What we would like to see in the future:
From what we have learned over the course of research and readings in class, we have found that a sustainable model of implementing these technologies must involve some profit making. Inspired by International Development Enterprises (IDE) of Paul Polack, we would like to propose a business in which its products are these five technologies. There three reasons why we think this will be the best route for continuing the Guateca project.
There may be another way. Guateca is a business… how could this dissemination of technologies become part of the Guateca Program? It’s just a thought. It’s also not incompatible with your plan. How do you make this plan come to fruition?
Firstly, if it is so hard to change peoples’ everyday lives to implement these technologies, it would be easier if there is small a team, who are thoroughly trained and qualified, to come in and do it for the family in just one day. However, this team will not come in freely, there will be a cost associated with implementing these technologies. This cost should be low and affordable since the materials are easily and cheaply obtained. In addition, the labor cost in San Pablo is relatively low.
Secondly, forming this business will create more jobs for the locals. These jobs will help stimulate the local economy and improve their living standards.
Thirdly, by having the business there to take care of maintenance, the products will have a longer lifespan and, therefore, more productive. Instead of installing these systems for free and have them broken down in a year or two, it is definitely more logical to have an entity that the people can call to fix the problem.
When we were thinking of the cons that this development route may have, we came up with 3 main ones:
1. If the locals do not find the need to upgrade to these technologies in the first place, they will even less likely to do it at a cost.
Our response: That is exactly why we have the awareness and education process. Implementing these technologies will not only improve their quality of life and decrease their dependence on expensive and limited sources of energy, but it is also sustainable and helpful to the environment.
I think you need a plan of direct involvement… like a club… again, I’m thinking about how this could be related to Guateca.
2. It will be hard to find sufficient funding for such a project.
Our response: if this is a business model that will make small profit and implement sustainable development at the same time, we believe that it will be easy to find investors who are interested in such rare opportunities.
Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t agree. I think this could develop as a direct offshoot from Guateca projects… or satellite programs in other communities.
3. We don’t know where to get started.
Our response: in our solution section, we have lined up specific steps to follow: spreading awareness, educating the locals on the “why”, making a prototype to find logistical pros and cons, training the interested team, and, lastly, advertise and start the business.
Again, it seems that you’re not leveraging Guateca as well as you could.
In conclusion, we really believe that this business model is a great way to spread these technologies and provide a sustainable development in the region, both economically and environmentally.