Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Twin Tea

Before leaving London for Entebbe we discussed our project with Robin Murray from Twin Trading at a BBQ and he invited us to give a presentation on our return. With only a small group in attendance the discussion the followed left me with a lot to think about.

Robin was interested in investigating the role that ICT can play in connecting them with the farmers that they deal with around the globe, including Uganda. Two Twin staff with E. Africa experience contributed some nice comments on the potential of the future exchange between the lender and the borrower. Jenny and Chris, two designers from the Design Council with plenty of user research experience, suggested the further investigation of appropriate social technologies that may help to ensure the success of our final solution. It was also suggested that the opportunity to connect natural communities within the Kiva ecosystem of stakeholders (lenders, borrowers etc) had the potential to create additional untapped exchanges of value.

Between their comments and those of the rest in attendance including Kelsey, her mom, Jared and Chika I filled up a page of notes in an attempt to capture the results of the discussion. I think that Kiva has proven to be is a concept strong enough to stimulate thinking from people across disciplines who can apply feature of the model to what they do. The idea of drawing value from an individual story and increasing transparency along the value chain seemed to be enough for this group to chew over for quite a while.

I have been thinking in a relatively closed loop while concentrating on getting the best results our of the context research phase in Africa and it was very exciting to see that loop torn open and plugged into a number of new loops of thinking. Thanks to all those at the table.


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