project partners videos links blog
results photos lessons contact block



Microsoft Research

The objective of the Digital Inclusion Initiative is to encourage and provide support for deep academic research that strives to achieve breakthroughs in the state of the art of key enabling technologies to address several key concerns in bridging the ‘digital divide’. Microsoft Research selected 17 proposals (including this one) placing emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to the addressed issues. Project recipients were supported with awards totaling $1,200,000.

Design for Sustainability - Delft University of Technology

The challenge of DfS is to generate knowledge supporting the innovation and design engineering of complex products and product service-systems with superior sustainability characteristics, in close connection with the dynamics of systems of living, traveling, working and making optimal use of networking and entrepreneurship as success factors for implementation. The proposed design solutions should be globally significant i.e. fit the 'bottom-of-the-pyramid' challenge as much as possible. In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the DfS research program developed the Ecodesign approach for the United Nations.

Kiva is an innovative concept that connects individual entrepreneurs in developing countries, through a direct peer to peer network online, with sponsors in Western countries that fund their business development proposals. In this way individual lenders directly sponsor personal businesses and in return they receive direct feed-back regarding the development of the enterprise. This money lending system is the first and only option to provide loans to a unique micro enterprise directly through P2P.


Jan Carel Diehl

J.C.'s research is dedicated to sustainable product innovation in emerging economies taking into consideration the specific local economical, social and cultural context of the technology/product user. His experience in sustainable product innovation in emerging economies varies from working with multinational corporations like Philips, Whirlpool and Bosch-Siemens, to academic institutions like the IIT and NID (India), UDSM (Tanzania), MUK (Uganda) and Landivar (Guatemala), Externado and Los Andes (Colombia), to working with rural communities. He is advisor of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and co-author of the UNEP Design for Sustainability manual for Emerging Economies (D4S EE).

Cale Thompson

Cale has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design and is currently involved in the Industrial Ecology Masters degree program at the TUDelft. With several years of professional design experience his professional interests have become very focused on creating solutions for the developing world. His most recent research project was looking into developing markets for Sony Ericsson.

Jon Rodriguez

Jon has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design and Master in Industrial Design Engineering by Delft University of Technology. He has practical experience in product innovation for Bosch- Siemens Home Appliances Group and he is co-founder of a consultancy on sustainable design. Lately he has been involved with Philips Design developing tools for product innovation for emerging markets.