Led by Visionary Leaders, Young Women, and Community Radio
December 20, 2007
I’ve just returned from a productive and inspirational week on campus at the African Women’s University (ARU) in rural western Uganda. It seems fitting to write about innovation in education and in integrated rural development during this holiday season. “The new name for peace is development,” Father Matthiew (Matayo Baylebuga) quoted Pope Paul VI, when he introduced the ARU students to the 60 villagers in the small isolated village of Kabamba last February (See "Customer Co-Design in Rural Uganda: How URDT Empowers Grass Roots Creativity," March 8, 2007, by Patricia B. Seybold, http://www.psgroup.com/detail.aspx?ID=806).
I spent the week teaching my “Introduction to Customer Scenario Mapping (CSM)” course to 51 first- and second-year ARU students and to a key faculty member, Agnes Kadama, who is also the Acting Vice Chancellor of the university as well as the Dean of Students. Agnes, who has experience providing business and non-governmental organizations (NGO) consulting services, is enthusiastic about the applicability of CSM to the rural development challenges in Uganda and the rest of Africa. She likes this participatory approach to consulting and appreciates the quick wins and strategic leverage that a half-day interactive co-design session provides. “This is an entirely new way to do consulting,” she observed. “It’s powerful and delivers results quickly. I’m excited that we’re able to give our students this powerful tool,” she exclaimed.