global Cycle Solutions)
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 (Craigslist.org but with more reach and aware to those without a web connection). Continue reading “Design for the Other 90% Exhibit + “Micro-Giving” Global Needs Index to Connect Rich to Poor/Fullfill Global-to-Local Requests”