With advice and guidance from Scene Community based on their experiences working with solar waste and repair through Urjaa Samadhan in India, the Solar waste team designed the “Collect and Swap” system. The system would allow agents to collect broken solar lanterns in rural areas of India, provide their owners with a replacement lantern and consolidate the broken lanterns for repair. Its design reflected an understanding of the context and the actors – the distributed nature of broken equipment, a tradition of trust built on personal relationships, the need for economies of scale in repair and the ability of digital tools to facilitate connections – and received positive feedback from Scene in terms of giving them ideas to address the challenges in their business model.
Participants on the team came from a mix of design, business and social science backgrounds and studies. They found the tools and methods provided by MediaLAB helpful for working through the challenges and felt that they could use them to inform their work in other contexts. They also appreciated the opportunity to design a specific solution to a real-life problem and to work through the details of what is required to move from an idea to an actionable intervention.
Atishay explains the Collect and Swap solar lantern repair solution