Solar Learning and Design Thinking in Nairobi

We at solar learning e.V. are happy to develop a product around solar energy for the people in Nairobi together with “Nyendo globales Lernen”. Since April 2020 we have been meeting regularly in online sessions with people from Nairobi. Together we are creative and research and develop new ideas.  To best meet the real needs of the communities, we follow the method of Design Thinking. The advisory board of Nyendo, Esin Bozyazi, Professor for Entrepreneurship, accompanies us in this process.

The method of Design Thinking enables us to understand the future users and their needs and to develop customized solutions together with them. We first “put ourselves in their shoes”. In other words, we tried to understand the various participants affected by the product and their problems. The team in Nairobi conducted interviews with teachers, housewives, workers, etc. who mainly live in the slums around Nairobi. Most of them showed great interest in solar energy. Some showed motivation to learn how solar technology works and how they can use it to generate their own energy.

Next, we have defined two typical users:

– Wanjiku, Mother of two children; sells shoes at the market
– Namelok, a young Massai woman; she is responsible for a herd of animals in the Massai community

We have developed several ideas for products that could meet the needs of our two users, afterwards we built some prototypes.

Examples for Prototypes

A small tower that generates energy from wind and sun with a built-in portable lamp.

A “power hub” that uses wind and solar energy to generate electricity. The energy could be sold there via charged lamps and power banks

Also a “Solar Center” was presented. This is a place where solar energy is produced and distributed within the community. There you can learn in workshops how solar energy works and build your own systems. It is also a workshop where tools can be used to repair and build.

We are currently in the business modeling phase. This means that we are in the process of developing a method that should enable the selected prototype – the Solar Center – to be profitable for the local community.

Do you want to support us?

For example, financially to pay the internet fees of our friends in Nairobi so that they can continue to participate in the webinars. Or in terms of content: here, among other things, the presentation of the organizational structure in the form of pictures is an important factor. Maybe you are also interested in the development of apps for understanding solar systems?

We are looking forward to your participation!

If you want to support our project or learn more about it, please contact the team of solar learning e.V.!