The Living Lab of the University of Nairobi (UoN) organized and conducted a Design thinking (DT) workshop at the School of the Arts and Design, ADD building. The workshop titled “Product-service-systems for sustainable energy technologies in informal settlements” was facilitated by Christer Anditi, the project lead at the Living Lab. The workshop is part of a larger CO-DEC case study in Kenya led Dr. Ambole.
The six-hour DT workshop, held on the 15th of September 2017, engaged various stakeholders in in a creative brainstorming session that was aimed at generating ideas for sustainable energy provision in Mathare settlement. The earlier baseline study by the Living lab in Mathare revealed that Mathare households are ‘energy poor’ meaning that they have an inadequate supply of energy services required for cooking, heating and lighting; or they are using energy sources that lead to poor health outcomes mainly through indoor air pollutants from charcoal burning. As such, the energy-health nexus in the settlement is a complex challenge that must be tackled using a transdisciplinary approach that engages diverse stakeholders, including the very householders who face this challenge on a daily basis.
The stakeholders at the workshop therefore included three Mathare household owners, four Mathare community leaders, and four Mathare energy providers. Other stakeholders were: two officials from the National ministry of energy as well as two officials from the Nairobi county offices in charge of public health in Mathare. An environmental expert was also a participant in the workshop. With the vibrant participation from such a diverse group of participants, the workshop was a stimulating session of co-creating system prototypes that answer to the needs of Mathare residents. The facilitators of the workshop were also keen to ensure that the ideas from the session were embedded within the national and county policy dialogues, given that policy and governance are key drivers of innovation and social change. Going forward, the Living lab intends to continue engaging an even wider range of stakeholders in tackling the energy-health nexus challenge in Mathare.