Play #9: The Marketplace of Ideas

When you have a novel idea for using technology, convene a marketplace of tech innovators and experts in the problem and enrol them in framing the problem and concept.

Asad Rahman
Feb 14, 2019 · 3 min read

The Pilot: Smart Contraceptive Vending Machines in Kenya & Malawi

If we introduce smart contraceptive vending machines in areas where vulnerable adolescent girls’ needs are going unmet, then we can provide consistent, discreet access to contraception.

Use this play to answer our challenge around supply chains: where the supply chain infrastructure is not good enough to support the tech operating at scale

This play is part of our Frontier Technology Playbook: Plays by DfID Pioneers to Overcome Development Challenges. Click here to read the other plays and an introduction to the Playbook.

The Pioneers: The Frontier Tech Hub

If you have an idea for how tech can help you better solve a development problem, it can be difficult to know where to start without being an ‘intelligent customer’ in all of the technologies you might need to use.

Instead, make your idea and all the assumptions you are making, public (we use Google Slides) and invite people to a marketplace of ideas. Invite them to help frame your problem, map user personas, identify the most critical assumption, and explore what skills you need to pull it off.

We had 40 people from 4 continents join in person and online (we use Zoom). A combination of healthcare, IoT and logistics experts helped us develop the idea and explore assumptions around tech, user and business model. One of the attendees, an IoT startup founder referred to the event through a connection, later came on board as our technology partner.

The Practice

  1. Make it two hours or less. People are naturally curious about tech to solve development challenges, so make it easy for them to take part
  2. Host it in person, but make it online to have as diverse a group as possible. Have the link to join online, as well as the presentation, in one place (we use Medium blogs)
  3. Make space for everyone to contribute — use breakout groups and facilitated exercises rather than unstructured discussion

Get in touch…

Drop asad@hellobrink.co a line to find out more!

Frontier Technologies Hub

Working with the UK Dept. for International Development to apply frontier technologies to the biggest challenges in development.

Asad Rahman

Written by

Applying tech and innovation to international development with UKAid. Follow us here: https://medium.com/frontier-technology-livestreaming

Frontier Technologies Hub

Working with the UK Dept. for International Development to apply frontier technologies to the biggest challenges in development.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade