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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Management > Green Economy

Human-Powered Opportunity is Design for the Other 90%

Rethinking poverty. Using design to solve problems caused by poverty.

Find green business solutions
It's hard to fathom that 90% of the world's human population are poor.

"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

IN THE UNITED STATES, APPROXIMATELY 3.5 MILLION PEOPLE EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS EACH YEAR. (URBAN INSTITUTE)

ALMOST HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION, OR 2.8 BILLION PEOPLE, LIVE ON LESS THAN $2 A DAY. ONE IN SIX PEOPLE AROUND WORLD, OR ABOUT 1.1 BILLION, BARELY EXIST ON LESS THAN $1 A DAY. (WORLD BANK)

SEVENTY PERCENT OF PEOPLE IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD HAVE NO ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY IN THEIR HOMES, HEALTH CLINICS, OR SCHOOLS. (SOLAR ELECTRIC LIGHT FUND)

MORE THAN ONE BILLION PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER. (American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene)

EIGHT HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ARE ILLITERATE. OF THAT NUMBER, TWO-THIRDS ARE WOMEN. (UNICEF)

Design to meet the needs of our cousins around the world is needed in all facets of survival:
  • Shelter
  • Health
  • Water
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Transport

Encompassing a broad set of modern social and economic concerns, these design innovations often support responsible, sustainable economic policy.

These designers...

  • help, rather than exploit, poorer economies;
  • minimize environmental impact;
  • increase social inclusion;
  • improve healthcare at all levels; and
  • advance the quality and accessibility of education.
These designers’ voices are passionate, and their points of view range widely on how best to address these important issues. Each object on display tells a story, and provides a window through which we can observe this expanding field.

Design for the Other 90% demonstrates how design can be a dynamic force in saving and transforming lives, at home and around the world.

Understand How to Work with Poor People

  • New business ideas are needed
  • They need tools and equipment to help them make money for a cash economy.
  • A 3-6 month ROI
  • Customers are other poor people.

This panel discussion highlights the growing trend in design to create affordable and socially responsible objects for the vast majority of the world’s population (90%) not traditionally serviced by designers.

KickStart: The Tools to End Poverty

In1998 she bought an KickStart oilseed press to start a new business. ... new jobs and wealth, enabling the poor to climb out of their poverty forever. www.kickstart.org

The marketing system used by Kickstart for local, sustainable business development includes developing the private supply chain:

  • Live demos
  • Build Brand (slogan with KEY benefit)
  • Advertising (radio, newspaper, billboards)
  • Promotions
  • Commissioned Salesmen
  • Credit



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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