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Approach | Rural Spark.

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The only way to get true insights in how to transform society, is by actually doing it
Rural Spark uses an agile design process to be able to move quickly from vision to context.
Developing new energy networks in India requires modern technological knowledge which is
mostly found in western countries. At the same time, an enormous challenge lies with entering
the market. Entering the (informal) markets at the base of the pyramid requires new ways of
designing products and business models. Because of the enormous cultural differences, these
products and business models cannot be designed outside the context.
Rural Spark uses an unique agile design and development approach where rapid prototypes are
implemented in the context, already involving all stakeholders. This approach allows for direct
feedback from the actual context with all stakeholders present. In line with the famous line by
Henry Ford If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses, Rural
Spark goes beyond co-design.
Our vision of new sustainable energy and information networks requires behaviour change in the
villages, we take designing for these behavioural changes very serious and developed a first
person perspective on designing for systems approach. In this approach we take the design
goal (the needed behaviour change to realise the intended impact) as a personal goal. Through
quick and low-fidelity prototypes we try out our ideas in the field and only decide to scale if the
products prove to lead to the intended impact.

Apart from our high personal commitment, in the field we dont approach people as participants
of a user research or prototype research, we approach them as real customers. This leads to
true feedback from the customers, they dont give the answers they think we expect, they
behave as value-consious consumers. The first person perspective leads to innovations driven
by the impact they have and the customer approach ensures realistic feedback. Rural Spark
only develops products and services really wanted and used in the actual context, based on new



Approach | Rural Spark.

technological developments. This is why an agile design process, with short feedback cycles
from R&D till implementation in the field, is chosen to approach this nonnative market at the
Base of the Pyramid.

Our approach in Dutch (2013):


Our approach in English (2012):


Read more about our approach in the paper we published on this method: Tomico, O.;
Winthagen, V.O.; & van Heist, M.M.G. (2012). Designing for, with or within: 1st, 2nd and 3rd
person points of view on designing for systems, NordiCHI 12, October 14-17, 2012
Copenhagen, Denmark..
See how local systems emerge, reaching the goal through social design.

4 Trackbacks
By Transforming energy networks in Europa what can we learn from Rural Spark according to Michiel,

Eneco | Rural Spark. 17 Sep 13 at 17:48

By Yasmin, concept-developer for social transition | Rural Spark. 17 Sep 13 at 18:43
By Hidden Design | Rural Spark. 3 Nov 13 at 22:58
By Netherlands India Business Meet 2013 | Rural Spark. 17 Jan 14 at 05:40

2011 Rural Spark. Terms and Conditions.



Approach | Rural Spark.