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Our top ten must-reads of 2012

We culled our twitter feed and picked out the best of the best from 2012.  Read on for links to new tools, resources, and thought pieces on design and social entrepreneurship.


1.  Fast Company asks: “Do Designers Exploit the Poor While Trying to Do Good?” 

2.  Niti Bahn identifies what is missing in designing for the next billion:  (tools, methods, frameworks)

3.  D-Rev’s Krista Donaldson discusses how to create products for people living on less than $4 per day:

BONUS READ!  Harvard Business Review post on “The Smart Way to Make Profits While Serving the Poor” 


4.  For empathy, check out “Life Without Lights,” a documentary photography project on energy poverty – 

5.  For teaching, check out “Wicked Problems: problems worth solving,” a handbook for teaching, learning, & doing disruptive design work –

6.  For doing, check out this new site providing free recs for proven, low-cost household water treatment tech based on community need – 

7.  For researching, check out this list of 46 smartphone apps for conducting ethnographic research –

BONUS READ!  For empathy, check out GSMA’s new report that gives a glimpse into the lives of women living on less than $750/year –


8.  Esther Duflo & Co reveal their (controversial) research on cookstoves: “Clean Cookstoves Must Be Rethought so They Actually Get Used in Developing World”

9.  Stanford Social Innovation Review takes a cue from Esther Duflo and posts a piece on the tricky claims social enterprise and non-profits make when advocating for their work:

10.  One of our most retweeted posts comes from The Guardian.  Hugo Slim posts his thoughts on:  “The trouble with aid? Why helping people is always complicated” 

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