Melissa Cliver, Catherine Howard and Rudy Yuly's "Follow the Bean"
Title of Project: "Follow the Bean: Navigating Value Exchange and Vulnerability for Cooperative Coffee Farmers and their Stakeholders"
Region of Research: Mexico
Project Summary: As a direct continuation of IMTFI’s original project in 2008-2009, the team will move to the next phase of the design process: prototyping financial tools and service models with cooperative farmers and their stakeholders with the intention of creating scalable innovations for financial management and the securing of much-needed funds. Their approach is to utilize the sustainable trade industry's connections to thousands of farmers and consumers to build robust m-banking services with ICT's. The goal of these services will be financial inclusion, infrastructure support and the development of a culturally customizable platform that scales.
Melissa Cliver holds a Masters of Design from Carnegie Mellon where she studied interaction and service design with an emphasis on social entrepreneurship and HCI. She is currently researching and developing financial services for farmers and workers in rural Oaxaca, Mexico in association with the Financial Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST).
Catherine Howard holds a M.Sc. in Material Anthropology and Museum Ethnography from Oxford University, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is an ethnography practitioner and strategy and innovation consultant at Jump Associates interested in the role of design in creating experiences and mediating relationships between people and communities. Her recent academic work examines the role of photography in self-representation among indigenous communities.
Rudy Yuly is a Seattle-based writer, editor, communications consultant and biographer who has served a wide range of clients with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR), higher education, and not-for-profit organizations.