Meet our participants!

by Stella Odiwuor.

Following a rigorous season of participant application review and selection, we were able to identify 36 individuals from all over the world who were the embodiment of IDDS values to make a difference with and for the community. These applicants demonstrated drive, leadership, a sense of community, an interest in applying user-centered-design and were concerned about what new things they could add into their toolbox after attending an intense two-week summit that delves into Financial Inclusion. We would like to share a couple of those compelling stories in this blog.

Meet Anubhav Arora (30), a Chemical Engineering degree holder. He is currently a graduate student at MIT awaiting to receive his Master’s in Integrated Design and Management (IDM).


After a successful initiation of Noora Health, a social enterprise in India, he and his team were able to emerge the second most innovative organization in the country in 2016 - just 3 years after its founding. Anubhav shares his endurance and zeal to contribute to the nation’s development and recalls teaching himself how to ride a motorcycle in order to be able to access parts of Jaunpur, rural India. During these visits, he was devastated by the state of healthcare and decided to invest in ways that would help in mitigating the entangled corrupt systems found in the health sector. Otherwise, more people who would have been able to receive medical attention would continue to lose their lives and the number of babies born in forsaken conditions would take a rise.

Among his most valued passions, Anubhav is committed to empowering the masses to work together in order to come up with solutions to endearing problems. He believes in the power of human-centered design to provide longer lasting, easy-access and effective solutions to challenges. He is strongly inclined towards working with like minded people during the IDDS Kenya this year, and will be one of the beneficiaries of financial aid looking to engage in experiential learning during the summit.

From the land of Baganda (Uganda) emerges a passionate Architect and Designer, Frank Morris Matovu (40), who strives to make a change in and for his community.


Frank believes in the design process and prioritizes the step-by-step identification of problems that culminates in a broken-down approach to determine possible solutions. Throughout his school and work experience, he has been able to work with diverse teams that shared similar interests within and beyond his country. One of the most lingering big questions in his work is ‘How do we empower the people to understand the design process and put it into practice to create a more sustainable society?’

In 2007, Frank mobilized his classmates to reclaim the severely abandoned Independent Monument of Kampala. The local authorities charged with the responsibility of maintaining it had neglected their role, but he understood that something ought to be done. To-date, the monument and its surrounding remain clean and inviting while residents and Kampala tourists visit the monument to take souvenir pictures. More recently, he was able to attend the MIT D-LAB CCB (Creative Capacity Building) Training of Trainers where his team of four was tasked to solve the sanitation problem with a focus on unplugged latrines. They innovated new designs that would reduce the number of disease vectors that previously accessed human faecal material and spread diseases among residents by contaminating their food. Additionally, they would devise ways to reduce points of contact between the user and parts of the latrine.

The aforementioned experiences are among the many pathways that Frank has been able to leverage in order to positively contribute to his community. He aspires to empower people and co-create solutions with them for their overall better living standards. Frank will be joining IDDS Financial Inclusion this summer in Kenya to further his application of the design process and work with the locals to come up with solutions that best address their problems in financial access.

Help us get Anubhav, Frank and their fellow colleagues to optimise their experience in Kenya this summer and to continue creating positive change in the communities they live in!

IDDS Kenya 2018 will be held in Embu from July 8 to 23 with the aim to co create solutions to boost access to innovative financial products and services focused on rural populations. We encourage to follow our journey. We are also crowdfunding for selected participants with high potential that are unable to pay for their transportation and expenses during the summit. If you or anyone you know would like to contrtibute to the cause please click in in our StartSomeGood crowdfunding campaign


Powering the next generation

 The Omondis and neighbors enjoying power time.

The Omondis and neighbors enjoying power time.

This blog is part 4 of a 5 part series on what is financial inclusion and how is it informing the design of the curriculum for IDDS Kenya.

In Nyeri (2.5h from Nairobi) Faith and Robert Omondi recently gave birth to Angela, their 3-month-old baby. Faith and her mother focus pretty much all day on taking care of the little one while Robert leaves for about 4 to 5 days every other week as a tourist guide for a company that offers trekking services to Mount Kenya, one of the closest and most famous tourist attractions in the area.

When Angela was born, the Omondis realized the urgent need to have electricity available for specific household tasks. In Kenya, as most of Sub-Saharan rid access is partly non-existent in some rural areas and poorly reliable where it exits. In fact, rural access to electricity according to a recent World Bank report reaches only 48.39% of the population. Despite these challenges that consider around 8 million off-grid households countrywide, Kenya leads the ranking of electricity access in the region at 56%, surpassing Tanzania at 32.8%, Rwanda at 29.37%, Uganda with 26.7% and Burundi at 7.5%.

Without any other options, the population is forced to either go without power or use kerosene, an expensive, inefficient and often times dangerous fuel that pollutes the air and creates fire hazards. Effectively, it takes $8/month to fuel one kerosene lamp, and with the widespread use of cell phones, users like Faith who needs to keep in touch with her husband pays around US$0.20/day or $10/month to charge her phone at her neighbor's house.

The Omondi's neighbor happens to have a home solar pack that he was able to acquire using a market scheme that became popular is rural and urban Africa and Asia called PAYG (Pay as you go). This payment mechanism helps consumers and also solar firms themselves by bypassing the traditional hurdle of consumers having to make large upfront investments for solar products. Using PAYG services, solar customers can purchase a solar home system (that comes with a battery, a charge controller, a solar panel, LED bulbs and a mobile charger) on credit and make small daily payments using mobile money at a lower price than using kerosene lamps.

After making successive payments towards their solar system for roughly a year, customers build creditworthiness and can purchase other more sophisticated products, such solar-powered televisions, energy-efficient cook stoves and smartphones on a similar payment scheme and according to their needs.

The last-mile-centric software and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions around the solar devices allows them to be remotely shut off, in case the customer stops paying the agreed installments. This allows for high flexibility for the customer in terms of payments but also ensures a high repayment likelihood;  and based on all the data gathered, the opportunity to access profound customer affordability predictions as well as logistics and stock management adopted to suit the requirements of the target markets.

Among the companies that have adopted the PAYG model, we can find M-KOPA, Pawame and one of IDDS' Kenya partners Green Light Planet. These companies are bringing their innovative distribution model at the bottom of the low income US$2 to US$10 per day segment.

Until multi-million dollar electrification and renewable energy projects are executed in the medium term, financing of off-grid solar home systems is a step toward broader financial inclusion for rural, unbanked consumers like the Omondi across Kenya. And with them Angela's generation to have access to more opportunities such as better quality care, more lit productive time; consequently, a better quality of life.

Stay tuned for the next story from the field!

IDDS Kenya 2018 will be held in Embu from July 8 to 23 with the aim to co create solutions to boost access to innovative financial products and services focused on rural populations. We encourage to follow our journey. We are also crowdfunding for selected participants with high potential that are unable to pay for their transportation and expenses during the summit. If you or anyone you know would like to contrtibute to the cause please click in in our StartSomeGood crowdfunding campaign


Driving new roads

This blog is part 3 of a 5 part series on what is financial inclusion and how is it informing the design of the curriculum for IDDS Kenya.

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Back in Nairobi, James Diya (26) is excited to be testing a new solution that could help him make his limited income more reliable. Living in Kibera, the world's largest slum with more that 1 million dwellers, James has been working as a matatu driver for the last 5 years, making a living of around US$ 10 to US$15/day.

Matatus, together with boda bodas (street motorcycles, right) are probably the only affordable means for the majority of people in Kenya to travel long and short distances. As a matter of fact, about 70% of the capital’s 1.3 million commuters use a matatu at some point every month for their commute because it is cheap and convenient. However, getting a ride on a matatu could also be onerous and time consuming from beginning to end as most of them wait for it to be completely full before leaving the stop/station. They can also be dangerous as they literally fight to beat traffic to the destination and back to the station in record time, as they pay daily rates to the van owner(s).

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Matatus are on average 14-seater privately owned minibuses that feature very impressive and colorful designs, multicoloured patterned ceilings, front view cameras and television screens that play music videos, reflecting the funkiness of the local culture. They also feature 2 main characters, a driver and tout (conductor). The conductor’s job is to fill up the van in record time by shouting its destination and the fare required for the trip. The driver’s job is to beat the traffic to the destination and back to the station in record time since day want to make most of the daily fees paid to the van owners.

Despite of the Kenyan government's measures to develop infrastructure projects from BRT (Bus rapid transit) to a light rail systems, matatus seem to be here to stay, at least in the short and medium run.

The convenience of matatus is usually offset by its unreliable service as  they often employ cutthroat measures such as fares that double or even triple when the weather turns rainy, breakneck speeds and driving in highway medians or across sidewalks to complete more trips, filling a bus with “poster passengers” to make it appear as though the bus is nearly full and thus about to depart and so on.

Without assurance of continued employment, benefits, regular salary, or daily earnings, drivers and conductors are also unprotected in many ways leaving them vulnerable to sudden and unexpected changes.

What some companies like Mobiticket and BuuPass have been doing in order to alleviate this situation is using a simple offline ­text-messaging mobile app, commuters can book seats, buy tickets via mobile devices and check the fares, schedules and real-time locations of buses. Users text a code to get information about bus type, fare and estimated time of arrival. They then text another code to buy a digital ticket, which they show to the bus conductor when boarding. For short distance, commuters can pay after they are inside the vehicle.

Additionally, drivers like James are also benefiting from joining Mobiticket as he can immediately gain access to a rapidly growing number of commuters. This will lead to a structured and more reliable and predictable income stream for his vehicle. Finally, through this platform, structured remuneration allows conductors and drivers a credit score allowing them to access loans from financial institutions. The bus crews also benefit from free health Insurance cover. The conductor and driver are automatically enrolled to the scheme free of charge.  

The bus owner from his side receives structured daily reports on how his vehicle is performing. Reports and statements can be generated at any time, and last but not least both crew and commuters earn bonus points when each use of the platform. Points can be redeemed for free rides, cash, airtime or fuel.

Stay tuned for the next story from the field!

IDDS Kenya 2018 will be held in Embu from July 8 to 23 with the aim to co create solutions to boost access to innovative financial products and services focused on rural populations. We encourage to follow our journey. We are also crowdfunding for selected participants with high potential that are unable to pay for their transportation and expenses during the summit. If you or anyone you know would like to contrtibute to the cause please click in in our StartSomeGood crowdfunding campaign

Planting the seeds to progress

This blog is part 2 of a 5 part series on what is financial inclusion and how is it informing the design of the curriculum for IDDS Kenya.

In Kitui (about 3h NE of Nairobi), the Ojukwus also rely on agriculture for their livelihood but on a larger scale. Michelle, a single mom with two kids lives with her extended family. She dedicatedly works her land but faces challenges due to her limited resources and access to financial tools which hinder her ability to scale.

Farmers are one of the world’s most vulnerable groups, often at the mercy of unpredictable weather events, with limited access to infrastructure or support and little in the way of financial tools to help them mitigate risk. Agricultural insurance reaches just 10% of smallholders worldwide (falling to 1% in Africa). One of the main barriers for access to agricultural loans and services is the lending decision is often based on ability to pay and not on the productive capacity of the land. Lack of information on credit history and the high cost of in-person land assessments can also make the barriers to risk taking on the MFIs side higher.

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However, a few solutions out there are trying to change the Ojukwus situation by using satellite imagery to inform credit assessment. With the use of algorithms, we are able to see details such as what crops are being planted and how much yield is produced on the field, and generally build a detailed and insightful picture of a farmer’s life. With the right data, the risk of crop failure can be assessed and the high costs of frequent visits to rural areas where farmers live can be eliminated.

This is the case of Apollo Agriculture that launched a combination of services to rural farmers in Kenya putting together a package of hybrid seeds, fertilizers, farming advice and insurance (in partnership with Pula) and all accessible via a mobile phone. In this sense Apollo not only identifies a farmer but also increases a farmer’s yield by supplying a package that ensures the farmer will be able to repay the loan and make more money.

The most interesting part about this set of solutions put together to help families like Ojukwus is the behavior change that comes. And this is beyond the outcomes of empowering farmers like Michelle to be in front of her strategic decision making process backed by insurance to increase her confidence to switch to higher-yielding but higher-risk crops. Without better risk management strategies, Michelle would not make those decisions. If the new crop fails, the consequences for the farmer and family could be pretty negative, no one would take that risk.  And with insurance and credit, farmers are not only able to look beyond low-yield crops, they also begin to form a credit history and move along their journey to full financial inclusion.

Stay tuned for the next story from the field!

IDDS kenya 2018 will be held in Embu from July 8 to 23 with the aim to co create solutions to boost access to innovative financial products and services focused on rural populations. We encourage to follow our journey. We are also crowdfunding for selected participants with high potential that are unable to pay for their transportation and expenses during the summit. If you or anyone you know would like to contrtibute to the cause please click in in our StartSomeGood crowdfunding campaign

So what is financial inclusion?

This blog is part 1 of a 5 part series on what is financial inclusion and how is it informing the design of the curriculum for IDDS Kenya.

By Alois Mbutura, Hamid Mehmood, Julio Lavalle, Krista Nordin and Mansi Kakkar


As we lead up to IDDS Financial Inclusion in Embu, Kenya this July, we wanted to bring you as an insider throughout our journey to tackle financial inclusion challenges in rural Kenya. At the core of our curriculum we have been able to develop a design summit model that will include design for financial inclusion, behavioral economics and venture development components that not only aim to build capacity but also to promote the co creation of solutions with the potential to carry on after the summit.

But before diving into the details on how we will tackle those challenges, let's understand what we mean by financial inclusion.

In order to do this we'd like to share with you a series of 4 short stories in the next few days. These stories from the field have the objective to showcase how financial inclusion in Kenya is allowing people to save for family needs, borrow to support a business, or build a cushion against an emergency. Having access to some type of financial services is a critical step towards both achieving universal financial inclusion and reducing poverty & inequality.

  1. Bringing the bank to the kitchen

 Cooking in open fire vs. cooking with an improved cookstove.

Cooking in open fire vs. cooking with an improved cookstove.

This first story is about the Mwangis. A family of four living in the outskirts of Machakos, around 1.5h of Nairobi. There, Mercy and James have two kids Yvonne (8) and Evans (9) and make a living from subsistence agriculture, selling their crops locally and making up to US$ 5/day.

A day in Mercy's routine entails waking up at around 5am to get kids ready to go to school and prepare a simple breakfast. The Mwangis rely on charcoal for cooking. As a matter of fact, a total 65% of households in Kenya use primitive fuels as the main source of cooking fuel (animal and agricultural waste, mostly firewood) a number that goes to up to 90% in rural settings, followed by 29% of transitional fuels, mostly charcoal. Only 6% of households use advanced fuels for cooking like electricity or LPG.

Cooking on open fires require huge amounts of charcoal aside from the negative consequences on health, the environment and also their finances. Effectively, charcoal expenses for rural families could rise to up to US$ 300/year, a significant portion of their annual income.

But early last year Mercy heard from one colleague at her local chama (the Swahili word for local savings groups where members contribute an agreed amount of money as little as 50 shillings or US$ 0.50 for a period of time with the aim of helping each other grow economically) about the benefits of improved cook stoves.

Altogether, improved cook stoves have demonstrated to promote from 40 to 50% efficiency in the use of charcoal. Despite all the benefits, they are still expensive. For families living on up to $5/day, a $40 to $70 cook stove is a luxury. Therefore, access to financing is a key factor in enabling target groups to purchase modern cooking energy.

BURN Kenya, together with local MFIs and savings groups, is doing this with its main product Jikokoa which comes from two Swahili words Jiko (stove) and Okoa (save). So Jikokoa literally means “the stove that saves”. In this way, they avoid up-front investment and facilitate payments of ~$0.20 per day over a 12 month period. Given that daily fuel expenditures will be reduced from $1.15 to 0.80 per day per day the stove is expected to effectively increase household income from day one.

After a year of using the Jikokoa stove, the Mwangis not only have saved household money in buying charcoal that could be invested in buying seed for their small parcel of land but are also taking advantage of the superior, more efficient combustion process that significantly improves the air quality within the home, thus helping to reduce respiratory disorders especially of women and children.

Stay tuned for the next story from the field!

IDDS kenya 2018 will be held in Embu from July 8 to 23 with the aim to co create solutions to boost access to innovative financial products and services focused on rural populations. We encourage to follow our journey. We are also crowdfunding for selected participants with high potential that are unable to pay for their transportation and expenses during the summit. If you or anyone you know would like to contrtibute to the cause please click in in our StartSomeGood crowdfunding campaign



Meet the Organizers!

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julio - Julio C Lavalle.jpg
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Krista Nordin - Co-lead OrganiZer (Toronto, Canada)

I spend my days researching and testing out applications on how alternative data can be leveraged to expand financial inclusion. Prior I worked at Oracle as a product manager.

Past IDDS: IDDS D'Kar 2015, IDDS Lahore 2016

Areas of Interest: Data, Product Design, Reading, Cooking, Sleeping, Hiking, Traveling

Fun Fact: I lived for a year on a sailboat with my family.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I am very excited to link my current area of work with the IDDS approach.

Roy Ombatti - Co-lead OrganiZer (Nairobi, Kenya)

I am currently the founder of AB3D, a hardware social enterprise based in Nairobi that aims at lowering the barriers of access to 3D printing technology. We do this by building the 3D printers locally, out of recycled electronic waste parts and other locally available materials. I have experience training youth around design thinking and hardware development in workshops all around the world.

Past IDDS: 2013, 2014, 2016 and other CCBs and workshops

Areas of Interest: Outdoors, hiking, sports and hardware.

Fun Fact: I used to be a rugby player until I broke my nose.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: To be inspired by the amazing things ideas that people will come up with.

Daniel Mokrauer-Madden - Projects Lead (Chicago, USA)

I am working as a Research Coordinator at Innovations for Poverty Action, Kenya. In the past, I worked as a secondary school teacher with Peace Corps Kenya, co-founded the Twende Social Innovation Center in Arusha, Tanzania, and worked on last mile distribution in Tanzania (with Global Cycle Solutions) and India (Essmart Global).

Past IDDS: I have participated in IDDS 2008 (MIT), IDDS 2010 (Colorado State University), IDDS 2011 (Ghana), IDDS 2013 (Zambia), IDDS 2014 (Tanzania), IDDS 2015 (Colombia - Zero Waste), IDDS 2016 (Lahore - ICT).

Areas of Interest: EVERYTHING, but mostly community engagement and headstands.

Fun Fact: I have spent time in 20 out of Kenya's 47 counties, 12 out of 31 Tanzanian regions, and 29 out of 50 US states.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I see a lot of products that are designed for the big cities in Kenya, but I want to make sure that we are also looking at the needs of towns and villages.

Julio Lavalle - Curriculum Lead (Originally Peru but live in Brazil)

Passionate about design for financial inclusion, founder of Poupa Certo, a mobile app focused to target under/unbanked users through a seamless, fun and user-friendly experience to create financial capability, healthy financial decision-making and access to financial services. I also collaborate with MGov Brazil contributing to the expansion of behavioral interventions targeting engagement of different stakeholders in public education, financial education, among others, mainly at the BoP, in partnership with private institutions.

Past IDDS: Brazil 2012, Zambia 2013, Tanzania 2014, Pakistan 2016

Areas of Interest: Behavioral economics, service design and predictive analysis. Nature and open air activities.

Fun Fact: I've tried for about 4 years to do headstands properly and have shamelessly failed.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: To bring and share my passions into a knowledge-promoting context, validate and learn new approaches, have fun and do all of these things with an amazing old and new group friends.

Mansi Kakkar - Co-Lead instructor (India)

Currently I am an instructor at Stanford's Pre-Collegiate Studies department and design and deliver courses all over the world.

Past IDDS: IDDS Sisaket

Areas of Interest: Regenerative Design | Grassroots Innovation | Youth & Women Empowerment | Innovation Ecosystems | Mindset Shifts

Fun Fact: I am a multi-book reader: meaning at one point of time I am reading upto 7-10 books.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I believe that innovation has to be bottom up. My heart thrives on people coming together to build for a better future for all.

Rohini Rau - participant experience coordinator (Chennai, INDIA)

I work as a Senior Resident Medical Officer at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai INDIA since 2015. I am a TED Fellow and Curator of the Chennai Hub - Globalshapers Community. I have worked as a health researcher in the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project in Angola. I have been a Design summit facilitator and mentor for MIT Dlabs and EWB in Ethiopia (WASH sector) and Madurai.

Past IDDS: IDDS Aarogyam 2015

Areas of Interest: Medicine, Sport- sailing, Hospital Clowning, User x design,

Fun Fact: I used to represent INDIA as a sailing Athlete and campaigned for the Olympics in 2012. I am an Asian Gold medalist, participated in 8 World Championships and have won many national titles.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: IDDS has changed the way I look at helping people in a way that it doesn't have to be one sided. Being the 'Participant Experience Coordinator' I am excited to meet and coordinate with all the participants who are from different countries and backgrounds. Also visiting a country like Kenya that is so diverse and deep rooted in its culture.

Hamid Mehmood - design facilitator (Lahore, Pakistan)

I am currently working as a Research Associate at ITU Fintech Center, Lahore, Pakistan. In the past, I worked with Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL) on different ICTD focused projects.

Past IDDS: IDDS 2017 (Sisaket, Thailand)

Areas of Interest: Human-Centered Design, ICTs for Development, HCI4D, Financial Technologies

Fun Fact: I love cooking and learning new recipes

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I am excited for the first Financial Inclusion focused IDDS.

Flora Kaai - design facilitator (Nairobi, Kenya)

I am a Mechanical Engineer able to leverage human-centered approaches to solve problems of people and business to create solutions for low income groups of people. Experienced in design of solar lanterns and clean cookstoves for the African BOP market. My previous role was at Philips where I was a Research Scientist in the R&D department. Currently I am working at the MakerSpace at ISK training students on robotics and design.

Past IDDS: CCB training in Embu

Areas of Interest: Design and innovation with regards to renewable energy for the African market.

Fun Fact: I play the guitar (poorly)

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: To improve my design skills and empower participants with design tools and help them apply these tools to develop meaningful and appropriate financial products and services needed by the Kenyan BOP market.

David Wanjagi - design facilitator (Nairobi, Kenya)

I have worked with a Cookstoves company as a Market researcher and Assistant Production Manager in Nairobi, Kenya. I have also been part of a travel startup in Nairobi, as a business developer. Currently I am a business person dealing with projectors and Projector Screens sales and hiring.

Past IDDS: IDDS Cookstoves in Uganda - 2016

Areas of Interest: Design Thinking in Customer Experience.

Fun Fact: I love cooking.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: Being the first in Kenya, am really excited to influence and engage my community now and in the future.

Claudine Chen - design facilitator (USA via Ireland)

I'm currently working as a software engineer. Previously I worked in climate policy and atmospheric science. I consider working on IDDS and design thinking as a highlight in my career.

Past IDDS: IDDS D'Kar 2016, IDDS Lahore 2017

Areas of Interest: I like to work locally on creating more human-centered urban spaces.

Fun Fact: My favorite way to tour an area is with a bicycle. I once cycled solo over 1000 km along the western coast of the USA.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I look forward to working within a nurturing and enabling environment, to learn from others, and to share what I know.

Alois Mbutura - transportation and procurement organizer (Nairobi, Kenya)

I work as the project engineer at EED advisory where we are working towards piloting internet of things solutions around water and climatic change. I also worked for a cryptocurrency firm while in university and was a junior school design and technology tutor before that.

Past IDDS: IDDS cookstoves

Areas of Interest: Technology. Capacity building. User oriented solutions

Fun Fact: I am usually a quiet, chill person.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: To build capacity in the local community and among the participants through collaborative design and create a lasting experience for the participants.

Peter Linu Ndiritu Mwangi - community liaison (Embu , Kenya)

I am a social entrepreneur working in the field of waste management, cotton development and technical vocational education training institute champion through developing enterprises in the technical schools   

Past IDDS: CCB training in Embu

Areas of Interest: Waste, Technical development, and CSR

Fun Fact: I am shy but fun to be with and i talk a lot so be warned.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: we are developing a waste project around take back with financial inclusion aspect  

Ebby Mutie - M&E coordinator (Nairobi, Kenya)


Past IDDS: CCB training in Embu

Areas of Interest: Process design and analysis

Fun Fact: I am an avid archer.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I would appreciate being involved in innovations that help build the communities.

S. Karl Heinz. T - workshop, tools and spaces coordinator (CAMEROON)

Karl is the founder and entrepreneur at Artisan Hive LTD, a product design and innovation company that uses human centered design principles to developing products, services and systems in developing countries for the last 4 year and growing.

Past IDDS: IDDS Zambia 2013, India 2015

Areas of Interest: Human center design & social entrepreneurship

Fun Fact: When i am not doing HCD, i am surely standing as a bass guitarist at a gig or at my local place of worship

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: Passionate about using Human centered design as a problem-solving methodology with a group of other driven change makers which is the core of IDDS.

Stella odiwuor - communications coordinator (Nairobi, Kenya)

I am a Student/Outreach Intern aiming at achieving global citizenship with Minerva Schools where I shall study in 7 different world cities including San Francisco, Buenos Aires and Seoul. I play the trombone in the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya and the Kenya Conservatoire Orchestra. I recently volunteered with PACEMaker International to teach primary school pupils.

Past IDDS: This will be my first.

Areas of Interest: Architecture and Design, Music, Education/EdTech, Environmental Sustainability, Travel/Tourism.

Fun Fact: I am known to give the best hugs ever!

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I aspire to make a difference in my community and will use whatever is within my reach, such as this summit, to have an impact.

Eric Wachira- community liaison (EMBU, Kenya)

I have a background in environmental science and financial sales and marketing. I have worked for a real estate firm called Dasips Ventures ltd. I also attended a mentorship program hosted by an environmental audit firm for 6 months. Currently am trying to break out on my own. I want to establish an environmental consultancy firm.

Past IDDS: CCB training in Embu.

Areas of Interest: Sustainable development, upcycling and environmental audits.

Fun Fact: I work best with loud music.

Motivations for IDDS Kenya: I want to make my contribution in my society.

Reflections from Embu Creative Capacity Building (CCB) Workshop - April 22 to 27

Finally the Embu CCB workshop ended on the 27th April 2018! We are so happy to have engaged 18 participants from the Embu County local community for 5 days of intense hands-on training. They got to learn a new way to approach the problems they face in their everyday life and how to develop solutions that they can proudly apply and continually improve on.

With 10 men and 8 women in the team, we had them engage each other on projects that they think would be of high benefit to them and their community. The projects they came up with included waste collection, irrigation systems, macadamia and nut shelling, managing agricultural labour, rain water harvesting, control of crop pests and diseases, reducing rain drainage and managing forests/ water reserves among others.

The participants, after extensive consultation with each other, agreed to work on the following four projects:

1.     Collection of waste: Addressing the problem of solid waste

2.     Inadequate levels of nutrients in organic fertilizer

3.     Affordable greenhouses

4.     Detecting seed quality

Having farmers, a deputy head teacher, students and a military retiree among the participants, there were four teams created to work on each project according to their interest. Their diverse experience made the teams really think of diverse ideas to have a suitable solution within the 5 days. By the end of the 4th day, we had a machine created to shred plastic for the collection of waste project, a greenhouse made of plastic posts from melted waste plastic for the affordable greenhouses project, a method of mixing organic fertilizer from kitchen waste for the organic fertilizer project and a way to relay information to the farmers about quality seeds which is readily available.

At the end of the five days, the participants were really charged to continue with their individual projects and also pass-on the design skills that they have gained from the CCB workshop to other community members.

We hope to continue engaging some of the community members during the IDDS Kenya – Financial Inclusion happening in July. It’s going to be a really exciting and engaging time with the local community for the coming months! 

- David Wanjagi, Communities Coordinator, IDDS Kenya

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IDDS Kenya 2018 Participants Selected!

We want to give a big congratulations to all the participants who have been selected to participate in IDDS Kenya this summer!

We received over 120 applications from a wide variety of incredibly talented individuals. A big thank you goes out to all the reviewers who ensured each applicant was carefully considered, and to all the applicants who took the time to craft wonderful applications!

In addition to the participants listed below we will also be selecting eight individuals from Embu, where we will be based for the summit.

Here is the participant list:

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Here are some fun facts about the participants!

Where are they from?

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How old are they?

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What do they do?

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The organizing team is very excited to work and learn with all of you!

- Krista Nordin, Co-lead Organiser, IDDS Kenya

A note from Co-Lead Organiser - Roy Ombatti

I first heard of IDDS in 2012 while at the Fablab here in Nairobi. I was a student at the time looking for opportunities that leveraged engineering for impact and development. That year, the summit was happening in Brazil but unfortunately, I did not manage to apply. However, come 2013, I managed to secure a spot at the summit in Zambia and thus my IDDS journey began.

The summit was amazing! A truly life-changing experience. I particularly loved building things together with the people facing the challenges and connecting with people from different corners of the world at such deep levels. During some of our deeper moments, my fellow Kenyans and I often wondered why the summit had never been in Kenya despite having been in Africa for a few years already. We believe Kenya is ideal for hosting the summit given it is hotbed of tech innovation and solutions that have helped earn Kenya the title 'Silicon Savannah'. Collectively, we took it upon ourselves to make the dream of an IDDS Kenya summit a reality.

Similar to the participant application process, each IDIN country chapter planning to host a summit now had to submit an application to host a summit. Funny story is that the Kenyan chapter applied to host summit each year since but somehow we were never successful. That is, until last year. I guess it's true when they say third time's a charm! Because here we are and IDDS is finally coming to Kenya. To Embu to be precise. And the theme is Financial Inclusion. So here's to an amazing summit! May this summit be to the participants as life-changing and exciting as it my first one was for me.

- Roy Ombatti, Co-lead Organiser, IDDS Kenya