Human centred design thinking underlies African Ideas philosophy of finding African Solutions for African problems. Embracing human-centered design means believing that all problems even the seemingly intractable ones like poverty, gender equality, and clean water, are solvable. Moreover, it means believing that the people who face those problems every day are the ones who hold the key to their answer. Human-centered design offers problem solvers of a chance to design with communities, to deeply understand the people they’re looking to serve, to dream up scores of ideas, and to create innovative new solutions rooted in people’s actual needs.
A core focus of African Ideas work is the evolution towards smart cities and intelligent infrastructure. We also focus on the data and information that is being generated by citizens, and how citizens are are building their own powerful platforms - generating some data, taking other data from multiple places, mashing this together, analysing this and drawing conclusions - without government or big business. And now this connected technology is entering the home.
Big data is very important, and is going to be very valuable. Big data is often referred to as the “new oil” or the “Oil of the internet age”. And this is potentially a very valuable analogy. And yet it is precisely this “new oil” analogy and slides such as this one that concern civic activists.
The Western Cape economy is moving from one based principally around the production and distribution of physical goods to one driven primarily by the production and application of knowledge. The creation and nurturing of a knowledge-based society is essential to maintaining and enhancing the Western Cape’s international competitiveness. In highly competitive regions in the global environment, high speed access to the internet for businesses and residents is available almost anywhere and at any time – providing the ideal enabling environment for the growth within commerce, industries, SMMEs and entrepreneurship, stimulating innovation and the enablement of the growth of other economic sectors by communication technologies.