How do we Innovate?
The BeLocal web platform enables creative minds from all over the world to collaborate in solving developing world problems. This diversity of ideas will drive innovations that make a difference as long as they are focused on local problems defined from local data. The key in this step of the process is to make sure the innovations truly serve local needs by specifically addressing the identified problems in a way that will be adopted by local users and can be maintained locally.
To meet local needs, innovations have to work primarily with local materials and processes as well as local budgets. This emphasis on local resources is critical for empowering villagers to take ownership of the innovations, enabling local production, maintenance and future improvements. In addition, innovations need to be environmentally sustainable in the resources they use and in their environmental effects. These constraints are all critical to creating solutions that really make a long term difference.
The final result of the Innovation step is a solution ready to be piloted on-site in the developing world, with information on the materials required, assembly instructions, operating methodology, performance estimates and maintenance requirements. Additionally, innovations must be validated through prototype testing before being tested locally.