Recently, some of us at Quicksand have been doing research in the forests of South India, to learn and understand more about conservation in India. As design researchers, we are deeply interested in the challenges of human-animal conflict and are looking for ways to contribute towards better understanding the conflict and exploring ideas to reduce its incidence and impact on people and elephants.

As part of that, we’ve been collaborating with some amazing people (researchers, designers, creators and storytellers) who are exploring this topic

Nishant Srinivasaiah, is an elephant biologist, whose work has been focused on some aspects of the human-elephant conflict, which is quite widespread in South India. We have been fortunate to have gone on a few drives with him into the forest, where we were able to spot a number of wild elephants. …

Over the past three years, for one reason or the other, some of us at Quicksand have been spending time and engaging with communities and environments in rural South India and in particular rural Karnataka. …

A Human-centred Approach to Technology-led Financial Inclusion


BTPN, one of Indonesia’s major banks, has a wide portfolio of products and services targeting a diverse set of audiences. BTPN’s business began with a focus on pension services and over its 58 year history, it has specialised in providing pension and other services to low income segments. This has included efforts to empower small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with micro loans and other offerings designed specially for small businesses. Recently, BTPN’s business has expanded beyond this scope to include other markets and income segments and now includes products designed for urban audiences and high net-worth individuals.

However, even with expanding scope, BTPN has been able to retain a nuanced understanding of the needs of Indonesians with relatively lower incomes living in rural and semi-rural areas. BTPN WOW, a branchless banking product is aimed at this target group and seeks to include large unbanked populations across Indonesia in the financial mainstream. It delivers banking services through an agent network and a mobile platform. The WOW network includes over 150,000 agents, one of the largest networks of financial agent in the world providing services to a customer base of close to 3.4 million customers. …

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