Design prototypes for Nairobi, Kenya

In 2014, Ericsson and UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) entered a three-year partnership with the intention to collaborate around Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and sustainable urbanization.

One of the first explorations was driven by the Ericsson User Experience Lab in collaboration with their colleagues at Sustainability Research and UN-Habitat. The intention and scope was to develop 3-5 tangible concepts to frame discussions about the relation between future mobile networksand the urban context with a particular focus on Nairobi, Kenya.

The initial research phase and extensive ideation led up to 21 concept ideas – together covering many of the specific challenges as well as general opportunities identified for Nairobi.

Based on a highly qualitative evaluation against defined criteria (prosperity driving potential and future mobile network relevance being two of them), a set of four concepts was selected for further development. These four were Kilimo – collective urban agriculture, mCooPesa – collaborative consumption, JobSwap – finding work close to home, and Citizen Field Engineer – crowdsourced maintenance of connected public infrastructures.