Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Designing for the World's Poor

This post is not about wind power--so sue me. About the only tangential connection I can think of is that, as with wind power, it involves doing the right thing as opposed to following the herd.

Today's New York Times has an excellent short article on a museum with an exhibit showing examples of products that have been designed to meet the needs of the world's hundreds of millions of poor people, rather than the fashion desires of a wealthy few. Favorable reference is made to KickStart, whose Web site says in part:

KickStart is a non-profit organization that develops and markets new technologies in Africa. These low-cost technologies are bought by local entrepreneurs and used to establish highly profitable new small businesses. They create new jobs and wealth, enabling the poor to climb out of their poverty forever.

Another innovative approach with similar goals is offered by Kiva.org, which uses Web technology to enhance and personalize micro-lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

I've added both of these groups to this site's list of links and encourage you to check them out.


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