How do we Discover?
Innovation begins with understanding. Innovators solving problems in their own countries have a tremendous amount of critical information readily available. They already understand the culture, the way things are done, the infrastructure, the economy, the supply of local labor, local materials etc. They often have direct experience with the problem being addressed and are surrounded by people who can provide insight and feedback through the process. Innovators draw on all of this knowledge to develop an effective solution. Now, imagine losing all that information but still being asked to create a relevant, effective solution. It would be really hard! So the first step in the BeLocal Process is to offer up a rich data set to bridge the distance between local challenges and global innovators. The internet allows us to provide a crowd of remote innovators a virtual understanding of the local culture and context of those they hope to help, without the time and expense of travel.
The Discover step begins with local photos, videos, observations and interviews about all aspects of village life. We capture a wide range of information on culture, food production, transportation, housing, healthcare, environment and more. This information is annotated for additional context and searchability. This primary data is supplemented with public information. All of this data is centrally stored and organized to be easily accessible from the web site during all steps of the BeLocal Process.
The Discover process requires a high degree of trust with local communities so that villagers will open up about their personal challenges and begin to engage themselves in the process of solving them. This trust is achieved by working with NGO’s that are already deeply connected to the local villages they work with. The initial BeLocal effort is in partnership with Dr Pat Wright and the Centre Val Bio research station in Madagascar. Dr. Wright has worked in Madagascar for over 30 years. Through her work with lemurs, she has made tremendous contributions to conservation. At the same time, she has built deep trusting relationships with the 60 villages on Madagascar where the initial BeLocal Process efforts are taking place.