This applies to every aspect of community development. Whether creating a product or opening a school, the goal should be to pass on the necessary knowledge and skills needed to become self sufficient. Social innovators do not work to make people dependent on people/organizations/etc. they work to empower. This leads to....
- Provide skills, not just finished technologies. The current revolution in design for developing countries is the notion
of co-creation, of teaching the skills necessary to create the solution,
rather than simply providing the solution. By involving the community
throughout the design process, you can help equip people to innovate
and contribute to the evolution of the product. Furthermore, they
acquire the skills needed to create solutions to a much wider variety
of problems. They are empowered.to
; provide financial motivation for continued growth over time. Empower people by improving their economic or social status.
This reminded me of my first Evoke post. When you design technologies and solutions for others, make them transparent and easy to understand - and easy to modify. This allows people to adapt the solutions to their personal and local needs, and make the solutions better than you imagined. People can take ownership of the tools.