Last week I had the opportunity to speak about my Take 3 experience at the vUE conference (VMware User Experience). I thought about how my Take 3 project has impacted my design thinking and vice versa. I talked about what I called “reminders” because we all learn these things as designers, but it’s easy to forget as we get caught up in the day-to-day activities of getting a product shipped. Continue reading
Wow – two of my three months of community service “sabbatical” is over! I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I left for India and Kenya. The two weeks of travel flew by, but I feel like I just got back and two more weeks have gone by. Now I’m feeling a bit crunched that I only have one month left to do all the design work!
I was reminded this week of an Einstein quote. When asked what he would do given one hour to save the world, Einstein replied: “I would spend 55 minutes to understand and formulate the problem, and 5 minutes to come up with ideas/execute the solution.” Continue reading
After two weeks of travel, I am happy to be home. The visits were totally worthwhile. I learned a whole lot about how these microfinance institutions operate and how different the India operations are from the Kenyan ones. Without seeing them in action, I would not even have known what questions to ask.
M-PESA (m for “mobile”, pesa is Swahili for “money”) is a mobile-phone based money and microfinance service offered by Safaricom in Kenya. According to Wikipedia, it is “the most developed mobile payment system in the world. M-Pesa allows users with a national ID card or passport to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily with a mobile device.”
Missions of Hope is located within the Pangani Slums in Nairobi. They provide child sponsorship, education for both children and parents, and support for building a business through their microfinance operations. It turns out their use of Mifos as their MFI platform is very different from the MFIs in India.