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Using Packaging for Education and Play

The idea is to rethink packaging as to function for: 1) providing information to parents (i.e. rotating labels to tell stories, nutritional tips, child development milestones sheets) 2) be assembled into toys that stimulate children cognitive development (i.e. bottle stack, bottle truck) 3) Building a relevant narrative and bringing the community together offering them a platform to voice out their concerns, ideas, tips, testimonials that will be echoed through the packaging. This idea tackles the problem of lack of tools for ECCD in low income communities. It does so by providing basic tools for enhancing children play and parents-children interaction and a platform to allow parents to share with other parents and stay informed.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
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Updated 06/01/15 - Description and Implementation

The idea is to create an alternative set of packaging options for relevant products (products that should be used and products that are usually consumed by the target group).
The packaging is modular, that means that you might buy a bag of chips, a box of something and a bottle of water and you could assemble those items into a toy for example (see scenario B). As well some of the surface of the packaging will contain relevant nutritional and/or health information.

During this phase we decided to focus on the following 3 products:
  • bottle truck
  • bottle stack
  • rotating labels ("guess what/who" and "tell a story")

Bottle stack



The bottle stack is a set of small square bottles that can be stacked one on the top of each other and allows children to play simple games together (alone and/or with their parents) stacking per numbers, letters, smiley faces. (See scenario A below)
For children 0 - 2 (without caps) and 3 - 5 with caps.

Bottle truck

   

The bottle truck is a bottle that can be easily transformed in a truck, children just need to collect 3 extra caps.
The bottle truck's labels comes in different outfits (i.e. ambulance, garbagetruck, fire truck, see this pdf). Children can have fun with it exchanging the labels. The side opposite to the one with wheels could be cut off by parents to allow their children to fill up the truck with their imagination.
For children 2 - 8.

Rotating labels

We have 2 types of rotating labels now. One version "Tell a story" and another version "Guess who/what".

The " Tell a story" type is meant for giving relevant information to parents and children. Rotating the labels parents (or older brother and sisters) can tell children a relevant story.
For children 2 - 10



The " Guess who/what" is a simple game that allow children to rotate the labels and mix the figures, there could be numbers, animals, vegetables, fruit, countries, shapes, etc. We thought to also add the the names of this figures in the caps in both english and the local spoken language to again prompt for parents-children interaction and stimulate the interests of parents in Early Child Cognitive Development ECCD.
For children 1 - 6

   

If you like to repackage your pot/bottles and help us testing our idea you can download our first labels here below.

We will be happy if you would like download the labels we designed together with the design agency Flex/theINNOVATION LAB, repackage your pot or bottle and try them with your small children.

You can find the labels in the links below:

Tell a story ( big format)
Guess what ( big format)
Tell a story ( small format)
Guess what ( small format)
Caps ( both)


How might we use play, creativity and everyday routines to build life skills and character?

Packaging is all around us even in low income communities and remote areas. Depending on the setting of these communities, children and parents interact daily with products and their packaging in different situations. In the case of Food products we built on the everyday ritual of eating and on the sudden awaking awareness of eating something. Our labels prompts for moments of precious interaction (i.e.: new words spoken) and attention between parents and their children, sort of awareness pills. On one side nurturing parents engagement and understanding about their children's healthy development. On the other stimulating the children's early cognitive development.

The bottle truck and bottle stack go beyond words and images and give a real 6 dimensional experience to the children while playing with it, providing children with tools for stimulating their creativity and play.
The fact that labels can be changed, caps needs to be collected (or made out of something that will fit in :)) will stimulate children social interaction. (as described in scenario B)

Originality: Does the idea present an innovative solution to the challenge question?

We feel the idea is to leverage existing networks, resources and skills to provide children and their parents in low income community with basic tools (toys and information) for stimulating their cognitive development, creativity and play.
We think that with this idea the costs of providing low income communities with tools for creativity and play and information related to 0 to 5 child development will be sustainably distributed among the companies adapting this type of packaging and their customers buying their products. Targeting products like peanut butter for example also give us the opportunity to contribute to child nutrition.
We strongly believe in human centred design, we are currently 3D printing some prototypes to be tested with the target group. (see this picture of a 3d printed bottle for the bottle stack)


General questions asked here: https://openideo.com/blog/tips-for-refinement

Does this idea hit the intersection of viability, relevance and feasibility?

We feel we are able to show companies how they can deliver value, community welfare and social change through their packaging in relevant markets.

Is the scale of the project such that the amount of funding and design support available ($50,000-100,000) would have a substantial impact on the development of the idea?

The amount of funding will enable us to further develop the idea, explore possible partnerships with local and international companies like Unilever, Nakumatt and Rab Processors for example. As well we will be able to produce, test and refine our prototypes.

Does our design support have the potential to propel this idea forward?

We definitely would love to collaborate with openIDEO in further developing additional toys' designs as well as jointly create a community around the creators.toys platform where designers and copywriters/editors, gamers, educators can share their designs and offer them to companies.

What is the capacity of the implementer? (e.g. What networks are they connected to that will help support the idea? How much experience do they have in their field? What is their connection to the community where this will be implemented? If the idea is submitted by an organization, what is its operational capacity?)

IICD (www.iicd.org) is active in several of the focus countries of this challenge like: Ethipia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. We have in each one of those countries a network of strategic partners (implementing partners, preferred suppliers, technical and training partners).


Attribution

First 13 images (Designed Prototypes) - Copyrights of design agency FLEX/theINNOVATIONLAB www.flex.nl

All other images of products have been taken by me during a field trip.
 

Scenarios

A)
Mary (2), Joseph (3) and Lucy (5) are stacking plastic bottles on the top of each other.
Coming closer you can see that the bottles not only can be stacked randomly. Each one of them have in each side (4 in a square bottle :)) either a number, a letter, a color or a smiley face. Children can now stack the bottles learning how to count, or trying to make a word, or simply having fun and be creative mixing color and faces.

B)
Elizabeth (5), Ted (2) and Jessie (4) are playing on the street in a small village 50 Km from Chikwawa in Malawi, together with 4 other friends of age varing from 3 to 7.
They are discussing among each others showing or exchanging pieces of what is seems to be recycled packaging. Some children are showing play cards, some others have stickers, and all are holding and exchanging some kind of empty plastic container of pouch.
At a closer look they are building their own toy dolls and accessories and deciding a role play following the carachters, images and simple prompts on the play cards.
Elizabeth is building a doll, Jessie has got a nice sky-blue pouch, she is handing over to Elizabeth who she is putting it on the doll. What a nice dress, says one of the friends. 2 others friends have a doll that looks like a doctor, they also have some stickers, they call Elizabeth, Ted and Jessie to come and play wash hands together. The children first stick on Elizabeth doll a sticker with a dirty hand, on the other hand they stick a sticker of a hand with soap. They start talking to each other about washing their hands and the soap their use, then they pull out stickers of clean hands and stick them on the hands of Elizabeth doll. Ted is smiling Jessi tells him "so you wash your hands, Teddy, with soap and clean water".

Update 29/12
 

We have uploaded our Q&A Template, we welcome more questions from the Open Ideo Team and Amplify Team.

We just realised through an email of the Amplify Team that the deadline of this refinement phase is on January 5th, that makes it almst impossible for us to make the prototyping session in Malawi, we are currently printing the bottle stack. See images of a 3D printed bottle and of a bottle in the making here below:




We might be able to do something either here in NL or only with the labels either in Uganda with Alex Mokori and YEN or in Malawi. Hopefully we have good news soon.



Update 23/12

Anne-Laure has worked out a user experience map, you can see it here: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/8750c199-720c-4ebd-8825-e5dffce36a34.pdf
Thanks Anne-Laure for this great contribution!

We have decided to focus on the following 3 products during this phase:

bottle truck
bottle stack
rotating labels ("guess what/who" and "tell a story")

We will print few prototypes and test them in Tsabango primary school in Lilongwe with kids of grade 1 and 2 (4 and 5 years old) and their younger sisters/brothers and their parents.

This is all for Christmas!
Cheers
 


Update 8/12

Hi, we are very excited to show what the designers of FLEX/theINNOVATIONLAB have created.

Here is their inspiration:

We have been focussing on 3-4 types of packaging:
1 cans / tins
2 plastic bottles
3. carton boxes
 
And we have been focussing on storytelling and ‘replayability’: we like it when the product can be used over and over and when it invites to build on it further on.

1.
Like the example as enclosed for the oil bottles. We think it triggers the imagination of children inviting them to use it as a bus, build a train, fill it with ‘people’, use it as a transport truck filled with different products, build roads around it and so on.
 
2.
The concept for the cans/tins  builds more on storytelling: by rotating the label the window shows and leads you through a story. This story can be fun or educative and so on.
A variant is shown with the half labels that can rotate thus creating fantasy animals – as an example.
 
3.
For the carton boxes we took the game peekaboo as inspiration.

Cheers!

 

Update 8/12

Hear ye, hear ye! Our friends of FLEX/theINNOVATIONLAB have gone very creative and delivered a couple fo great designs! Kudos to their engagment!

The Bottle Stack you see on the picture is one of them, we are totally excited to make this happen!

Special thanks to Bettina and Anne Laure for their guidance and support up till now!

We will update 5 more designs by the end of the day, stay tuned!
 

Update 5/12

Visited a rural and a peri-urban community.

The visit to the rural confirmed that body care products are widely available especially beauty soaps, body lotions and glycerines. In this other rural community I did not find women pads.
GIV beauty soaps are widely available.

Children do play with "garbage" and other things they might be able to find in nature (See main picture)
Seeing the children making the cloak has made me think that a simple design of plastic bags could enable children to dress up as different characters, although plastic bags are also dangerous.

One other this is the wide availability of plastic containers and bottles. This type of package could provide with material for assembling small toys like cars, truck, airplanes, dolls, etc.

Focusing on the assembled doll, for example, stickers or pouches could be used as dresses. In this way children could change the appereance of their dolls changing stickers or pouches. As well with stickers it is possible to get quite creative. We could have stickers of dirty hands and stickers with clean hands with soap. hildren could then wash the hands of their doll simply adding the stickers with clean hands.

There is not much properly packaged food with relevant nutrinional values. I have found a bag of dry soya, who is quite used in Paiva, a very dry area (cotton growing region) near Chikwawa.

Some prices to understand buying power and behaviour.
  • The small body glycerine pots are sold at 150 MWK (about 0.25 euro)
  • 100 gr of rice is sold unpackaged for 150 MWK
  • 150 gr of black beans are sold unpackaged for 300 MWK
  • About 20 ml of cooking oil is sold repackaged in small plastic bags for 40 MWK at the small shop
  • A small bag of peanut is sold for 50 MWK at the small shop
  • The dried soya product is sold for 100 MWK a bag. The 2 shop owners I have interviewed they say that that items sells well since is food and is affordable. They also said that the small pots of glycerines are one of the best buy.
  • Women pads at the fuel station are sold for 580 MWK the package (about 1 euro)

Stay tuned!


Update 30/11

Field visit in Malawi, main finding:

A) last mile product supply (see bicycle pictures)
 
  • They mainly supply basic goods like sugar, salt, cooking oil for repackaging, white bread, sodas.
  • Relevant nutritional products like peanut butter, cereal, enriched flour are not to be found.
  • Reasons for the above can be: clients won't buy peanut butter (too expensive) and they most likely produce peanuts them selves. The shop owner thinks that her/his customers won't buy those products, so s/he does not introduce them either. The shop owner has a very limited budget to invest so s/he needs to make choices in what to supply. A mix of the above.
  • Sodas even if heavy and fragile still makes it till there without that much organised logistic has claimed ;), so what is their secret? (liquid sugar?)

B) Small rural shops (see pictures that says small shop)
 
  • They do not supply additional nutritional product, when asked wy she did not have peanut butter in her shop the owner said her customers grow their own peanuts.
  • Women pads are to be found there.
  • Baby Diapers are not used standing to the answer of the shop owner.
  • Body care products are widely available
  • Soap is unpackaed
  • Cooking oil i repackaged by shop owner in small portions (she said she buy a 20lt bottle)
     
C) Fuel Station Shops
  • They have a good variety of products especially soaps and body lotions
  • Women Pads are there too
  • Here you can find locally produced peanut butter
  • They also sell enriched flour and other fortified products
  • Here you can find baby diapers



Update 23/11

We are about to give it a shot to come out with the first toy's design made out of 5 modular packaging. That means that we will have to select the first 5 products to start with. We also want to validate the design with the users and community.

Thanks to the great feedback of Bettina Fliegel and Anne-Laure when choosing the first array of products we will pay special attention to products that are children "safe" and "friendly" as well as to products that stimulate healthy behaviour.

We might want to focus on:
corn starch,
cereals,
peanut butter,
cooking oil,
hand soap,
water bottle
(any feedback more than welcome!)

We have also put up our very basic release of the crowd-sourcing platform at Toys Creators and we are looking for contributors copy-writers to join the initiative. Leave us a comment on here!

Cheers
 


Update 7-11


We are trying to understand which products are most strategically appealing to be targeted. Thanks Anne-Laure and Alex for your pro actvivity and insight. Here is what we are coming up with:

Soda (reaches remote areas)
Chips
Salt,
sugar,
coffee,
tea,
cookies,
peanut butter,
powder mil,
cereals,
flour,
pasta,
Bottle of water,
I was thinking that also basic drugs (medicines),
Women sanitary-towels,
Soap,
Contraceptives
UHT milk,
unprocessed milk,
biscuit,
fruit juice,
cornflakes
farmers inputs? (fertilizer, chemicals, seeds, etc)
?

we feel we could start to pick 10 products on the base of the following criteria:

last mile penetration
most bought
relevancy for the challenge
complementarity for producing a family starter kit
buyer's gender and livelihoods
affordability
necessity
type of current packaging - we need some variety of materials to think about possible toys, toys parts and story telling supportive carton figures, card, board games, etc.

Alex Mokori one of the greater contributors to this challenge has asked us a great question: "how we can redesign packages for already packaged product sold in shops? "

We are thinking to tackle this through

A) Make such cool packaging material that the whole industry will just loves it and wants to buy it to be able to tell a helpful story and create social impact through it. Successful companies are made by individuals who surely have great stories to tell.

B) A is still applicable and find some early adopters customers / partners among the companies that produces the products we'll choose to start with.

C) focus on school feeding programs, initiatives, private catering that supplies schools and health facilities. We could than target teachers and health workers too who are also a very important influencers. As well packeging could be used in schools for example (even providing complement to text books (which in Malawi are very scarce). A vouchering system might also something that we might think of as a possible application for accessing health care services.

D) target packaging national and international producers, I know that in Malawi small corner shops repackage some of the goods since their customers won't be able to afford buying large quantities.

E) Target national food retailers (big supermaket chains) they need to package their own branded products

Some "extreme" thinking inspired by some videos on youtube on how to make own plastic. In the case of plastic we will try to use organic plastic. That will make possible to recycle the plastic for being remodelled at community level in other create different products that could be sold in the same community or outside the community (e-commerce included) like: jewellery, iphone cases, local relevant tools.

Stay tuned!

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

All children and families that will be able to buy products using that type of packaging or have access to the empty packaging.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

we identified three main work areas: 1) Identify an array of 3 to 5 products and make the modular design 2) Present the prototypes to a relevant strategic partner (or another relevant strategic partner) in order to have them on board 3) Further develop the crowd-sourcing platform through which we plan to engage designers, copy-writers (for the narratives) and consumers (members of local communities). www.creators.toys The consumers will interact with the platform using SMS. Basically they will be able to voice out concerns, share ideas, testimonials, best practices, tips with other parents. Their "messages" will be shown in the platform and hopefully featured in the packaging.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Packaging designers, toy designers, story tellers, graphic designers, writers, nutritional experts, maternity and child health experts, game designers

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.

234 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Monica Wirawan
Team

Hi Maurizio!
I love your idea and it is an amazing way to provide children with the new toy which can be accessed with the reasonable price. I am just a bit confused with the few part
1. How are you gonna make sure that the plastic container gonna fit one another
2. Despite the variability of the available resources, how are you gonna provide the stickers to be appropriate to the plastic container

Love your ideas to provide children with the variety of learning toys from the affordable materials!
Monica

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Maurizio!
Think this cool idea might interest everyone here. I just read it on the new Amplify Challenge on Education in Refugee Camps ..... https://openideo.com/challenge/refugee-education/research/book-bags-provide-more-reading-materials

How is prototyping coming along? I have been so out of the loop but hope to read your impact piece and catch up very soon!
Bettina

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Bettina, nice to hear from you! Nice post, thanks for sharing!
We are about to do a second validation session, we are currently working out the details. We will give it a shot in Kenya this time with the labels on a real product if possible. A small local jam producer is interested in giving it a try. As soon as we have done it I will share the insights on the impact section.
We might cross each other on that other challenge.
Cheers

Photo of Francesco Giannoccari
Team

Hi,

Congratulations in getting to this point of the competition. It is a brilliant idea and I wish it will be implemented as soon as possible.

I love your idea and how simple but clever you were able to solve this problem. I can imagine the strong impact that it can have in low-income communities and in their educational system, with huge benefits for them.

I'd like to add some of my thoughts about this idea:

1) Why not create a sort of collection allowing and pushing children and their parents to exchange duplicate products among them in order to facilitate the communication and shared knowledge.
Then, children will perceive it more as a game than an educational activity. In fact, according to many psychological theories learning by playing and interacting with other children is the best way for them to learn more easily.

2) Another point I'd like to underline is the "exclusivity" with partners that was touched on, in some previous comments. This initiative may be perceived as value-adding to brand and products by future partners. Nevertheless, a strong integration among different companies and brands (i.e. no exclusive partnership) could increase the brand value of ALL the companies taking part to the initiative. In particular, they can take advantage of a brand image strongly oriented towards environmental and social responsibility.

Again, have a good luck with this great idea!

Photo of Chris Robinson
Team

Yeah that's what I was thinking. My kids are avid learners when they are managed to be engaged, a hard task when iPhones compete for their attention. But that's a different world... All children are deserving of this idea

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Francesco, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Cheers

Photo of Tony Jiang
Team

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Photo of Taz Fear
Team

Hi Maurizio

Congratulations in getting this far in the competition, it is clearly well deserved!!

Further to the comments below and your ideas presented above, I would like to make add my thoughts below:

It sounds challenging but possible to have shared label space on the front of the product if you can integrate the brand and its values into the story: this would certainly add value to the brand that you are designing for, but I would expect that businesses that make an agreement with you will want exclusivity in their respective areas.

I also like the fact that this product can be collectible without being a luxury item (as with most collectibles) but as being part of a product purchased and consumed by families in their daily lives. This should be a great selling point when pitching to businesses as it not only entices people to their products but also adds to brand loyalty.

I love the added functionality of the packaging and this concept alone has the scope to be a global success considering the amount that is wasted every year in every country across the globe. Your concept has so much potential for other product ranges and I would love to see further ideas and research on packaging designs and prototypes that marry education with playtime for packaging used in the public sector such as in schools and hospitals that will help to reduce waste in those areas and further support your goal of educating children and giving them something to play with in an extremely affordable way.

Keep up the fantastic work!

Kindest regards

Tara Fear

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Tara thanks a lot for your kind words, enthusiasm and feedback!

On exclusivity you are right, that can probably be the case, what we can do there is diversify products and try to sell the concept to complementary products (i.e. products that do not compete among each others and consumers buy normally together) and be in as many countries as we can.
There is for sure lots of assumptions to validate and we are currently working on this in he coming 5 weeks. Thanks for helping us thinking further!

We are definitely committed to explore new design, toys, stories games ideas, to do so we will organise a community of designers, copywriters, creatives, gamers and educators, you are more than welcome to join us and have fun!

Cheers,
Maurizio

Photo of David Garczynski
Team

I feel as though I'm a little late to the party here in terms of comments. So apologies if this is stuff you already know or have considered. This kind of piggy backs of YEN's labeling mockups and Caroline Trautner's graphic design comments somewhere below. I've been working for this small foodstartup company, and, as we go, we've been learning the art of labeling. For the sake of this argument, I'm going to break the label into two parts. The "required" information (ie: nutritional information, brand, name, exp. date, even to some degree marketing space*) and the "optional" (in this case the educational and play content). We've been finding the required facts take up a bit more space than initially thought. I explain a bit more below, but as the required parts of labeling grow, it may begin to cuts into the space dedicated to education graphics. So the question in my mind is how to we strike that balance. How do we maximize the education and play aspects of the label, while accounting for potentially changing "required" layouts?

-Perhaps the graphics printed on the inside. You mentioned in some post, the label only has to glue to itself. Am I wrong in assuming the logo can potentially slip off as a sleeve and therefore reversed? If the label is changeable, there's more content in a limited space.
- Or the "required" information only exists as a temporary sticker on the bottom of the jar, or as a removable sticker over the play surface, or even as a doubles as tamper seal for the lid. Most of the labeling then can be dedicated to education graphics. Double sided printing can still be used and the whole label space dedicated to educational graphics.

*Marketing space might be a flawed concept. It's a bit speculative, so I'll admit I might be completely wrong. In my mind, I envision this practice of educational/play labeling gets adopted. Fantastic practice. Businesses start incorporating it. Now let's say in the future there are two competing products on the shelf. Same product. Both with your similar education labeling. In my mind, a business, wanting customers to choose their product over the other, might want to take up more space on their label for the actual sales and marketing. That's my idea of marketing space. How the product sells itself on the shelf is an important consideration for a business. In their mind, the educational side is ineffective unless the product is purchased, so they begin to impeded on the "optional" educational side. So I guess my fears and arguments largely relate to how can I allow for future growth of the "required" side without impeding the educational side. In my mind, since the space is finite and these considerations might be a bit more adaptive for the potential labeling needs of a business, whether regulatory or marketing wise.
These may be flawed concerns and concepts, mostly speculative of future concerns of the business, but perhaps something to consider when approaching businesses with this ideas.

Love the concept. Good luck.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear David thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge, experience and analysis, it is extremely useful and insightful!
I really like the suggestion of experimenting with "the logo can potentially slip off as a sleeve and therefore reversed?"
Your considerations about marketing space are very valid that is a challenge we will have to address.
One option a client might have to tackle the trade off between the educational side and the marketing space is to entangle their stories with the educational side this might be achieved with the creation of specific characters as "messengers" that get strongly associated with the brand. There is definitely a lot to pay attention to from our side.
Thanks!

Photo of John
Team

Absolutely brilliant. Simple, clever, achievable.

Photo of Ashley Moulton
Team

I just love this concept! For the stacking bottles in particular, I'm wondering how you might be able to more visually differentiate the product information from the graphics for the child (letters, numbers, etc.). Without clear differentiation, the children may ignore the educational content entirely because it all may blend together as text to be ignored. Or have you found this not to be an issue?

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Ashley, thanks for your question and reflections. In the case of the bottle stack, the graphic for the child is displayed on "dedicated sides", we could consider to reinforce this with using different colours for each side. In the rotating labels that is indeed something to pay good attention. Using different combination and consistency of colours, font size and type, spacing, borders are some of the things worth exploring.
Cheers

Photo of Peter Greensmith
Team

I think that this is a great idea, and using the three identified products to get the range established, you have endless opportunities to take forward into different areas.

One thing you could look at is using a peel off 'wrap' on the packaging that has simple health and education messages on it. This would then give an added use and benefit to the product as could give messages to the parents.

It has been proved in several trials that if you work with a smaller group of people and give them messages and educate them they spread the messages within their communities. This would mean reaching a wider audience and spreading messages to people who are unable to access the products themselves

Photo of Kağan Rüstem
Team

Great idea to combine something practical like storage with education.

Photo of Adam Reterski
Team

Great idea. Well done to your team. So simple and educational at the same time.

Photo of Athina Andrade
Team

The idea is amazing! Giving new ways to reuse the packages, instead of simply throwing them away is something great also for the environment. :) And like everyone else, I really liked the prototypes. They're really good. Congratulations to the team!

Photo of Dean James
Team

this idea is great as it works on many levels as you are able to make an item usable after its initial use, as well as it being a cheep educational toy. would it be possible to use the educational side of it to make it collectible in tandem with a product that could be made locally to help income for a small business as well as being a cheep educational toy?

Photo of Afzal Habib
Team

Such a cool idea! Congratulations on being selected as a Top Idea! We'd love to stay in touch to see how your project progresses and would be willing to pilot some of your toy inventions in our Kidogo Early Childhood Centres!

Best of luck!

Photo of Dafne Melo
Team

Excellent idea! It not only help children with their creativity but also helps the environment reducing the waste of packages! I really like it! And good images too!

Photo of Kyren Whymes
Team

This idea is very good. It provides a very strong influence on how much imagination is used to benefit children by using products they already use in a new and interesting way. To add to this, maybe children are able to try and create something new once used to the idea by contributing themselves to the project with their parents, as it is a creative tool. Great job though!

Photo of Irene Blas
Team

Wow!! This is a great idea!! I really like it! You've given another powerful use to packaging so you would reduce the amount of waste that packages produce! The boxes are similar to Lego pieces, which improve children creativity as well as they are a good game for parents as well. Your prototypes are amazing!! I really really like your idea!

Photo of Juliana Dill Mello Martins
Team

Hey there! I'm amazed with this idea! Such an amazing project, you are working with so many important questions in a very coherent way. Packaging presents some great opportunities besides its main function. Another really important point is the choice of materials, and how to make it as much sustainable as possible. You mentioned organic plastic, which is a great option, it is biodegradable and its production is clean. But have you considered other natural renewable resources like sugarcane bagasse, for example? Or palm leaf? This kind of material is already being used by some packaging industries, they present great properties. Maybe you could take a look at this kind of partnership, instead of working with huge companies like Unilever. I guess the chance of making it completely effective will be greater. Congratulations for the energy you're putting into this project, by testing and constantly researching and improving. I really hope it works perfectly!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Thanks for your questions Juliana and suggestions very useful to help us thinking about the next steps. Thanks for pointing us to local packaging companies as potentiel key strategic partners. This is something we will explore in the next coming weeks.
Cheers

Photo of Ozgecan Aydin
Team

This is a brilliant and such a creative idea! It completes two things in one go. its great that many different aspects are covered and many questions can be answered through this. Great work!

Photo of Brigite Nabais
Team

What a great project! Brilliant idea putting the prototypes moving!

Photo of Thais Nascimento
Team

Brilliant project indeed! Great prototypes and intelligent way of avoiding packaging waste as well as sparking child's curiosity and creativity. Well done!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Congrats on making the Top Ideas selection, team! Keep up the committed collaboration on this – and best of luck with the next steps in the Amplify Challenge.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Meena! Great news! We'll definitely keep the collaboration. Maurizio, let's get on a call sometime soon! :-)

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Thanks Meena, thanks to the Amplify Team, thanks to the OpenIDEO community, thanks to the Team, thanks to Flex and to IICD for making this possible. This is awesome!
@Anna-Laure thanks again for your engagement and the intellectual exchange during the challenge. I ' ll reach out to you on Linkedin. Cheers

Photo of Lisa di Liberto
Team

Fantastic news!!

Photo of International Youth Empowerment Network
Team

Hello Maurizio,

Based on your request to share the designs below with segment of Ugandan parents and our own team, generally people do not understand what the images are about. It was much easier for them to conceptualize the ones for hand washing since it was accompanied with words. Overall the suggestion is you accompany the images with words as was the case with hand washing.

Thanks and good job.

https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/6eadd24f-6c6d-4003-b572-4e7feb967243.pdf

https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/901c47f9-1fe7-4577-b6df-776135ec9a61.pdf

https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/d9f89ede-2262-47b7-9d74-f03a4096bb39.pdf

https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/4a4e7c4b-d6d7-41f3-9f77-a44dbe97688a.pdf

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear YEN many thanks for giving it a try and thanks for the insight on the names (we had the names on the lids) we will incorporate your feedback.

The links shared takes me to the labels we originally share with you, or did you mean to share something else?

Thanks a million!
Cheers

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hey YEN would you like to join the team as implementers in Uganda? Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

YEN, this is really useful feedback. Really interesting to see that words were needed to contextualize the visuals. Based on the hand washing labels, what did they think about the possible impact of having such labels?
I have to admit that I was like Maurizio a bit lost regarding the links you added and how to interpret them.

Thanks!

Photo of International Youth Empowerment Network
Team

Sorry about the confusion with the links, we just wanted to refer you to what you had requested us to give feedback on. Yes, we think they will have positive impact but please do keep the illustrations interesting and unique in order to capture attention.

Maurizio we are fine with collaborating with you for the implementation in Uganda. Thanks!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

I wonder if the parents may have "read" and understood the images differently if they were on individual pages in a hard backed small children's book for example? something a child would grab and hold in their hands?
IYEN - did you show the labels on a sheet of paper or did you put them onto a jar of some sort?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

IYEN, thanks for the clarification. Agreed that grabbing attention is important.It is a difficult balance to find: making it content rich (informational), relevant and sticky. It will be also great if you could share themes and information you think are crucial to provide.

Bettina, interesting thoughts and questions. If you are right that the book format makes more sense to the parents, the question is then how to design it within the packaging.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi A-L. .
It is not that I think that it should be a book, I am wondering if context changes how they recognize types of images. If parents "get it" because it is presented in a child friendly presentation vs. on a package or in this case just on a piece of paper with the different images adjoining. They would be separate on the blocks for example - one on each side.
I am not sure if that is clear but basically I would experiment with presenting the same image to a parent in different contexts or formats and see if that effects their understanding of what it is.

Lots to learn here.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Anne-Laure and Bettina, thanks a lot for this rich insight. I think it is necessary to clearly know what that veggie on the pot is (the names are in the lids) and I think it is fun if the users have 5 to 60 seconds to actually guess what that veggie is, it is part of the game and the interaction we would like to nurture among parents and their children in early childhood .
Bettina I will add you to the team, your feedback since the beginning has challenged us to think carefully about very relevant details.
Just a small clarification, unfortunately the text on the "Tell a Story" label with the farm it is just a standard place holder in gibberish, our apologies for the confusion.
Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Maurizio, I agree with you. Bettina has definitely been a key actor since the beginning and her feedback has been incredibly useful (Thanks Bettina and welcome to the team!:-) ).

Thanks Maurizio for the clarification regarding the veggie game. Quick question for you: are you planning to contextualize the vegetables to the local context?

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Anne-Laure thanks for the question, we will surely contextualise the graphic and information in the labels depending on the country they will be implemented as we did for Malawi, we can do it for Uganda.
Cheers

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Thanks Maurizio for inviting me to join the team! and for the warm welcome
A-L! I have some useful feedback to post. I apologize - work has been very busy and I have not had time to look through the notes I have but will make time tonight!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Looking forward to seeing some sketches of the kinds of designs + messages you're thinking of, Maurizio. And hopefully you can team up with other members of our community who live in developing countries who could get these in front of folks in low-income communities to test their responses and elicit feedback. Sounds like this is something that could be kickstarted during our Ideas phase and we're amped to learn how things go!

Photo of Caroline Trautner
Team

A very cool Concept! Well done. As a graphic designer I have experience with layout of packaging and I don't know if you have have any input on this - so sorry if you get this info twice :). There are a lot of restrictions when it comes to the layout, because there is so much information that has to be communicated. Logo of the product, what the product contains and so on. An idea could be to print on both sides of the paper, so that producers can communicate and keep within the restrictions on the outside and on the inside the lines of for example fire truck, so that children can colour it in them selves. Good luck with the project!

Photo of Musa Innis
Team

I think your idea is very interesting as it touches on different aspects of togethernes!!
I was wondering how often the parents would meet up to share and interact??
If there was templates for either parents to design labels and children to design the trucks and then when they meet up they can show off and share their trucks and labels
But congratulations and good luck!!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Musa thanks a lot for building on and giving us ideas! Allowing children to design their truck is definitely something to consider. We envision the sharing among parents to happen through SMS/Voice interactions. Of course we also expect that because of the modularity of the packaging parents that knows each others might also come together to make sure that the children have all they need to play.
Cheers

Photo of Theodora Papatheodorou
Team

Hi Maurizio,
This is a brilliant idea of utilizing existing resources in a creative way to support parents and enhance children's learning. I am interested in collaborating with your team, as your ideas would be extremely valuable for our proposed programme. Sustainable resourcing of early childhood care and development (at home and early years settings) is a key principle of our programme to be implemented in the Demographic Republic of Congo (DRC). Looking forward to further communication. Best, Theodora

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Theodora thanks for considering collaborating with us, we are very much interested in exploring with you how might we add value to your programme in DRC. I can surely see how we might assist you in applying mobile technology for ECCD caregivers learning and radio broadcasting for parenting education. Are you partnering with an International NGO or with a local organisation?
You can get in touch with me at mbricola(at)iicd.org
Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Loving the video! :-)

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Thanks Anne-Laure we love it too :)!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Congrats to FLEX / Innovation Lab and you for one more cool video!

Photo of Laura Schwecherl
Team

This is such a great idea! It's been fascinating following along with your updates.

Are you planning to test only in Malawi, and then do you have plans of expanding elsewhere? Have you considered what types of cultural barriers and challenges you may face when implementing in different types of communities?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Laura, thanks for these questions. Because of Maurizio's connections with Malawi, we will start in Malawi and that will allow us to think about the design as well as the cultural context. We see this as a proof of concept.

So far, we got feedback from Alex https://openideo.com/profiles/alexkmokori and his team in Uganda who were interested in prototyping the idea.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Anne-Laura, we are still interested in prototyping this idea here. For the Two Legume campaign, we intend to get Peak Value Industries adjust their packaging for low income earners in urban and rural areas. This could be an opportunity to prototype this idea.
Thanks!

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Great collaboration and updates! Anne-Laure, awesome to see you pitch in with the User Experience Map. Looking forward to hearing about how the prototype tests go after Christmas! Happy holidays :)

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Alex thanks a lot for expressing your interest and offering your collaboration once again, very much appreciated!
We expect the prototypes to be ready between the 29th and the 31st of December. Seeing the very limited amount of time available we won't be able to 3D print enough bottles.
Will you be interested in giving it a try to the labels? (See pictures of pot, we are testing 2 rotating labels: "guess who/what" and "tell a story"
We can surely print few more of them and send them to your address (please let me know which one it is). Can you send me the measures of the current pot(s) used by Peak Value Industries? Pot's diameter, cap's diameter and length of current label (if any?) Thanks!

@Chioma thanks for stopping by this is awesome, we are thrilling! Spread the joys, Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

That'd be great Alex if you could try the labels. While Maurizio can't send you the bottles, there might be a way for you to show the prototypes to some potential users in the communities you are working with and get their feedback.

Chioma: thanks for the kind words. Planning to have a second experience map in January based on the feedback from community members and conversations with Maurizio. The exercise itself (as you know) has been useful in clarifying the different users and touch points.

Happy holidays to all!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great work on the User Experience Map. It seems to be upside down? Any chance you might flip it and re-post when you get time?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

I know Meena and we have a new version ready to be posted as soon as Maurizio gets some time.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Anne-Laure, thanks! I have time today, please ping me on linkedin. Cheers

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Meena I have update the post with a new version of the user experience map (thanks Anne-Laure, I'll come back to you soon.)
Cheers

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Loving those labels Maurizio! particularly the ones with the trees/veggies and fruit - beautiful and smart! Will you collaborate with IYEN on the packaging of the beans - the partnership they are developing locally?

Are you familiar with materials/paper surface that is a mirror? For infants that would be a great thing to put on the side of a box or bottle. They respond to looking at themselves.

Fun to see how this idea is progressing!
Bettina

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Bettina thanks for the compliment! Hopefully IYEN will be able to run a prototyping session using our labels, I have sent them to them. Please feel free to download the labels and try them yourself or spread the voice among your network so we can collect feedback before the deadline of the 5th.
Cheers

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

I saw that email to IYEN. I am on their team so I receive the notices. I will download the labels. Fun idea! Thinking about who to show them to. I can share them with a few pediatric colleagues and get their feedback. Working with teens at the moment so that won't help. I have a friend who is a parenting expert. Will get her feedback as well.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Bettina that would be awesome! Thanks!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Lovely and potentially super effective labels! Bettina" it'd be great to know the feedback your friend gave you. Thanks,

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi all.
Happy New Year!

Mauricio,
I don't understand exactly how to attach the labels to do the rotating game.
You cut the label in half lengthwise. Correct?
It says to glue it to paper and jar - that i get. You glue it down.
What do you do with the second half of the label in terms of attaching it?

Some feedback.
I like that the lids have the names of the animals. Are there any animals that the children in Malawi or Uganda, as examples, will identify with that have shorter names? So the obvious in the US would be cat and dog. I love the animals you chose in terms of identification with place and also the graphics, but in terms of early reading the names might be too long, if this is something that you are also aiming for. Perhaps just mixing it up over time - some with short names for this purpose and some just for local context without regard to name length?

The peanut story - I am curious to see what happens in the prototyping - need for print/ ability to read it? What is your sense on this?

Anne - I haven't had time to show the labels yet. I will reach out this weekend.

Bettina

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Bettina thanks for your feedback, very much appreciated!

The labels need to glue on them selves, not on the pot, otherwise won't rotate, think about as a belt, you get the size where the fit tight and still are able to move and you glue the "start" with the "end" of the same label around the pot.
Let me know if this helps.

The feedback on the names is great we will keep it in mind, they aim of these labels is to provide awareness pills and moment of interaction with children and their parents, early reading is great, it is also about speaking to children and learning vocabulary.
Thanks for all the time you spend on this idea Bettina!
Cheers

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Really exciting to read this thread, guys! Looking forward hearing about the feedback you receive!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Chioma thanks! We welcome your feedback and more questions from your team of experts, if any.
If all goes well Monday we'll have a little surprise!
Cheers

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Wow – awesome to return from vacation to all the exciting updates and discussion here. Go team!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Thank you Meena, we are determined to making it happen!
Cheers

Photo of Lisa di Liberto
Team

It's awesome to see the prototypes in action!! Excellent job!!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making the Zero to Five Refinement list, Maurizio! We love all of the collaboration that has been happening around this idea and all of the work that you have done to begin prototyping ideas. Have you considered how you might get companies to adopt this type of packaging? How would you incentivize them to spend a little extra for what you are offering? In addition to education, does your packaging give products more shelf presence? Stack better for shipping savings? Have you spoken to any manufacturers to see how they source their packages and gauge interest in a product like this? We’re interested to see what you learn as you continue to explore concepts that add on to existing packaging and versions that change packaging. We’d also love for you to think about ways that this idea could be implemented by a specific company in one of the focus countries of our challenge. Check out tips for Refinement http://ideo.pn/0to5-tips-refine here.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear OpenIDEO Team thanks! We are extremely excited.

Many thanks for all these great questions too, they are extremely helpful in navigating the different possibilities during this refinement phase.
A part from CSR reason and (coolness :p) we think a company might adopt this type of packaging because it increases their sales. Of course we do not want to be an overhead for already low-income families, we do feel that if we target products that are healthy for children, like peanut butter for example - I know we have shown a bottle-stack of square oil bottles, we are confident we can make the same concept with square peanut-butter pots (cooking oil remain still a great target because of massive market i.e. impact in toy and info distribution) - , achieving an increase in sale will probably mean that children will be better fed. In this case we can say that we are happy to compete with other less healthy purchase choices of low-income communities.

Your suggestion about thinking at optimising space or reducing costs in general. There we see an opportunity in the oil, juice, jam industries and other products that make use of glass packaging, our idea can make their shift to a plastic packing (due to carbon offsets or revenue losses) looking cool instead of cheap. In all this if we could make use of organic plastic that would be perfect.

We did not approach neither a multinational or a local company yet active in one of the focus countries. We have this in our to do list for this phase.
As well we plan to blow mould 10 bottles of at least 1 bottle-concept and testing it in Malawi with real users in order to gather their feedback and being able to refine our design. As well having the bottles moulded will surely help us in approaching potential private partners.

More official updates soon :)

Cheers!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great to see you continuing to refine this exciting idea, Maurizio! Be sure to add your responses to the OpenIDEO questions above via the Word doc found on the right of the challenge brief page here: http://ideo.pn/0to5-brief when you're ready (fine to leave this till later in the phase as you'll want to summarise your responses to the OpenIDEO + other feedback here in the comments section) Also, remember to update your post title each time you update your post. Eg. Modular Packaging [Updated 8 Dec] For more tips – check out: http://ideo.pn/0to5-tips-refine

Bring on the prototyping and refinements!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Meena nice to see you gravitating around here again, thanks for your guidance! I have downloaded the docx file, we will fill it up soon, tomorrow we have a coordination meeting after that we will proceed with 3D printing few prototypes since, unfortunately, our idea of blow-moulding them it requires more time. We hope to show a video around the 8-9 January on how children and parents of low income communities in Lilongwe interacts with our prototypes.
More updates soon. Cheers!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Maurizio, thanks for the update and looking forward to the video and the feedback from the users in Malawi.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Awesome that you're doing a trial in Lilongwe. We're amped about seeing the video when you're ready!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Loving all the updates, folks! Hopefully you'll also make some time to swing by the ideas of other shortlists and provide feedback and suggestions. Let's collaborate!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

You're right Meena. I'll try to swing by.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Meena thanks I'll try to make some time! @Anne-Laure you are doing awesome! Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Maurizio for the kind words. :-)

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Meena how are you doing? FYI I have just uploaded the pdf with the Q&A Template. We love to hear the OpenIDEO and Amplify Team feedback, as well we welcome more questions if any.
@Anne-Laure if you have a chance to look at my answers it would be wonderful.
Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

maurizio, i was able to download the q&a and the doc does a great job in clarifying things and providing clarifications. I will send you more thoughts via email in particular on possible collaboration with packaging cies.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Anne-Laure best wishes for 2015! Thanks a lot for your time and appreciation. Indeed it would be great to approach some of the identified potential strategic partners. Let's make a plan! I definitely want to try to get in touch with Rab Processors the company that produces peanut butter in Malawi (as you might have noticed we have used the same branding style of their pots). I have tried to go through linkedin with no much success with my surprise :D, they did not yet see the labels though, so we might try to approach them through email or give them a call.
I was thinking, seeing the deadline very tight, it might be not possible to organise a session in Malawi, and thought, what if we can film at the fuel station the reaction of few customers on the labels? What do you think? shall I try to organise that instead?
Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Best wishes too let's indeed make a plan to develop a partnership with a packaging company. You should still plan a session with users but in the meantime a video with a few users at the fuel station to get their first reactions would be great and can provide useful insights. Ciao

Photo of Emmanuel Owobu
Team

This is a great idea, a food company does something like this Nigeria, but there's is for assembling super heroes and it has been hugely successful. I dont see why this wouldnt be a success

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

What company is that, Emmanuel?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks emmanuel. It'd be great if you could share the name of the company and maybe a link to the story.it'd be great to know more and learn from their success. Thanks!

Photo of Emmanuel Owobu
Team

Chioma Anne-Laure the company is Indomie. The actually place stickers of kids heroes in their product package and ask them to arrange it.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Emmanuel thanks for sharing, is it this one: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=883023955055166 ?
Cheers

Photo of Emmanuel Owobu
Team

Yes Maurizio it is

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Emmanuel,

Photo of Japhet Aloyce Kalegeya
Team

Great idea, Here is my contribution, Lack of tools is challenge faced parents in low income communities, parents can not afford to parches the inputs for the the agriculture product in order to produce enough food for feeding their children of under five years, so children can not thrive in their first five year from lack of inadequate food intake.

By provide tools of agriculture production such as inputs, chemicals and implements has an impact in thriving of children of under five year in low income communities.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Japhet thanks a lot for your comment,
What you say it is right, nutrition and economic development are at the base of children healthy growth. In this challenge there are several ideas willing to provide parents with basic agricultural starters kits. We decided to focus on the theme Creativity and Play and focus on Early Childhood Cognitive Development (ECCD). In our talk, when we refer to tools we actually mean "toys and games".
What we tried to do is to use everyday routine (and resources) to prompt for playful parents and children interaction around themes that are relevant to zero to five thriving. In addition to that we can use that same tools to convey some more information to parents nurturing their engagement into their children development and their own family welfare.
Cheers,
Maurizio

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Emmanuel,

Photo of Lisa di Liberto
Team

With concerns about our global landfills, another great opportunity would be to include a message on plastic packaging about recycling. Like the other messages illustrated on the prototype labels, this would be handled in the same manner. Through illustrations children learn how each individual, from themselves to their parent, can make a notable difference. When the toys shelf-life become misshapen over time from heavy usage, as was already discussed here, the toy will serve another purpose once properly discarded.

I found a few recycling plants in Malawi, each of whom share in a humanitarian view of reducing plastic waste with productive results:

http://recyclemalawi.wix.com/ecogreentraining

http://www.ejpolymers.com/about-ej-polymers/2

http://www.polystarco.com/mobile/en/news_i_N2013093000008.html

Photo of Shauna Carey
Team

Ciao Maurizio!

It's great to see how much work you've put into iterating on your idea already! Is this idea something that your organization is interested in implementing, or is this is solo project for you that would require additional implementation partners?

Best,
Shauna

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Shauna, thanks for stopping by. My organization is ready to implement and we are open to partner with additional implementing partners depending on their locations and expertise. Do you have any specific organization in mind? Cheers

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Shauna, a part from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Ghana, country we are working in at the moment. We are also open to consider exploring partnerships in India with international and/or local organizations, business and or institutions. If you have any specific partnership's idea in mind we will love to hear it.
Cheers

Photo of Diini Omar
Team

This is great opportunity to increase parent-baby interaction: It builds trust and creates a secure bond. Playing with the baby unlocks endless possibilities for mental and social development. And this is how to make playtime even more rewarding during the early childhood. It also encourages communication with the parent excellent idea. Best luck Diini

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Diini, thanks for the like! Indeed the bottle stack and especially the rotating labels calls for parents and children interaction. Cheers!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Congrats Maurizio! Looking forward to keep collaborating during refinement and to seeing the next prototypes emerging.
The scenarios you developed would be great in developing the experience map.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Congrats to you too Anne-Laure and thanks for your contribution and trust! We are happy to collaborate with you further and it will be great to develop the experience map together. Let's coordinate offline. Cheers!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Maurizio, just sent you an email with some questions. We should have an experience map to share soon. :-)

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Anne-Laure I have seen your message and questions, many thanks! I will reply to you by the end of tomorrow. Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Wonderful! ciao.

Photo of André Santos Correia
Team

What's the life span of the bottles? Who's going to produce it?

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear André thanks a lot for your important questions. About the life spam of the bottles we do not have made a scientific test, we think it will be average. If we will be successful in using organic plastic the life span might be less than PET or other plastic, still we feel it can last at least 3 to 5 years heavy children usage before starting to loose shape and solidity. The good/bed news is that we all buy those bottles(oil, water, juice, shampoo, etc..) with a frequency between once a day to once a moth, this ensures large availability.
Who is going to produce them is definitely an important question, we have tried already to give some answers to this (see this comment: http://goo.gl/dMHUrZ) and as well see Update 7/11 in the post) there we explain who we think might be interested in adopting (or producing) these type of packaging, i.e. big brands like Uniliver for example or local retailers like Nakumatt (largest supermarket chain) in Kenya or local producers like Rab Processor (peanut butter producer) in Malawi.
Cheers!

Photo of Marion Caillat
Team

Congrats ! Really like the graphism, it proposes the right balance between adults universe and the childish imaginary world.
Propose packagings with a second utility is brilliant !

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Thanks Marion for your professional and artistic feeback, cheers!

Photo of Divya  Hirani
Team

Great Idea!!!
The question for me is would these be shipped out in bottles, does this community have a near landfill waste where you can resources the packaging and modify these in low cost effective ways for them to be able to do different activities like you've explained.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Divya thanks a lot for your clarification questions.
What we would like to achieve is to create a change in the packaging industry and have global and local brands thinking that they can deliver value and contribute to the global/local welfare also through their packaging. The idea is that the packaging should be designed with toys in mind with special focus on 0-5 five early child development more than having families modifying existing legacy packaging.
Cheers

Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

Lovely idea, Maurizio. You are using natural resources and children get most pleasure from playing with plastic bottles, packaging etc. This is great and I hope that you make a go of it. Well done!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Thanks Ayman, we will do our best to make it happen! Cheers

Photo of Jonathan Joanes
Team

Great idea Maurizio! I think educating young children through packaging would be a nice way to reach out to many people at once.

Have you approached any brands about implementing your idea? Perhaps there are brands that are already doing charitable work for those living in deprived regions of the world that would be happy to work with you, and your team.

I also like the idea of approaching local supermarkets and re-packaging their 'own brand' products. You idea would also benefit local businesses if more people were to buy into products that educate :)

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Jonathan thanks a lot for the like! We are about to have a round of exploration with a couple of local brands/retailers. More updates soon. Cheers

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Best of luck as you develop this project Maurizio. Congratulations!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Thanks Bettina, this feels like a great responsibility now, and we will do all our best to stay up to expectations. Cheers!

Photo of Harry Fielder
Team

I really think this is an inspired idea Maurizio, simple but has so much potential! Well done!

I'm thinking that FMCG companies could dedicate 30% of their packaging space to a little tutorial, word-search or health tips such as 'Make sure you wash your hands before preparing food'.

There was an interesting initiative with Coca Cola a while ago where they packaged medical supplies within the full Coca Cola crates being sent to Africa, without the need for extra shipping.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Harry. Shane posted about the initiative by Coke during the research phase. It is ColaLife. It is an awesome program!
https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/colalife

Photo of Elimu Community Light
Team

Congratulation Maurizio.
I will follow your idea

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Elimu, thanks a lot! We will be happy to collaborate with your community. Cheers

Photo of Cecilia Menarini
Team

Hi team,
I am really impressed about your idea! I think it has a huge potential and you should propose it to manufacturing companies as well, specially companies with a focus business on toys for children.
Did you have the chance to check if there is any patent on this idea?

I think it could be possible to partner either with our project: h@ppiness game.
It would be great for us to get in touch with you and discuss about that.

All best
Cecilia

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Cecilia thanks a lot for the like. Sorry about my first comment I did not have the time to go through your idea. I have read it and applauded :). I like the concept of a creating playful space between parents and children to interact together. You can get in touch with me @http://gmail.com you have details on my profile. Cheers

Photo of Cecilia Menarini
Team

Hi Maurizio!!
Thanks for your feedback. Yes, we may arrange a Skype call to dive into both projects and to meet each other a little better, to brainstorm on all possible complementary areas, My Skype is @Sesilià. We are currently running some fine tunings but we may arrange a call even in the next days. I am always logged: just contact me to fix it.
See you soon

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Love all the action happening here – thank you for updating us on your progress in a clear way!!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Chioma we are keeping our fingers crossed!
Cheers

Photo of Lisa di Liberto
Team

Maurizio-I love your idea! I believe it will have a great impact on the 0-5 age group and their parents.

I like the idea of using cardboard which is durable, easy to reconstruct and malleable. It has varying textures and levels of thickness. It accepts colors and is not washed out. It is tactile and feels good in your hands and not too expensive to manufacture. It is also biodegradable and doesn’t weigh a lot. Reused, it becomes a great teaching tool because you can print the comic strips you develop, directly on the surface of the cardboard to help tell a story and make the package fun to use.

I like the idea of packaging categories of products. For example, when promoting hygiene and good eating habits to the 0-5 age group and their parents, you might entice manufacturers to change their packaging for this age group only.

If you present it in such a way that you will be using their products to promote good eating and healthcare habits in remote areas for this age group, ask them to donate their items. This is an incentive for them to be involved and it becomes a charitable donation which they can write off on their taxes. You may even approach the packaging manufacturer the same way. Then you would probably have more control over the type of package designs you would use to package the products.
Perhaps you can make it more affordable to the families or distribute them for free if a company becomes your sponsor.

I did a little research and found this cardboard packaging company to further explore: http://www.kapstonepaper.com/products-services/mill-products/kraftpak/

Other categories to consider, all of which promote health and well being, are the most important things to focus on as Bettina points out. The potato chips and soda will never go away, but if your packaging idea doesn’t include them, it will help focus on teaching good oral hygiene instead because the packaging for the toothbrush category will stand out.

I think packaged groups together is a good idea to consider. For example:

Toothbrush, toothpaste and organic mouth rinse - you might then turn the package into a cup holder with fun graphics on it or a calendar with how many times a day to brush your teeth described with a fun illustration.

Soap, hair brush/comb & shampoo

Toilet paper, sanitary pads, soap and towelette, ibuprofen (for cramps) - the box can become a small personal carrier for the sanitary pads

Soap, hand balm and lotion - with a comic strip illustrating when to wash your hands preprinted on the inside of the package.

The possibilities are endless as you design the packaging to then transform the modulars into fun teaching tools. If you would like to add a graphic designer to your team, I would love to join this venture. Thank you Anne-Laure for telling me about this idea!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Lisa, great to have you join the conversation and the team! :-)
I like a lot your suggestions and indeed the possibilities are endless. However, we also found with Maurizio's latest research that there is not so much cardboard packaging involved.

What we need to understand better is the availability and real use of some of the products such as sanitary pads. As for Ibuprofen (assuming it's easily available and widely used), as Bettina noted in one of her comments, we have to be careful about the packaging of products that we don't want young kids to be interested in.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Anne-Laure and Lisa my apologies for the late reply, please bear with me, i will update the post tomorrow with the latest findings and the packaging/toys options we are thinking to explore on the light of the field findings and your comments and suggestions.
Thanks!

Photo of Lisa di Liberto
Team

Maurizio I love the designs for the stackable oil bottles with wheels and the alpha/numeric graphics on the sides. It gave me an idea for a complimentary piece to add on. I just created an illustration/prototype of a simple 2 inch squared double-sided accordion fold insert with an extension of the graphics on the bottle. This could be attached to the side of the bottle at the end of the manufacturers packaging production phase. This is usually done with fugitive glue, aka a glue dot. Very easy to remove. The insert is small enough to both tuck onto the side of the bottle and easily opened by little hands. The parents can use it as a teaching tool that would be very effective for learning the alphabet and basic numbers . How can I send you the .png file?

Photo of Kyaw Tun Sein
Team

Amazing job Maurizio! I really like your idea about rethinking packaging for benefits of children. I think it could really have impact at global scale compared to education system ideas.
Cheers.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Kyaw thanks a lot for your appreciation! We feel the same. Tomorrow we will know how to further proceed. Cheers!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Cool idea and great collaborative conversation here! This project has lots of potential due to its transformative qualities - needed product - messaging - toy - family participation - and just the process of making something from something else will be educational for young children, and can lead to more explorations of their environment, and create a mindset of recycling as well. Great stuff.! The one thought I have is that I would be cautious as to what products you choose as the vehicle for this idea.
Thinking from the point of view as a pediatrician here.... Your idea has such amazing potential I wanted to share some thoughts on how choice of packaging to target might effect children's overall well being.
Chips and soda might be available in remote areas but considering impact on early child development, in this case nutrition, might it be better to link your idea with a product that has a more positive impact? Once a child understands that the object becomes a toy they will push and push for parents to buy it. Examples from the "developed" world - McDonald's Happy Meals and sugary cereals that have prizes in their boxes. These unhealthy choices have negatively impacted children's health. Habits are very hard to break, and these foods have become staples in our societies. Advocating for parents to spend on healthy foods is a better choice when it comes to nutrition in any community, and particularly in areas where children are malnourished due to limited financial resources. In many ways creating this packaging becomes marketing for these items. Other items on the list that I would avoid are things that are toxic for children if ingested, such as medications,, chemicals used by farmers etc. Kids will gravitate to these packages once they know what their potential for fun is.
There are many options on your list to choose from. Just thinking about how to best align the potential for positive impact of your idea.

Great project! Looking forward to seeing where your collaborations lead - design, narrative etc. etc.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Bettina thanks a lot for this insight and deep reflection, it is really helpful! it will help us in balancing when applying the criteria for choosing the first products' array. With your permission and attribution I will update the post with this feedback.
Thanks

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Bettina,

great insights and reminders. I agree that if the focus is the modular aspect it should focus on "safe" products, "for children" and healthy. In fact, this might even be an opportunity to encouraging healthy habits.
Definitely worth updating the post Maurizio.

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Team

Happy to participate in the conversation. Glad to hear the comments are helpful. I was a bit nervous to share something that may have sounded negative as the project is so awesome. So I am happy to see that you understood that the comments were based on some observations. Of course use the feedback to build/grow your project!
I see this idea as a big opportunity. I totally agree Anne that this can be an opportunity to encourage healthy habits - for kids, parents, families.
Soap as a possible choice?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Agreed on soap... posted "sanitation" products in another comment thread ... 2 minutes ago... meeting / crossing in cyberspace :-)

I think your comments were super useful and not negative: just great reminders!

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Team

And I did just short-listed soap among other few products :) awesome! Bettina and Anne-Laure you might want to have a look at the short list now. I have compiled it taking into account a product line of a multinational I'd love to get on board :) Thanks!

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Team

Great soap story here!

The list looks like a great group to start with. The items appear to be diverse in how they would be packaged so lots to play with in terms of ideas for toys, messaging etc. Can you take some photos of these items so we can see how they are packaged to start with - in Malawi? For example, is the soap sold in single bars, or in a box, or is it liquid?

Down the line milk would be also be a good one.

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Team

Hi Bettina, I am going to Malawi this coming week Wednesday I will make sure I'll take some snapshots in some rural shops. Milk indeed is also a good one to. Thanks!

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Pictures would be great Maurizio. If you could bring one or 2 of the prototypes you have (as pictures) and just show them to people there. Maybe also some short interviews to understand what are the usual items bought by people.

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Team

Great suggestions A-L! I would be interested to know also if people buy staple items frequently due to lack of space, or refrigeration, clean storage areas, or if they are buy in bulk and therefore might have larger packages. Would this inform your design ideas?

Maurizio for some reason I thought you are located in Africa. I guess not. What will you be doing there?

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Bettina, I am located in The Hague and I frequently travel to Malawi and Kenya. The organization I work for has implementing partners in 9 African Countries, so we have quite a presence there even though we are not based there mainly for ownership reasons.

Now I am in Malawi, here we work in Education and Health, In Health in specific running a program on maternal and child health, hence the relevancy for us of these challenge.

A part for the tasks related to our current programs I will interview few Community Health Workers about products availability in the rural areas as well as making a little research visiting rural and corner shops to see what is usually sold there relevant to our idea.

I have updated the post with few pics and some findings.

Cheers

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Team

Hi Maurizio,

thanks for the background information :-)
and for the updates: really rich insights! thanks for sharing!

To me it was interesting to see the distinction between the small rural shops and the fuel station shops. Where are the latter located?

I had a question regarding the fuel stations is who are the people who buy products like peanut butter as the owner of the small shops said people don't buy it because such products are too expensive and they grow their own peanuts.

I also thought that the fact that soaps were not wrapped was interesting as you could imagine providing wrapping paper with information on it.

All your findings are informative about the limited amount of products that we can think of and it makes me think that for the moment, additions such as cards or stickers might work best.

It seems that women sanitary pads are available, yet are they bought? From the Women Safety challenge, it seems that very few women and young girls (in countries like Uganda or in India) could buy them - when they were available.
I'm curious to see how you are planning to use these: not for toys for children, but rather for providing women information about children's development and health?

Re-reading the general description of the idea, I'm wondering if the focus should not be on 1 and 2 first...

Cheers,

al

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Team

Thanks for posting photos Maurizio! The porridge - is this for infants? it is great that it is fortified. That box would be a good one to use for this project. There aren't too many "boxes" at the end of the line are there? Regarding the body products such as the body creams are they relatively expensive or inexpensive? This seems like a luxury when families cannot feed their children. Interesting.....

So what are your thoughts after gathering this information?

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Team

Dear Anne-Laure thanks a lot for your reflections. Fuel station shops are located along the road mainly right outside a "urban" settlement or at main roads crossings. People buying peanut butter are people that are not engaging in subsistance farming (my assuption based on 4 years observations travelling through Malawi).
Great the idea of providing wrapping paper for the soap, we will explore that.
I was thinking to use the packaging of the pads to distribute play cards and stickers that can be used with the animate stick figures made out of cartoon boxes. And here indeed, thanks Bettina, it seems there is not that much cartoon packaging (of individual products) in the rural smal shops.
Today i am on the road again so hopefullyI can refine and validate some findings. As well I will have a focus group discussion with community health workers where I hope to get some clear advice.
Stay tuned, cheers!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Maurizio for this complementary information.
Regarding sanitary pads, try to find out how many women can offer them. From the research on the women safety challenge, my guess is not many. Hence, we should not rely on them to distribute the cards.
Indeed as Betina said not much cardboard packaging it seems. That is useful to know as you are working on the prototype. It'd be also useful to know how much of the body products are used.
It's great if you can do a focus group with health workers: if you could find out about usage of sanitary pads, that'd be great. It'd be also interesting to know more about what kind of products low income family buy, as well as the main health issues when it comes to early development they think people face in this community.
Looking forward to reading more about your observation and the focus group.

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Team

Hi. Great to be getting this info from you while you are on the ground in Malawi Maurizio. Thank you for sharing here!

I wonder if rural folk are shopping either at the fuel station shops or other centralized markets as well as in the small local shops. Do you have any insights on that? I am thinking about going monthly to buy several things, stocking up and using the local market only for things that one runs out of? Would this be a possibility for rural communities or are most of their needs met by farming and gathering? Maybe the health workers and any families you meet can fill you in on how shopping is done throughout the year.
Did you see ORT in the rural markets?

Would also be interesting to know what small children currently play with. Are there any objects they have perhaps that parents make that they hold in their hands and use in pretend play? Are there any larger objects that they use to stack, or put into and out of a box for example? Things from the natural environment? Perhaps health workers can inform you on ways that parents are creative with things in their environment that they use to play with small children and to teach them with?

Enjoy the conversations. Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great complementary questions Bettina! Thanks for adding these to the list. :-)

Maurizio, it'd be great if you could gather this information as well so that we understand better the buying patterns and the "touch points" for these families to get products.

Understanding how kids play today will be very informative for the design.
I've never been to Africa but from my trips in Latin / South America and in Asia, it seems that kids can be really creative in what they play with. Of course, we might be able to offer them new opportunities but understanding current practices would be helpful as we might be able to enhance them.

Cheers,

al

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi all.
Great point Anne - about watching kids play.

I was thinking about what type of toy/object one might create from packaging. One thing to consider is that the children, 0 - 5, will not have manual dexterity to make some of the objects in the pictures above . The parent will do it for them. Might be great to have various options - ones little kids can maneuver and others that parents make and kids play with. What are you thinking about with the designers?

One thing I was thinking about is how children can be creative, as Anne points out, and they engage with pretend play with excitement and curiosity. It does not take much.
Ex) Sitting on a bus holding morning coffee and a mom is holding her child - 15 months old who is squirming and starting to cry. I have one of those cardboard cup holders - slide it off and look at the baby through it like a telescope. Sort of a "pirate peek a boo." - baby stops crying and is engaged. Continue for a few minutes and then hand the baby the cardboard cup holder, if mom it ok with it. Now the baby holds it, puts it on her wrist and starts to shake it around. So an everyday object becomes a toy on the bus. It is large, safe and is several things. Perhaps something like this could be made from packaging. Have visuals of how the toy transforms to create awareness for the parents? A picture of a mom looking through it at her baby, a picture of the toddler wearing it on the wrist, a picture of mom folding/unfolding it - from a flat paper to a ring?...
Other possibilities that are large for little kids to hold in their hands - an airplane? boxes/blocks? a small puzzle?

3 - 4 year olds start to learn to use scissors. Will families have scissors for children? Something to think about with designs and the directions to make the toys?

Looking forward to your insights from the road trip! The creations will ultimately depend on what packaging actually exists in these communities. I think urban communities will have more options. Are you looking at some shops in those areas as well?

Bettina

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Team

Dear Bettina and Anne-Laure thanks a lot for your deep reflections and insights. I will reply to you and give you and update on where we stand tomorrow morning.
Cheers

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Anne-Laure and Bettina, I have updated the most with the last findings.

Bettina you are right about manual ability of children 0 to 5, we are also betting on the brothers and sisters of these children (In Malawi is quite common to have 3 to 6 children per family) and of course as you are suggesting on their parents.

Seeing the lack of cartoon board (a part from the GIV beauty soaps line to be found in Paiva, 40 Km from Chikwawa) we want to focus on plastic bags, wraps, pouches and on the body care line since it offers plastic pots and bottles.

We are aware that some of these items might not be very suitable for kids, our confidence is to avoid small hazardous pieces (not suitable for 0 to 3). It is true that we do not want kids to get around those products while they are still in use, it is also true that they are currently find those empty pots in the open trashes near the villages, so if designed with children in mind we might be able to minimize the risks.

As said in the update we want to focus in having at least a car and a doll design made out of combining different body line products (pots, small and big bottles, etc.) and have the kids be able to use stickers and pouches to dress up their dolls or change the appearance of their cars. We are realising that we can use stickers and pouches in combination with dolls to teach some important behaviour to children.

Cheers!

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Team

Thanks Mauricio for the updates. It is so interesting to find out what is actually in use/sold in these shops. I like the size of those bottles for kids hands. I am excited to see some sketches of possible bottle creations. Where are you thinking of putting the stickers so kids have access to them?

Have you thought about using the plastic bottle caps for anything? Inside 1/2 gallon orange juice containers here in the US there are plastic tabs that pull up and out. My nephew, when he was about 5 years old, collecting about a hundred of them. He used to play with them and create all sorts of things, line them up on the table and pretend they were art works etc. I think he liked them because of their size, and also that there was a plastic ring that he could put his finger through. I wonder if the bottle caps can be used to create games for 3 - 5 year olds.

I love the photos of the kids with their creations! Thank you!
The photos make me wonder if the kids are off making these creations on their own, together, and if yes, how can we find a way to include the parents in their creative process? What can we do with this packaging to highlight what the parents bring to the picture here.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Maurizio for the update. Like Bettina, I love the pictures (particularly of the kids) and insights. I like the idea of combining different packaging to make one thing. I like the idea of the stickers as well. By the way, the stickers and the bottle caps reminded me of my brother and his friends collecting images of footballers: could we have cards that would be in the packaging and kids could collect them, exchange them, maybe even do some role plays?

I'm also wondering if you could not imagine to have a workshop with some kids and providing them some of these packaging and a few stickers and see how they play with it: allowing them to co-create with you might be the best way to design toys and activities that appeal to them (and they are creative).

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Maurizio, I'm wondering if all the insights you gathered during your trip you could not come up with a scenario describing the experience for the children (and parents) to interact with your idea.

Another quick question: when you said in your latest update that some products are "available", does this also means that people buy them? thanks!

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Team

Hi all.
I really like the idea of cards. One idea I had for parenting info was to have cards that could double for parent and child so one side was a visual of a developmental milestone and the other an image that a small child would respond to.
Also think it is a fantastic idea to do a creative toy making workshop with kids. I also wonder if this might be something to expand upon. How about workshops with the same materials with kids in The Netherlands as well? Maybe share inspirations between them. Might be beyond the scope of this idea but I wonder what we / they can learn from something like this.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Bettina and Anne-Laure thanks a lot for your comments, very inspiring!
@Anne-Laure, I have asked what is most sold to the the owners of the small shops I have visited, they reply was: cooking oil, sugar, salt, the dried soya and the small pots of glycerine.
@ Anne-Laure I really like the idea of having a workshop with children, hopefully if our idea gets short-listed we might be able to organise something right before Christmas. @Bettina the idea of doing it here in NL is a good alternative I think I will give it a shoot with my son (7) and his friends.
@Anne-Laure, thanks for suggesting to write a scenario, I will work on that today.
Cheers!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

I am curious Maurizio did you observe any milk at the rural shops or the petrol station shops? Do you know how milk is marketed in Malawi?

Best of luck moving forward with all of your great iterated ideas!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Bettina, I have just written a small scenario. Yes I have seen milk sold ate the fuel station shops, it is packaged in pouches sort of tetra-pouch. In the villages I did not see it. They get it from the cows or goats. In fuel stations they also have quite some yoghurt and milk flavoured drinks.
Cheers!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Anne-Laure and Bettina, I have added a new scenario, please feel free to think along, as well I have just uploaded the first design done by our designers, I will upload some more soon, stay tuned. I feel we have made great progress! Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Maurizio! I'll check today and will reply. It seems that you have indeed made a lot of progress. I also saw your message to Alex: it'd be great to have them test some of the prototypes.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Anne-Laure. We are open to having protypes tested here.

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Team

Hi Anne-Laure and Alex, we are more than willing to send Alex some 3d printed prototypes as soon as we move ahead with the challenge to have them tested within his community. We will also do the same of course with our implementing partners in Malawi.
Fingers crossed!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi all.
Maurizio - The prototypes are interesting. I really like the stacking ones for small kids. I am confused. Are you suggesting making a new type of bottle for some of these common items, such as cooking oil and body lotion? The reason I ask is that the bottles that you photographed in Malawi had very different shapes to the ones in the prototypes. I thought (perhaps I was wrong) that you were planning to work with what they currently have and design ways to manipulate those shapes and materials. Am curious as to what you have planned going forward!
thanks
Tina

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Team

Hi Bettina, thanks for your comment, we did not use the exact shape indeed, we can though, we thought that the square bottle was looking good. I have posted some pictures of plastic oil bottles, the big ones tend to have a square shape though. We surely adapt the design to different shapes, especially using the glycerins pots for example.
Cheers

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

The square bottle looks great. My question is are you going to work with what these manufacturers are already producing or are you going to approach them to alter what they have for your idea?
good luck....

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Bettina, thanks for your question. We do not have the answer yet. We will explore together with manufacturers what the possibilities will be. We are open to use existing shapes, still even some of the existing shapes will need to be adjusted to accommodate the wheels. For now the possibilities are open and both viable.
Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi,

sorry for joining the conversation a bit late.

First of all, I love the scenarios (It really helps start thinking about the idea) and the prototypes.

I love the square bottle but like Bettina, I'm wondering if you should not start thinking using the existing rather than aiming for getting a manufacturer to do modifications to their design (and lines). I understand the wheels constraints, but maybe you could ask the design team to think from they have and see what can be done... even if the wheels are not perfect. Can we imagine taking a current bottle and designing small wheels that can be added (stuck, even with something like duck tape).

Going back to what you mentioned from your trip in the field Maurizio:
"what is most sold to the the owners of the small shops I have visited, they reply was: cooking oil, sugar, salt, the dried soya and the small pots of glycerine. "
I guess you have brought some of these recipients with you to show the design team. It'd be great for them to get started with that.

If you do a "quick and dirty" prototype, it will allow you to test the ideas with children on the ground and then use it as a proof of concepts / case study for the manufacturers you plan to partner, and get them to do the design modifications for the end products. Does this make sense? Of course, if you've already have partners who are willing to do the design changes, you might not need to be so flexible. However, you might still want to test these ideas with kids.

Thanks again for these really cool and exciting updates!

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Team

Hi Anne-Laure thanks a lot for your precious suggestion on the way forward! We hear clearly Bettina's and your concern about the shape of the bottle. Has sson as we will know that our idea will be shortlisted we will proceed in creating another design using the shape of oil bottles available in Malawi.
AL your suggestions on the way forward are very similar to what we are planning to do next. We want also explore a doll's design.
Fingers crossed!
Cheers

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hey, good progress! Team Uganda is eagerly waiting for the product to prototype with our groups here!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Alex thanks! Hopefully we will be able able to deliver some designs soon (I am trying to follow the show don't tell rule here after so much words :)) and we will share them with you for a validation in your community. Do you recognize some of the finding of the last update has relevant for rural Uganda too?
Cheers

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Alex how are you doing? We are releasing our first designs. You can see the first now, called bottle stack. We'd love to hear feedback. We will upload few designs soon. Cheers

Photo of Design Pakistan
Team

great job!! simple yet impactful! best of luck

Photo of Ines Bernal
Team

Wow, this is great! Good job!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hello Ines, thanks for the like! Cheers

Photo of Andi SP
Team

Oh, wow, I just love your idea!!! This is simple, clear, potentially very effective and indeed smart!

I am thinking about "how we can redesign packages for already packaged product sold in shops?".
What do you think about making play-informational paper bags and provide them to retail chains in low-income areas?
It is gonna be a challenging and very long process to persuade big manufacturers to change packaging. Maybe it will be easier if you create "additional package" stuff, like second packaging on top of existing one. This may be easier to launch into production so maybe companies will be faster to implement it.

Your idea inspired me!

How about adding dashes and symbols and images to the cardboard boxes - not products themselves? How does this sound?

:)
Andi

P.S. I'd appreciate your opinion on my idea: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/1-day-1-open-area-for-children-1-playground

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Andy thanks for thinking through. It indeed challenging and that is what can make this initiative achieving a larger impact. I am to hear you got inspired by the idea. The main problem with adding something on thetop of an existing package is efficiency. We are evaluating to introduce play cards or stickers in some products, one of those being women sanitary pads. We will use the playcards and stickers to complement a set of cartoon theater characters (mum, dad, grandma, bushdoctor, nurse, but also "entity characters" like malaria for example. More on this soon once our first designs will be ready (end next week).
I ll surely stop by your idea and see if I can be helpful. Cheers

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Team

Not sure if you've all seen this article from a few days ago but it is written by two very well-respected leaders in the early childhood field and proposes an idea similar to yours. Thought it might be of interest to you, even if only at a conceptual level (it doesn't get into the depths of the great conversation you all are having here): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-feigelson/the-unfulfilled-potential-of-diapers_b_6158560.html

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Team

Dear Jessica no I was not aware, thanks for pointing it to our attention it is a nice suggestion and complementary idea also for building community narratives. Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Jessica, this is a very nice article and provides an interesting case study.
Maurizio that makes me realize that there are 2 components in the idea and I'm wondering if we want to play with having them together, or separately. The first component is the information element and the diaper is an example of this; the second is the interactive one that engage kids and possibly kids and parents.
This makes me realize that we might want to think about who are our main users.

One way to go would be to develop a few personas and scenarios: current context, they just buy products and go about their busy life with minimum information about how to support their children development. Then scenarios with the new design:
they buy a pack of milk and they see on the box some information
they buy a back of cereals and when the box is finished they can open it and build a toy out of it. The kids might do it. Will the parents do it with them if they don't have time...
etc.
these are rough and we need to go more in details, but we first need to focus on the role of the modular packaging.

(Sorry for all these questions after such a long silence).

Cheers,

al

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Team

Dear Anne-Laure, thanks for posting here again! We have indeed to focus now on the modular design, we will identify an array of 5 products to start with and see what toy(s) we can assemble with those. As well we need to think more in detail about the narrative.
I feel the narrative is critical for creating community engagement and participation. The idea is to try to also bring the community together because each one of them might have a piece that is needed to assemble the toy, or has the latest card with the follow up information on the comic strip, or the next letter, or number, or shape.
I had a meeting with a design company, we are about to finalise our collaboration and hopefully be able to show some design in the next 10 days.
Have you thought about your role of editor copy-writer? we really would love your support to put in shape the crowd-sourcing platform http://www.creators.toys we plan to use for crowd-sourcing the modular design, narratives and also voice-out the community.
Cheers

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Team

Maurizio,

thanks for your note.
Regarding the personas and scenarios, it can be very useful to get feedback from local communities as well as from the OpenIDEO community. It will also be useful as you reached out to companies for support.
Exciting news regarding the design. Looking forward to seeing the first prototypes.

Regarding the editor copy-writer role, I have not given it a lot of thoughts (the end of the semester has been busy with teaching, projects and papers) but I went and looked at the platform a few weeks ago when you told me about it.
I don't have much time to offer and so I need to understand better your vision of this role. And maybe I can also help get other people engaged.
While I like the idea of the crowdsourcing platform, I am not completely sure how you are thinking of doing this. From what I read it is about collecting new ideas for toy design for the packaging. My only concern is how you will be able to get the packaging produced.
If you think of your idea today and how you could implement, you would want to be able to convince some companies to change the packaging of their products, which might be possible (particularly using the argument of corporate social responsibility). However, you will need to provide them with a few set of packaging and I'm not sure you'll be able to change that regularly because of logistics issues. Hence while the crowdsourcing platform is a good idea, I'm not sure how much you will be able to tap into it originally.
Another idea based on Bettina's comments regarding the nature of the product I thought that focusing on sanitation product for children could be nice: imagine a tooth brush pack could become a robot? and the tooth paste a space shuttle?
I am wondering if it might not be a good idea to contact Landor Associates India to discuss their Masti Clean project.
Cheers,
al

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Anne-Laure thanks for your time and feedback.

About the platform the idea is to be able to have fresh design, compelling narratives, as well as to voice-out relevant community's discussions. We need constant new and evolving sense making relevant narratives (comics, characters, strips) a part from the physical box design. As well new game like application type of thinking (board games, card games, educational games)

For now if we could collaborate in writing what the platform is about, what are the roles we are looking for and how they contribute to each others, how the community interaction work, how companies can purchase designs and narratives that would be a great start. If you are able to get some of your students on board it would be great :)

I understand fully the logistical and costs issues related to change packaging and producing new packaging. The design company we are about to enter collaboration with is specialized in packaging design and is very interested in using their expertise to think how might we be able to identify gaps in current design and logistic and use those gaps for our modular design. Yes I am overly optimistic, hope the practice will confirm this ;)

I think focusing in hygiene is a good idea, what if we are able to also serve nutrition as well with the list we just made? Than we would have 2 basic complementary kits and out of their packaging we can assemble the 3 kit for stimulating creativity and play? That would be awesome!

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks,
Maurizio

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Maurizio,
I understand your point about the platform and maybe you are right about getting it started upfront. Maybe we should have an offline conversation and then I can see how much I can participate and if I can get some other people on board.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
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I am inspired by your optimism, creativity and agility here guys!
Awesome!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
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Hi Anne--Laure sorry for the late reply, I will contact you through Linkedin to see how we can proceed at best. Cheers

Photo of An Old Friend
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Hi Maurizio,
It is an intresting and creative idea to make full usage of the package and it is good for children to gain knowledge from everyday products. The healthcare tips and meaningful stories will help children to establish awarness of learning.
We also came up with an idea: You can divide a story into several different parts, like comics, so that you can use one part of the story each time. It will make children interested in what happens next and it's a good way to motivate parents to buy the product.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Eleftheria thanks for your suggestions indeed building a narrative through time is a very good strategy. We want to go a step firther and give the community to create the narrative themself as well as enable them to voice out ideas, tips, best practices and testimonials. We will allow mothers, parents to interact with the crowd-sourcing platform through voice and SMS. Their messages will be moderated by community moderators the most insightful, useful, provocative and inspiring will make it to the packaging batch of that week/month.
Thanks!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Your idea is really good. We have also involved the element of crowd-funding in our idea. You can check it if you want and give us feedback. Here is the link:

https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/the-application-of-gamification-as-a-tool-for-supporting-child-development-activities-in-rural-africa

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Team

Maurizio, thanks a lot for your sharing. It's so cool that good package could provide healthcare tips and enlighten education for families in low-income areas. As you mentioned in the post, we need to choose target products as well as target brands properly so that we could reach as many families as we can. I also found a post in Research talking about adopting coca cola's approach to distribute medical aid stuff. Here is the link https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/colalife

I am thinking maybe the bottle cola will be one of the best choices for delivering useful healthcare tips and telling educational stories. It is because that firstly cola is very popular even in low-income areas and it may also reach remote villages. Moreover, plastic bottle is more durable than paper.

Again, I like your idea very much. Hope it comes true in the near future..

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Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
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That's lovely! Big thanks!

Photo of An Old Friend
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Great piece of work Maurizio. How might the packaging of the food stuff be more guided towards caretakers in rural areas in countries like Uganda?

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
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Hi Alex this is indeed a good question. The idea targets families and individuals more than specific health workers. I think we should use different strategies for different products. I tell more about it in the comment below. Cheers

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Hi Alex, do you think there would be a way to prototype this idea with your community? For example, can you let us know what would be the type of (food) products that people buy? what kind of packaging? maybe brands (if we were to then try to approach them)?
If Maurizio could send you a kit on how to build some prototypes out of a specific packaging, could you have a small groups of parents and children try them out?

thanks!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Anne, it is great if Alex could prototype the idea with his community. @Alex we are happy to collaborate. We as IICD also have our community in Malawi and other countries (Uganda included) where we could test the idea further. I will give it a start to work on a kit. I will update you by the end of next week. Thanks!

Photo of An Old Friend
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Hi Anne and Maurizio! I am sure the YEN team here would be happy to collaborate on this. Let me know how we can move forward. Thanks!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
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Looking forward to hearing from the first prototype of the kit Maurizio. I guess one way to collaborate with Alex and the YEN team is to provide them with a set of instructions / toolkit on how to prototype their own kit to test it with families in the communities they are working with.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Anne-Laure, thanks for your message, I am happy to see you posting comments here again. I took few steps. i am in touch with a couple of packaging design companies here in NL, they liked the concept, I am due to see who will be on board. Second step has ben setting up the crowd-sourcing platform. Yesterday I just installed it in my server, it is just the first start (needs some work, please let me know if you would like to take the editor / contributor / moderator role in it, there is some text to write indeed) you can see it at http://www.creators.toys (as said is the first start, some functionalities need to be added and content too)
Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Hi Maurizio, Ann-Laure and Alex. I really like the direction this is taking. I have some experience running digital strategies. We can create tactics(through social media, blog, etc... to encourage the designers community to be active in the site. It might be worth on thinking about the business model .

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Maurizio, sorry for the slower contribution (things are busy) but I'll come back on this challenge and idea. I'm not sure how much bandwidth I have but let me have a look at the platform and come back to you.

Thanks David for your offer. I think it'd be really nice to try to create traffic and get designers involved. Thinking about the business model is also worth it. Any idea?

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

We are also eagerly waiting here!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Alex, could you tell me what are the 3 to 5 products (and brands) that people buy in your community?

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Anne-Laure, I would like to be absolutely sure of what products we are talking about so we get you specific information!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Maurizio might have a different perspective but what I think we are talking of are mostly food products: chips bags, cartoon boxes, plastic bottles, etc.

In a US or European context, I would say: cereal box, milk bottle / tetra pack, etc.

Some basic food items where we could redesign the packaging to include information and create some games to engage kids and parents.

Maurizio, correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Great! We have sugar, UHT milk as well as unprocessed milk, complementary feeding blends, biscuit, fruit juice, cornflakes. We should get you as much detail later today!

However, I am curious to know how we can redesign packages for already packaged product sold in shops?

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Anne-Laure, Alex and David thanks for your pro active participation and comments!

Anne-Laure I fully understand and I am very thankful for your time and contributions. The platform it has been just set up so there will be some work to do in customizing few functionalities, and have a minimum of appealing content to be ready to be promoted through social and online channels.

Thanks David for offering your expertise on online/offline social marketing.

I am meeting with a Dutch design company this coming Monday 10th at 15:00. After that I will be able to tell you more in details form where we thought we would like to start. After that we can go ahead with jointly making a plan for our own tasks.
Indeed it is a good idea to limit ourselves to a range of 5 to 10 products. I had compiled a list and I see that Alex and yourself have got already some good feedback to be incorporated on my list. Here is what we are coming up with:

Soda (reaches remote areas)
Chips
Salt,
sugar,
coffee,
tea,
cookies,
peanut butter,
powder mil,
cereals,
flour,
pasta,
Bottle of water,
I was thinking that also basic drugs (medicines),
Women sanitary-towels,
Soap,
Contraceptives
UHT milk,
unprocessed milk,
biscuit,
fruit juice,
cornflakes
farmers inputs? (fertilizer, chemicals, seeds, etc)
?

So we could start to pick 10 products on the base of some criteria like:

last mile penetration
most bought
relevancy for the challenge
complementarity for producing a family starter kit
buyer's gender and livelihoods
affordability
necessity
type of current packaging - we need some variety of materials to think about possible toys, toys parts and story telling supportive carton figures, card, board games, etc.

Alex many thanks for your time, insights and questions. Indeed we have few options:

A) Make such cool packaging material that the whole industry will just loves it and wants to buy it to be able to tell a helpful story and create social impact through it. Successful companies are made by individuals who surely have great stories to tell.

B) A is still applicable and find some early adopters customers / partners among the companies that produces the products we'll choose to start with.

C) focus on school feeding programs, initiatives, private catering that supplies schools and health facilities.

D) target packaging national and international producers, I know that in Malawi small corner shops repackage some of the goods since their customers won't be able to afford buying large quantities.

E) Target national food retailers (big supermaket chains) they need to package their own branded products

Some "extreme" thinking inspired by some videos on youtube on how to make own plastic. In the case of plastic we will try to use organic plastic. That will make possible to recycle the plastic for being remodelled at community level in other create different products that could be sold in the same community or outside the community (e-commerce included) from jewellery to iphone cases.

Thanks!

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Team

Guys, this collaboration is awesome! Really looking forward to what you learn from your early prototypes. It's very helpful that you've updated your post so that we can all quickly catch up with where you're at. Keep up the great work!

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Team

"The large number of people with a daily income of less than US$ 4 represents a combined market value of US$ 5 trillion. Experts project a considerable growth here ranging from 4 to 9 % of GDP. In these markets you will find consumers seeking value for money and young entrepreneurs eager to do business. Yet it can be challenging to enter these new markets with affordable products and services." - thats bottom of the pyramid consumption..

Halo guys..

Photo of David Contreras
Team

Interesting figures. Emerging markets are always attractive, specially for social entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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Interesting idea! I believe it could be the most impactful towards the mission of this challenge to focus the packaging on healthy nutritious foods, for children in the most critical age for eating well (the first 1000 days of life). What kids are eating during this age range affects their physical and mental development for life, which is hugely important for thriving during your 1st five years of life. Developing these fun packages would incite and direct parents towards purchasing healthier food options, that would provide their children with essential nutrients. The 'toys' that are developed from the packaging also encourage engagement between the children and parents, which I really like!

Photo of David Contreras
Team

This is a great idea!

We face a great challenge in implementing and transporting these designs to remote communities in rural areas where not many products are sold in the market. Partnerships could be encouraged with big manufacturers and make the focus on nutritional products with a social cause. This would promote education and an emotional connection between parents and their children.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Charlotte and David thanks for your comments.
@Charlotte, that would be ideal, what we will have to assess is what type of products have the most penetration in the targeted area. Most likely we will have to deal with sodas, chips and cookies. We could design packages for those mainstream products that gives information about nutrition, health, cognitive development milestones. As well for cookies and chips we could think of adding minerals and vitamins integrators in separate package.
@David, would you please elaborate more on the challenges you are facing? That can help us shaping the idea further.
Cheers

Photo of David Contreras
Team

Hi Maurizio and Charlotte, It would be a great to establish partnerships with major food and drink manufacturers (such as PepsiCo, Procter and Gamble, etc) who have presence in the region and have a strong logistics to be able to transport the final products to the communities we want to benefit.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi David thanks, indeed that would be ideal.
I will try to research more in depth about the products available in Malawi and in its rural areas. I know in Malawi there is a big plantation of sugar cane owned by a company from SA called Illovo http://www.illovosugar.co.za/about-us/malawi it might also be an interesting partner to explore. Thinking broadly, there are several shops that target farmers, so we might also think about some of those products and their packaging, that could be a way to also reach more fathers.
Shall we try to make a team? Cheers

Photo of David Contreras
Team

Absolutely!

I would like to team up! Let me know how can I contribute. I have built on this Idea with further explanation on how I conceptualise it could work.

Please let me know your feedback and maybe we can adopt/or combine ideas from mine. I really liked the modular design you proposed, it inspired my post.

Grazie mille!

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi David, thanks I posted a comment to your idea, I like the idea to crowdsource the design I will update this entry incorporating the concept.
Cheers

Photo of Elimu Community Light
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Thank you for clarification. My idea focuses on developing parenting kit that will guide parents to provide potential development needs to their children. I would love to hear from you how we can build to each other.

Photo of Elimu Community Light
Team

This is a great idea. I just figure out how the idea works in our developing countries. It seems to me as the modern material which will be not found easily in the low income communities. Can you see my Idea and provide your views

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear, thanks for your feedback, we are talking about PET, organic plastic, paper, carton, etc.. Normal packaging that is available even in very remote areas, the design will be modern and modular, more than the materials used for producing the packaging. Cheers

Photo of Michael Lwin
Team

Cool idea! Would be useful to do some focus group testing of people in developing countries to see what their views are re the product.

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Nice idea Maurizio. I'm wondering if you are thinking of using this packaging for both informational purposes as well as for building stuff.
Regarding packaging, I did a quick search and found this company: http://magazine.good.is/articles/turning-packaging-from-trash-into-toys

As for the information, I can imagine having information posted on cans, bottles, etc. I'm wondering if there's a way to also create a way for parents and / or children to look for some of this information.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Dear Anne-Laure thanks a lot for the link. Great inspiration! That is indeed something very useful to build on. I was thinking also to combine the packages, kind of to make sure in a game like interaction that mother and child get all the needed food for example. I have updated the post with the image of matadog :) hope they won't mind. Actually it would be great to have them on board.
Cheers

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Thanks Maurizio. Glad you liked it. I think you should definitely try to contact Matadog and see if they would be interested in collaborating. As long as you refer to them, I don't see what is the problem.
I like the idea of the interactive part too. Maybe worth thinking of a specific example and start from there. What could be the learnings we want them to get? What products would we target? You might even be able to partner with a food company. Then we can think of the different types of interaction and packaging.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Soda and Chips are the ones making it way deep inside remote locations.
Salt, sugar, coffee, tea, cookies, peanut butter, powder milk, cereals, flour, pasta(I' ll make some research here)
Bottle of water
I was thinking that also basic drugs (medicines)
Women sanitary-towels
Soap
(Contraceptives? )

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Excited about you getting prototyping on this, Maurizio! http://ideo.pn/pr0t0type

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Also – could be good to credit the source of the images in the captions of your image gallery so that folks here don't get confused that these are your own prototypes? We're big fans of attribution here at OpenIDEO :^)

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Done Meena, thanks!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Nice one. Tip: to activate links in your post, hit the Update Entry button up there on the right, then follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/oi_link