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Digital Circular Economy

Give social data as raw material and provide re-purposed data marketplaces for local entrepreneurship in personalized marketing.

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The Digital Circular Economy is about re-purposing end-of-life social data and making it available to all for profitable enterprise. The data can be sourced from renewable sources such as chat apps, SMS, mobile games and shopping apps. The data re-purposing-for-profit process is already happening in the USD 50 million-a-year Kenyan sports betting industry - European sports leagues historical data is being analysed to predict winners of future games and win local lotteries. East Africa has favourable structures in mobile money technology and uptake to run ahead of the rest if the world in creating jobs around the digital circular economy. The circular economy sustains the earth’s finite resources - usable water, breathable air, food, minerals, lands and biodiversity around a profitable model. The digital circular economy creates new markets by re-purposing end-of-life digital content, a future-jobs innovation in an ever-automating world. By giving mobile social data - free of charge to all - new value can be derived. Just like in the case of waste paper or used plastic bottles recycling, an investment in time and data analytics skills is required to transmute the raw data into valuable products and services.


1, Mobile operators can reverse the decline in SMS revenues by offering free SMS tariff paid for by third party messaging. 2, Mobile consumers can benefit from free SMS. 3, Entrepreneurs can set up marketing business around the data and APIs and sell messaging services to corporates.


I am a mobile apps developer with a focus on empowerment products.


  • Kenya


  • Yes, for more than one year.


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for less than one year

Unlike Facebook and Google which use their social data repositories to deliver adverts to their own apps and websites, the ecosystem here is to create an open platform - open in the sense of giving universal, unrestricted access to third parties to profit from the last mile business.

The design works around a 4-stage process:

1, Find a source of social data which is sustainable and diverse.  Mobile operator SMS fits this specification;

2, Anonymize and classify the data, so that personally identifiable information cannot be extracted.  This involves creating a dictionary of common words and assigning usage to each mobile user;

3, Provide APIs to read the data - free of charge;

4, Provide a paid-up, say $10 per month APIs to send messaged to filtered groups (example, English speakers with low-end android phones who are up late at night).

This idea is a new way for mobile app developers to look at app monetization - each app can seed hundreds of new businesses around it by inviting other developers to benefit by selling personalized messaging space around it.  The fixed monthly fee digital marketplace disrupts the pricing of digital adverts and opens up personalized messaging business to all.  If mobile games are designed for extraction of data, the potential value can extend into personalized learning and urban planning.


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