Hi, I'm Madhu Viswanathan from the College of Business at the University of Illinois. I have to tell you that I'm not an expert on agriculture, nor am I an expert of post-harvest loss. But as you will see, my work on subsistence marketplaces has a lot of relevance for designing solutions. If you are designing a post-harvest solution for an advanced farmer, you know what an advanced farm looks like. You know where your solution is going to fit. You know what infrastructure is available to the farmer. You know what institutional mechanisms are available to the farmer and you can design. People living in poverty don't share infrastructure to the degree we do. They don't share knowledge and don't have access to technology where they can share knowledge the way we do. They don't share the institutional mechanisms, so each context becomes different as well and that is what you're designing for. Sometimes you don't know how your solution is going to be used. You cannot anticipate, and nor can the farmer anticipate, how the solution is going to be used. You may think you've created something to prevent post-harvest loss. It may be used to store luggage or something else, just as an example. This is what I want to emphasize, understand the broader life circumstances. The process we go through starts with virtual immersion and we have created a lot of different ways to do this. From a poverty simulation, to day in the life videos, to interviews, to even a movie and so on. Our idea is to sensitize designers, sensitize managers, students, social entrepreneurs, and so on, to the conditions for which they want to design the solution, without really being there. That's the first step, and virtual immersion takes people from sympathy to informed empathy. Next, we have emersion, where we stop and say, what are the new principles we learned? Our principles of design and engineering, and business have been developed in resource-rich settings. But now that we go to this radically different context, how good are our concepts and what are some new concepts that we need? Emersion is like submerging in water and reemerging and trying to figure out what new insights we have. Then we generate ideas and evaluate them before we ever go to the field. This is a way to be very efficient and then we have our actual immersion which is carried out by my team on the ground. Once again, a bottom up enterprise, where it's about 13 people who work for me and myself. Essentially, all 13 of them grew up in poverty and today, some of them have moved to lower middle class and so on. So this is a truly bottom up enterprise. We have a core team and then we have field coordinators who are from the communities where they work. Actual emersion is something where people can observe a variety of different things. We have interdisciplinary student teams who go on this emersions and they see what a hut looks like, they see a farmer transplanting seeds and so on. They really get the full range and come back and say things were really transformational. They often describe our experiences as being life changing. And then I wonder, why is it life changing? I think it's life changing for two reasons. One, to see for yourself, and then to hear the stories about the farmers and others that you will meet. But it also gives you a chance to understand the broader context. In marketing, we say understand the consumer. In subsistence marketplaces, it's not enough to understand the consumer. You have to understand the consumer, you have to understand the community, and you have to understand the larger context. So it's much more intricate than that. What I'm talking about is more than even empathic design. In empathic design, you want to empathize with the customer. Here, I'm talking about not just understanding the customer, but the community and the larger context. It's not a customer with a lot of resources and assumed infrastructure who's using your product in isolation with all these different aspects. It's a customer living in a community with social relationships, electrification but no electricity, maybe. And so many other things that you have to understand so your product fits within this entire milieu and it has to fit well. And you have to find a way to implement your solution, as well. When people come back from international emersion, we have a reflection phase, where they try to regroup and try to understand what was new here, and so on. Then they move on to more focused concept generation, and so on. There are a number of issues in designing solutions. You have to understand subsistence marketplaces and we talked about virtual immersion, actual emersion, understanding life circumstances and envisioning needs. We have to think about identifying critical product needs, which are both basic and aspirational. It's not just basic needs. If you have a unique high tech post-harvest loss solution that serves needs then people may aspire to it and they may be leaders in taking it out and showing how it is done, as well. There are aspirational needs, as well. You have to design products for harsh usage. You have to assume your product will be misused. You have to almost user proof your product, you have to design it for low literacy, for local sustainability, without assuming that there is a constant supply of energy. You have to assume it'll be used for multiple purposes, sometimes for cost purposes and you have to figure out a way to customize it at the point of purchase. It's a one-on-one interactional world and people will be looking to customize for their needs. Finally, in terms of product development, you have the leverage infrastructure is there. You have the leapfrog gaps in infrastructure sometimes, similar to the way cell phones have leapfrogged the need for landlines. You have to develop a product relevant to infrastructure. People are deprived on multiple fronts, not just on the fact that they don't have a post-harvest loss solution. They're deprived on education, as well. You have to think about ways in which you can enhance your solution in areas where they are deprived and you have to think about adding onto existing products for critical needs. When you think about your solution, think about betterment of life circumstances, which means understanding life circumstances, and thinking of multifaceted product offerings that improve welfare. When you think about relationships, think about the human dimension. It's blurred with the economic, which means, are you going to be fair, can I trust you? Which means you have to think about emphasizing individual and community welfare. And when you think about markets, think about negotiating the social milieu, which means working with very diverse groups where social good is a common denominator. This is the way that you can bring in that farmer I mentioned to you who is also a community leader and you can get buy in from him and from the community, as well. Companies, social enterprises do good and they have to do well as well in order to survive and they do good through their products, sometimes through CSR and so on. But in a subsistence context, where products are blurred with betterment of life circumstances, relationships are blurred with the human dimension, and markets are blurred with the social milieu, it is so important to understand doing good as it relates to your product in order to do well. I would push the argument to the point of saying, it may be essential for you to do good as it relates to your solution in order to do well. I'm not saying you have to be a charitable organization but I am saying, you need to understand good for the individual and the community in much deeper ways and incorporate it into your business processes as it relates to your offer. Some of the takeaways I would say are to identify an urgent need that you're passionate about, that you have the expertise in. Ask whether the needs are worth serving, can the needs be served, are they being served? Design a unique and effective solution, not a me too solution. There are many post-harvest solutions and so design a unique solution. Then I would say, you have to deploy the appropriate technology to get it to reach people and then you have to double up the enterprise model. Which is basically asking the question, why should anybody do what you think they should do or want them to do? That is the enterprise model. In my view, it is the hardest. You can have the best possible post-harvest prevention technologies but the enterprise model is a different story. How do you make it work? How do you implement it? That's the key piece and how do you sustain it? The business case for subsistence marketplaces starts with moving in stage one from sympathy to informed empathy. That's what virtual immersion does, which means that you move from a natural human emotion to connecting the dots as well by asking tough questions. This is not about purely sympathy, you must ask tough questions to get to the bottom of it, including how poor somebody is and that is informed empathy. Secondly, the next stage is about using understanding to design solutions for subsistence but there is a third part where the solutions you design for subsistence may be useful in advanced economies as well, so that is something to keep in mind. The social enterprise case is very similar, in terms of sympathy to informed empathy using understanding to help people. But thirdly, and I've experienced this myself, realizing that the most enriched person is often the person who is running the social enterprise and trying to help people. In the end, it has helped me the most in developing myself as a human being and enhancing my capacity to interact with so many different people. Whether it's a 50 year old Masai woman who never went to the marketplace until she was 45 years old, or it is a community leader in Mexico, or group of woman in South India who take me through all the things that have happened in their lives. This is really an amazing gift that we get from serving people in substance marketplaces.