Lafarge image
02.17 2015

Lafarge’s affordable housing

More than half of the world population does not live in decent housing. How can Lafarge, which traditionally addresses key accounts, find a growth opportunity there?

Simply by an approach of innovation by the usages. Lafarge noted that millions of people around the world are working and are solvent, but live in houses (in hard) that they do not own. And therefore they do not renovate them, since without a property title they do not have access to credit. Lafarge's teams therefore built their affordable housing solutions in 2010.

What is it exactly? Buckets of retarded ready-mix concrete, designed for individuals and to be delivered by rickshaw directly at the heart of Indian slums, inaccessible to concrete mixers. Earth-cement, a new cement that mixes with raw earth to make an ecological adobe and avoids the cooking, responsible of the deforestation. Or programs of microfinance to sustain the afforable housing.

Lafarge has therefore built a new business model that creates value by the usages for the residents of favelas and slums, and economic value for the corporation.

Photo (c) Lafarge

published on 02/17/2015 at 5:12 pm
#business model #cities #city #favela #housing #India #microfinance #slum #social innovation #sustainable housing #urban planning
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02.03 2015

Participative urban planning in the slums

Mumbai, the city of Bollywood and of its famous movie stars. But it's also the city where more than 60% of the population lives in slums. Traditionally, municipalities destroy them and relocate their inhabitants in new structures. Even if that ruins the existing social bonds and the economy in these areas.

The urban planners from Urbz intend to give the people a voice on the future of their home and on the rebuilding of their neighborhood. And of course, when you put the users at the heart of the discussions, you discover that they do not over invest in the rehabilitation of their homes simply because they fear to be dislodged at any time. When Urbz launches its Homegrown Cities project, they invite the inhabitants to a participative urban upgrading approach. And it works! Pilot experiments, new infrastructures of urban development: hand in hand, residents, architects and entrepreneurs invent their city of tomorrow.

Photo: Urbz

published on 02/03/2015 at 11:55 am
#cities #city #housing #India #innovation sociale #social innovation #urban planning
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04.25 2014

Village Telco meshes rural areas with ‘digital potatoes’

When Steve Song observed that the poorest do not have access to the Internet or mobile phone, he invented the "Mesh Potatoes." His social enterprise, Village Telco, sets up local wifi networks in rural areas... where traditional operators do not venture. The 'mesh potatoes' rely on an open source device sold 40 dollars since June 2013. Its beauty is that each potato extends the network to other neighboring uncovered areas.
The "Mesh Potatoes" have grown in their homeland in South Africa, then in Nigeria, Brazil, Colombia and Puerto Rico.
An inspiring example of creative vitality and collective power!

Photo : (c) Village Telco

published on 04/25/2014 at 5:09 pm
#Africa #social innovation
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03.28 2014

Mobile against infant mortality

Benign diseases account for more than 50% of the causes of death among young children in Africa. In Mali, 1 in 5 children dies before age the age of 5. Yet these deaths could easily be prevented if these simple diseases were detected early enough.

The international NGO Pesinet innovates and develops the health system in Mali with amazing results. Its approach is based on a technological facility, the mobile phone, and an ethnographic field observation: if the symptoms are not detected early enough, it is because children do not have access to health centers. Pesinet has therefore invented a new ecosystem of care pathways that calls children with symptoms of childhood illnesses in the dispensaries.

How do they work? Pesinet created a new job, the health care field agent, who visits the families and transmits simple health data to the dispensary physicians, via their mobile phone. Medical teams then detect potential risks in these children. Then they simply have to call them for a medical examination. 93% of the notifications to come to the dispensaries reveal a disease that can be treated well in time.

(c) Photo Pesinet

published on 03/28/2014 at 4:06 pm
#Africa #Afrique #Health #innovation sociale #Mobile #Santé #social innovation
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