Last blog post

 1.Refine the detailed income statement for your venture for two years (at six month intervals) or a more appropriate time scale. Explicitly state the assumptions that underlie your financial model.

2.Refine the Business Model for your venture based on your revenue model. You may use the Osterwalder BMC to refine your business model but prepare one or more visuals that explain how your venture will work and accomplish your BHAG.

  1. Develop an M&E plan for your venture.

Clearly list all assumptions.

Identify short-term and long-term success metrics.

Identify specific methods to measure the metrics.



  • App is successfully developed and accepted by schools
  • Cooperation between our venture and teachers.
  • Students respond to incentives and are willing to cooperate
  • Availability of recyclable material
  • Schools find benefits behind supporting our venture 
    • In terms of offering help to manage logistics in the area
Short Term Success Metrics:  Methods to measure metrics
# of Schools w/ app integrated N/A
# of students that have downloaded the app -Usage data
# of students actively using the app every month -Usage data

-# of students who have completed each cycle of levels

Participation of small businesses # of available incentives
Long Term Success Metrics:
Liters of material available for recycling -General estimate based on consumption of goods in Almaty. This will be done through analysis of behavior and based on current recycle rates. 
Liters of material recycled -Collect data from app based on pictures of recycled material. This way we can have a close estimate of the amount of recycled material

-Categorized system

Percentage of people recycling  -Collect data from app based on pictures of recycled material. Number of people that are new to recycling and are now recycling. 
Growth/Proficiency in education on sustainability  -Have a pre-test to measure knowledge on importance of sustainable and compare with later tests in the app

-# of quizzes completed

-Scores on quizzes

Household water consumption -Collect data (through government?) on how much water was being consumed on average before and after our app implementation in households with those students
Household energy consumption -Collect data (through government?) on how much energy was being consumed on average before and after our app implementation in households with those students
Increase in biking -Collect app data based on people riding bikes as sustainable actions

-Compare previous data with new projections


Post 11

  1. Develop a detailed income statement for your venture for two years (at six-month intervals). Explicitly state the assumptions that underlie your financial model:

In the first 6 months after our app launch, we won’t be making much money from advertisements and partnerships, but as we expand the app use to more schools, our revenue will increase significantly. We won’t need a school manager, we will need to upgrade the app more often, and we will need to spend more on marketing to help build our brand. Traveling costs remain the same throughout.


In the second period after our app launch, our revenue from schools will increase, given our expansion to at least 2 more schools. We will have a built brand name, thus our income from advertisements and partnerships will increase. In terms of cost, we will begin hiring individuals (2) to help us with maintaining the business in terms of business development and general management. We won’t need to spend as much on marketing because our brand name will grow with the number of schools we have in our arsenal.


These trends will continue in the third and fourth periods.


  1. Identify two SPECIFIC funding sources for the design phase of your project and two SPECIFIC funding sources for the dissemination (implementation/distribution/commercialization) phase of your project. For each funding source, explain why this is a good fit for your project, and what SPECIFIC aspect of your project might the funding source support.
    1. Design phase:
      1. GreenFund Grant through Lehigh awarded to facilitate green projects. Our project’s end goal is to make Almaty a greener city. We could use the $2,000 to create a wireframe of our app and even create our first version. The money could be used to hire a team to code the app if we need.
      2. Experiential Learning in Health (GELH) Grant through Lehigh. Up to $4,000 for projects/research focused on health but has a wide definition of it. Our goal is to improve the health of citizens of Almaty by decreasing pollution and making the city more sustainable. We could use the funding to again help develop our app, but also to do more research on the roots of the pollution if/when we do fieldwork in Almaty, to help our app be more impactful with the sustainable actions we choose to incorporate.
    2. Dissemination phase:
      1. Development in Venture grant from USAID under the Environment and Global Climate Change category. This is a good fit because the goal of our app is to make Almaty a more environmentally sustainable city and teach the citizens there how they can help the environment. The money from this source might be able to help us research better ways to combat pollution in Almaty specifically, help us implement more recycling institutions, and possibly help us find ways to quantify our progress in Almaty.
      2. If the app takes well in Almaty schools, and teachers see value in using our app to teach sustainability, the schools themselves could possibly be a source of funding for us. If schools pay for the use of our app as a teaching tool in their curriculum, that could help fund us to sustain the app (to make sure it functions well and make updates) and make improvements and expand the app. 
  2. Identify five specific partnerships that you need to forge to advance your project forward with the ultimate goal of positively impacting at least one million people. Describe exactly how that partnership might help you achieve scale and why that entity might be willing to work with you.
    1. Schools in Kazakhstan. This is possibly our most important partnership. In partnering with them our app will be used by their students to receive incentives on acts of sustainability they perform. When schools embed our app into their curriculum it will establish a much more interactive approach to teaching and exciting students about recycling and sustainability, leading to a greater impact on the greater picture of Almaty and Kazakhstan.
    2.  Students in Kazakhstan. Students are our ultimate target audience. With the students using our app on a daily basis to complete acts of sustainability, our venture will grow and a brand name will be established inside households. We will also have ambassadors among the students whom we will have as a medium between us and the school(s) to discuss feedback, usage, and logistical matters to do with the app.
    3. Teachers in Kazakhstan. Teachers will have a major role as they will be the ones giving the students their incentives for sustainable acts. Teachers will also have to have a good understanding of how the app works to provide help for students when asked. The teachers will also provide key insights into the performance and perception of the app.
    4. WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), World Resources Institute (emphasizes sustainable cities), The Nature Conservatory (again emphasizes healthy cities and preserving land and species). In partnering with these three environmental NGOs, we will make our app and our venture more credible. If we can get these NGOs to support us even just enough to allow us to use their logos in our app, we will be able to reach a lot more people. Kazakh schools may be more inclined to take our app and use it as a teaching tool in their schools. In addition, if these NGOs “tweet” about our app, or advertise about us in any way, that will also expand our outreach.
    5. Partner with local stores in Almaty. If we partner with them, we can ask them to provide a real voucher or prize to their store when the students achieve a certain goal in the app. In doing so, people will be more motivated to do more in the app, and they will also be more connected with their local community. We also may be able to educate the stores also and convince them to be more environmentally sustainable as well. 

Blog post 10

Ten practical lessons from the business (revenue) models of ventures we reviewed today (or others you research) as they relate to the smart cities venture

  1. There can be two levels to models. Barefoot doesn’t directly make a profit, they get the money to train people through grants and contracts. But once they train people, those people bring it back to their communities and are able to sell and make a sustainable profit there. In other words: value creating is self-sustaining.
  2. It can take a long time to see revenue or to see your business finally get off the ground, Barefoot took 40 years.
  3. Reel Gardening donates their product when a customer buys from them. That is a way that they are making revenue, but also maintaining their social enterprise aspect.
  4. Greystone partnered with Ben & Jerry’s, which not only boosted their credibility and “popularity,” but also increased their revenue.
  5. Practically all these enterprises gain their revenue through various aspects, not confined to one item/product. Barefoot, for example, have campuses that sustain themselves, campuses that bring profit, donations, and other minor sources of income.
  6. In all of these social enterprises, while revenue is a major aspect, I feel like they focus more on their social impact than just getting the most money.
  7. It is important to be flexible and change your business as the market changes to keep revenue flowing.
  8. Appeal to emotion plays a significant role in attracting customers. Greystone is not innovating in their product (they’re just brownies), but their hiring policy plays a big role in attracting consumers that view discrimination against inmates as a problem.
  9. Envirofit focused on producing a product that is very simple to use and distribute, leading a wider range of potential customers. This can be applied to our venture (smart cities) by ensuring that our app is easy to use among the children in schools.
  10. Scale at the right pace to maximize impact. Envirofit invested in education programs before they launched their product and that led to the demand for clean stoves rising, thus before launch, they knew it was a success.

Blog Post 9

Business Model


  1. Value Proposition:

We are trying to combat the extreme levels of pollution by minimizing waste and promoting recycling. This would be considered a need for the citizens. We are trying to improve their quality of life.


  1. Customer Segments:

Start with students and school teachers. They will use the app because it is entertaining, educational, and has actual rewards.


  1. Channels:
    1. App MarketPlace
    2. Social Media Marketing
    3. Internet 
    4. Education market


  1. Customer Relationships: We start by connecting with teachers who will integrate the app into the class in some form. They are the direct connection to our target customers: children. We get the customers from the teacher-student connection and keep customers through a semester long curriculum integration. We grow customers by first expanding to more schools, and then hopefully to adults. The app will promote user communities as well.


    1. Revenue Streams:
      1. Character development (micro-transactions) 


  • Advertisements 


    1. Sponsorship
    2. Potential usage fees


  1. Key Resources: 
    1. Physical: capital (money)
    2. Intellectual: licensing for the app, technology to create apps
    3. Human: people who know how to code our envisioned app, teachers to accept the app in Almaty, individuals on the main team to implement the application effectively


  1. Key Partners and Suppliers:
    1. Team at KazNU 
    2. School teachers
    3. Kazakh Government/Municipalities (potentially) 
    4. App Development Team (software engineers, graphic designers, advertising, etc.)
    5. Local stores/companies that would provide vouchers, incentives, etc.

Strategic alliances between non-competitors


  1. Activities:
    1. We are producing a mobile application so we are not required to have a production line or supply chain. Our solution would be considered problem solving. We are aiming to solve the issue of recycling through the development of an app.
    2. Maintaining the application
    3. Possibly gathering data


  1. Costs:
    1. Development costs to maintain and update app (variable cost)
    2. Costs to conduct market research (fixed cost)
    3. Costs to have developers code the app (fixed cost)
    4. Costs of advertising (fixed cost)–will help our economies of scope

Lessons learned from TED talk:

  1. Developing a method and process that is the same and can be used around the world (make the solution simple and reproducible). His inspiration from McDonald’s is interesting because you see how they’ve managed to sell the exact same thing everywhere.
  2. Need to evaluate a business to make sure you are accomplishing the goal (reaching the people, and amount desired) and various points in the business growth process.
  3. Need to develop ways to optimize processes (speed, low cost, and high quality).
  4. Still treating some people for free, those who cannot pay, because people are the most important part. Those who could pay were only paying market cost. Making eye care affordable was their goal. In the second year because there were many more operations, they began to make a profit, and were able to bring down the cost even more.
  5. Productivity, focus on quality, patient centered care, efficiency, cost control, and achieving scale can solve the difficult conditions of; large population, cuts across all economic strata, equity issues, and cost-effective interventions.
  6. Creating compassion and having people own the solution is important.
  7. Sometimes we can overlook how much people around the world are in need of basic amenities, and these are the shortages in the world that should be approached.
  8. Investing in the younger generations as they will be the carriers of the experience and knowledge. In this case, they were the backbone of the logistics involved.
  9. Impact on competitors can be very significant and should be accounted for. In this case, the venture caused certain hospitals to double their output.
  10. Growth in spirit and empathy heals yourself of exploitation and bias and allows the implementation of successful need-oriented solutions.

Blog Post #8

  1. List five compelling takeaways from the Art of the Start.
    1. It is important to have a mantra for an enterprise rather than a mission statement. Mission statements are long and meaningless to workers. Mantras drive and motivate employees to work for a specific goal. 
    2. It is important to have a product that is unique but also valuable to customers. If it is unique but not valuable to customers, you are an “idiot”, if it is not unique and not valuable, you joined the “dotcom” issue, and if it isn’t unique but it is valuable, you are now only competing on “price.”
    3. Once your enterprise/product is out in the market, the market you thought would buy your product might not be, but another market is. That is OK! Do not try to fix it/advertise differently. Instead, work with this new market.
    4. Flattening the learning curve. Don’t ask people to do something you wouldn’t do. Make everything simple and intuitive and “embrace your evangelist.”
    5. Break the barriers. Gather feedback and make sure to act on it. Ask the correct people for feedback, “find the influencer.” Guy gave an example of talking to customer support to understand the environment and culture, likewise it should be applied for the product/solution.


           2. Articulate your value propositions for your diverse customer segments. 

  • Help citizens of Almaty become more environmentally conscious and sustainable by creating an app that is informative and engaging to users.


          3. Discuss your Total Available Market and Total Addressable Market. List all your assumptions and hypothesis.

  • Available Market: All the citizens of Almaty (1.77million) with access to smart devices (particularly smartphones/tablets 
  • Addressable Market: Elementary/middle school students and teachers (classes). Start with one school, and expand from there. Assuming it catches on well, expand to other schools and even possibly create a different version of the app for older citizens.  


Blog post 3/17

  1. Summarize and report out on the results of the SKS exercise. 


We all agreed that we wanted to start having better communication within our team. This includes more frequent check-ins over text to make sure we are all getting done what needs to be done. We also want to start having a meeting with just us (our group), in addition to the meeting with Khanjan, so that we can talk in person to check-in. By meeting, we can assign roles and start looking deeper and at different sectors of Smart Cities in our research. But most importantly, we want to start communicating with our partners in Kazakhstan over the Whatsapp that was created. We will start to get a better understanding of Almaty if we all respond effectively to their texts.

At this point in our project, we want to keep working on our mid-semester presentations, dividing work/delegating work well, learning what we can about Kazakhstan and current smart innovations, and keeping our contact with the KazNU students and continuing to ask them lots of questions. At this time, we especially want to focus on continuing to put in a lot of time into our Engineering for Change articles and our other publications to make them as good as possible. We can do this by helping our other team members by editing and offering suggestions.

What we need to stop doing is depending too much on Khanjan’s guidance, and just go for it instead. We believe we need to stop being told directly what to research and just start reading whatever we can to explore ideas and gain as much knowledge as we can about the topic. We also want to stray from completing things just to meet the deadline, but rather taking the time to do it completely and most effectively to better advance our project.


Team Name: Smart Cities  Date: 3/17
  • Project Goal: To create a smart innovation that can be efficiently used by most of the citizens in Almaty, that will make some aspect of their lives easier/better.
    • To measure the success of our project, we need to collect data on how many people use the innovation, and possibly do interviews to see how people think it has changed their lives.
  • Personal Goal (Alli): To broaden my knowledge on smart innovations and gain a better understanding of the culture in Almaty and how we can use our skills to help make the city smarter.
  • Personal Goal (Ugochi): To understand the in-depth process behind successful and impactful smart innovations, and leave the project with an ability to implement similar innovations in other cities.
  • Personal Goal (Tommy): To understand the process and methodology behind creating a solution to existing issues. Learn the steps it takes to successfully implement a social venture that impacts the lives of people. 
  • All of us are expected to have an Engineering for Change article published, along with another partner article published on another forum. 
  • Right now we are all researching innovations we think will work in Almaty, but once we decide what we are doing more specifically, then we can create subgroups.
  • Right now, especially because our group is pretty small, we depend on each other in almost every aspect of our project, so we don’t have a project manager at the time.
  • For decision making, I think we should strive for consensus, but if we hit a specifically difficult topic, then it might have to be majority rules.
  • Right now we have been doing a lot of communication online, and it seems like it is going to have to continue to be that way. However, as many zoom meetings, or “face-to-face” simulations we can have, the better.
  • For meeting roles, it depends on the meeting, as our roles will shift. However, usually we all do a good job of each taking notes, and all keeping time in mind, and facilitating together.
  • Our plan is to “meet” an additional time (aside from the one with Khanjan). As per what time works best for everyone, since we are all still getting home, we have to figure that out still (because we are in different time zones).
  • Everyone on our team has different strengths that play well into making us work effectively. We have various majors and disciplines across our team, including computer science, engineering, and international relations. This allows us to use each other’s strengths to solve any issues we may come across. We also all have different cultural backgrounds which help us look at everything with different perspectives.
  • Our team name is Smart Cities in Almaty.


3. Plan if we cannot do fieldwork in Kazakhstan this summer.


If we are unable to do fieldwork in Kazakhstan this summer, we will just continue to reach out to our partners in Kazakhstan more. We will have to depend on their knowledge and research of what the culture is in Almaty. If we planned to interview citizens of Almaty on how they believe they would respond to our (potential) innovation, we will just have to depend on our partners at KazNU to do that and report back to us. Of course we will be helping them the whole way too, but they will have to do the physical groundwork. 

If we are unable to go this summer, we may have to have a physical prototype of the innovation we are planning for the next opportunity we get to go to Kazakhstan. In other words, we will have to be a lot farther along in the process the next time we get to go and hope that we don’t have to go completely back to square one (that our innovation doesn’t completely fail).

Blog post 6

Does your work require IRB approvals? If Yes, articulate your detailed IRB strategy. If No, explain why you don’t need IRB approval and identify situations when you might need IRB approval.

We do not believe that we will need IRB approval because we do not have the intent to use human subjects in our research. Our goal is to create a smart innovation for the city of Almaty that will enhance citizen’s lives, which could potentially be used in other cities after that. Our work, therefore, qualifies as research according to the IRB because we will be collecting data, and hopefully adding to generalizable knowledge by publishing our work and making presentations. However, we do not intend to manipulate people in any way or use people to gather specific data in a type of experiment. Because our plan, as of now, is to focus on something along the lines of the environment, infrastructure, heating, or transportation, the data we will be looking at is mostly on how machines or products or the system works. Not so much on people. 

We will, at some point, be talking to people in Kazakhstan, and citizens of Almaty and collect their data and feedback to study how it was perceived and how we can improve our solution to better fit the culture and environment in Almaty, so we will need IRB approval because we would be using human subjects. Also, if we changed our project idea, and needed to start collecting private information from the citizens of Almaty, then we would need an IRB approval. 

Develop an outline for your mid-semester presentations. What supporting evidence will you provide for each point? How will you boost your credibility every step of the way?

For our mid-semester presentations, we will start by explaining that Kazakhstan is a very resource-rich country and is very developed. Their cities have been growing significantly over the years. In order to make the cities the most efficient they can be, smart city innovations should be developed to help fix infrastructural, environmental, or overcrowding issues. Coming up with a smart innovation that will effectively work in Almaty, will help make the city more efficient and hopefully be able to be cleverly translated to other cities in Kazakhstan, or even around the world. Our goal is to develop a device that improves life in Almaty but can also be generally applied to other cities around the world that are experiencing this surge of growth. The innovation will also be able to improve each citizen’s lives too. The magnitude of which we will not be able to determine until we decide on the exact innovation that will work. 

We will then explain all the research we have done on smart, digital, urban, and in use innovations on parking, pollution, short term travelers, and quality of life. We will describe, with specifics, how certain innovations have been successful in other countries, and how we see that something similar might work in Almaty. If we have been able to get our article published on Engineering for Change by this time, then we will make sure to mention that in our presentation at this point. The importance of the Engineering for Change article is to establish a brand for our project. We want to educate people about the significant roles that small but impactful smart innovations can have on developing cities and countries. 

We will continue by explaining that our project is new, so our goal as of now is to work with our partners in KazNU and AlmaU (name drop), the two major universities in Kazakhstan to figure out potential issues in Almaty that can be improved. We will work with them via Skype calls, and email/texts, to build our relationship and understanding of the city. The use of partners currently in Almaty brings credibility that our project is focussing on social and cultural integration as well as acceptance. At the end of the day, our product is made for the people of Almaty.

Once we understand the issues, we will begin to brainstorm solutions and potential innovations that could work and present them to the panel, making sure they understand that we have not decided on one solution, but will decide on one before the semester ends and work on a prototype during the summer.

When we travel to Almaty, we will use that time to test our solutions and receive feedback from the public and explore other prevalent issues in the city, expanding our scope of solutions. This time will also be great to make strong connections with the community there and our partners, to further understand each other and make our expectations clear. 

All in all, our presentation will show the process in which we took to research the contemporary smart city solutions with their potential benefits and drawbacks and our plan moving forward. We will also analyze the potential benefits our posed solutions would have, how will each of them improve life in Almaty, and the applicability of each one not only to cities in Almaty but to the world.

Our credibility will be established by the rigidity of the sources and research we will present and the fact that we are partnering with the only three universities in Kazakhstan to try and reach a solution that will actually make a difference and be practical in that environment. We will also be sure to get as much feedback as possible from the communities to understand where our solution is best applied.

Bishoy Youhana

Philosophy of engagement

Ten things that make me feel alive:

  1. Empathy
    • The ability to understand what someone is experiencing or going through makes you realize how you can relate to other humans in their state of emotion. The ability to severely punish someone is considered inhumane because it is an instinct to empathize with what the other person is feeling and try to improve their state if it’s bad.
  2. Freedom of thought expression
    • The ability to express my ideas, whether it is through the spoken or written word, is a fundamental right everyone should possess and take advantage of. It is part of exercising our intellectual prowess.
  3. Contribution
    • One’s legacy, what you leave behind. Knowing what will live on after you die, as a part of you, ironically makes you feel alive.
  4. Improvement
    • Learning from my and others’ past mistakes to learn from them, employ this experience in my decision making, and not repeat them.
  5. Love
    • Feeling loved by a partner or friend is something that elevates your sense of life, belonging, and purpose.
  6. Critical thinking and analysis
    • Thinking exercises the main reason we outsmarted our ancestors. Solving problems using unique and unorthodox solutions is why the agricultural, industrial, and technological revolutions have started and ended with fruitful legacies, mostly.
  7. Gatherings
  • Socializing with people and sharing experiences helps me empathize. Staying around people, in general, keeps one sane.
  1. Adrenaline rushes
  • Getting that feeling of emotions being pumped inside of you constantly reminds me that I am alive.
  1. Religion
    • Practicing my religion keeps my soul in a state of peace and fulfillment.
  2. Discipline
    • Being able to control myself (not just act on my instincts) and organize my time is exclusively human ability.
  1. Articulate your philosophy of engagement as it pertains to your work with the GSIF / LVSIF.

I think everyone should engage and contribute to our work towards a shared goal. I should engage and contribute to my GSIF project as zealously as everyone in my team does. Not everyone in the team is able to contribute to the project equally; however, everyone should try their best to do so. In our smart cities project, I can contribute, as a computer engineer, with my elementary knowledge in computer systems and designs. As a minority, I can contribute to ensure our technology doesn’t create segregation. I should engage because this project will eventually help improve the living situation of people in Almaty, and potentially other places, it will enhance my teamwork skills and writing ability, and give me an opportunity early in my life to make a change. These reasons are ultimately why I decided to engage in this program.

Engagement has to be meaningful to ensure we don’t waste our time and energy, we have to collaborate with natives to solve meaningful problems. This collaboration should be with students in the area, as well as general locals. Students would help us understand the situation and create attempts to solve the problems. Locals will serve as focus groups to test our solutions and make sure they’re useful and practical. I also have to collaborate with my team members. Understanding each other’s schedules and shortcomings will help set realistic goals and workloads. Familiarizing ourselves with how we think is also crucial to achieving our goals efficiently.

There will be many challenges to get to our goals, and they all should be considered at the correct time. It would be foolish to consider to work on governmental approval without a working prototype, thus energy should be intelligently spent on the right aspects in the project in the right time. Financial opportunities should be grasped because you never know just how much money Lehigh can give you. Opportunities to grow and expand should be taken at the correct time, otherwise, energy will be wasted. Problems should be approached from a cultural, technological, and legislative point of view. Our solutions have to fit in the culture, have to be achievable through affordable modern technology, practical, and legal.

I don’t know what my epitaph will read, but I would want it my legacy to be change at the largest scale I can achieve. Personal gain is obviously one of my main goals, but offering the opportunity for people to work, study, or live has a moral satisfaction that cannot be described in words. I want my epitaph to solely mention my impact on the underprivileged, then my community (including family).


Bishoy Youhana

Blog Post #4

  1. Based on your life experience, skills and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like?

We want our unique design process to integrate with the people living in Almaty.  It has to be a process that is sustainable, and that will promote entrepreneurial growth in Kazakhstan. The process has to be driven by the people’s needs, and our opinion will be complementary.

  1. Identify your three most important stakeholders and list five UNIQUE attributes for each one of them.

The students at KazNu that we are partnering with are definitely one of our most important stakeholders. Their unique attributes include their lifestyle. Since they are students in the city of Almaty, they see what is happening there every day. Their personality is also an important attribute because they are a younger generation so they will see issues differently from some other adults living there. Their opinions are very important because they are the ones living there, so we are trying to improve their lives with our innovation. Where they reside is clearly important because they are in the city of Almaty, but they are also living in dorms which is unique. Their social class is also unique because some of them could be coming from different backgrounds with various family wealth, but now they are all studying to attain their own job and social class.

The citizens of Almaty are other important stakeholders to us. They live in one of the fastest-growing cities (urban) in the southern part of the country. They use a lot of energy throughout the year (interests), especially during hot and cold months. Their motives, to move into Almaty, we can assume was to attain a well-paying job (possibly in manufacturing). Their social class is also important because there are sectors of the city that are much wealthier than others. They also live in an area where they are exposed to a decent amount of air pollution (the climate).

Another stakeholder will be the manufacturer. Depending on if our manufacturer will be in Kazakhstan, or in another country will affect the attributes of this stakeholder. For now, let’s say it is a manufacturer in Kazakhstan. Their interests are a unique attribute because they will mostly be interested in making the most money they can. Their motives are also therefore unique because they might not see the same end game we see; they will only see the product or innovation leave their factory. Their personality traits are also important because they may be set on doing things a certain way, and we may have to convince them otherwise (or vice versa). The benefits sought are also important because again they may have a different goal than us. The market density is important because we will be entering an already busy market.

  1. Identify three ways in which you will validate your project concept, technology, usability, and business model.

Once we have a concept/technology for our project, we will validate it by getting a paper published about it. Through academic papers, we can establish our concepts in a professional manner, and we make sure that we benefit the scientific community through what we will accomplish. To measure our impact, we will collect a lot of data from our product in use in Almaty to have numbers to support its success (or failure). Depending on the product, we can also try to validate it by intelligently translating it to other parts of Kazakhstan (if applicable). To measure that, we can collect data on the effects of that issue before our innovation, and hopefully the improvements on that issue after. When it comes to the final phase (when our product is approved by the public), we will implement a suite of systems and innovations around the product to ensure its long-term establishment.

  1. Give three examples of something very interesting you learned from a friend that was a completely alien concept to you.

Something very interesting I learned, more like observed, from a friend, is how converts from faith to faith can be very critical for their old faith, even though, in some cases, they’ve spent more than 20 years in that faith, fervently defending its concepts and ideologies. Another thing I saw, is the typical experience they go through: the feeling of enlightenment and being saved from a faulty belief. A very important concept someone taught me was using friendships, not only for fun but to grow as a person. You make friends with people that benefit you and you benefit them in some way or another.

Bishoy Youhana

Blog post 3

  1. Top 20 questions team needs to answer to advance the venture forward. Categorize.



  1. What are the best ways of approaching sustainability goals?
  2. Can this project be implemented in other countries?
  3. Is this a long term solution to the problems we are currently facing?
  4. Will this project inspire similar initiatives/be recreated by other people?
  5. Is developing smart technology environmentally detrimental?
  6. How do we make the project sustainable?
  7. Will this project lead to lasting change?


  1. How big is the impact?
  2. Is change even possible without government help?
  3. Are the problems we are addressing a priority?
  4. What issues do they see that need to be solved?
  5. Will our solutions impact their market?
  6. Are we doing just as much harm as good?
  7. Do we have the depth to really make a difference?
  8. Are we inhibiting domestic social entrepreneurship?


  1. What kinds of partners are we looking for?
  2. Will culture halt our progress?
  3. What social barriers will inhibit our project?
  4. How can we affect different kinds of people?
  5. Is there a technology education and access gap?


  1. Develop and Visualize the Theory of Change (Logic Model) for your venture.


  • 2-3 Publications 
    • Smart City Innovations
      • Engineering for Change
    • How smart innovations are integrated in cities
      • Discuss the impact of smart technology on cities 
        • The benefits, possible cons, social acceptance, cultural impacts, etc
        • Longevity of the device (how long does it stay relevant and impactful
    • How smart cities grow and adapt
      • Discuss the interaction between people and technology
        • How it affects daily life, city efficiency, etc
  • 3 practical products/solutions that we plan to test and potentially deploy to impact people in Almaty.


  • Publications allow for expanded outreach
    • More people on board with implementing smart technology in cities brings more awareness to the power and potential these solutions hold
      • Inspires others cities to implement them based on existing statistics that are included in the publications
  • A viable device that will improve human life in Almaty but can be applied generally to other growing cities





  • Develop an (2-3) MVPs (minimum viable product) or solutions to address real issues in Almaty.
  • Identify focus groups to test products on.
    • Record how the product was perceived by the people
  • Gather data to predict the projected impact our products would have.
  • Propose future publication titles
    • How our products were designed and perceived
    • Potential ways to avoid future mistakes and further the cause of the project.
  • Establishing what not to do for future teams.


  • Grow relations with partners in Kazakhstan.
  • Spur entrepreneurial spirit in the market.
  • Establish solutions to address problems. 
  • Improve (established goal)


  1. Develop an M&E plan for your venture.
    1. Clearly list all assumptions
      1. We will be able to go and do fieldwork in Kazakhstan 
      2. Our 2-3 publications will be accepted 
      3. Our product will be well-received 
      4. Our partners at KazNU will be able to help us implement the innovation and make it widespread 
      5. Our product will be implemented and used sustainably
    2. Identify short-term and long-term success metrics
      1. Short term:
        1. Number of journals and papers published/in conferences 
        2. Create prototypes 
      2. Long term: 
        1. Focus on one innovation and create a sustainable product that can be used by all residents in Almaty 
    3. (Optional) identify specific methods to measure the metrics
      1. Number of publications
      2. Number of innovations that are generally accepted by the people in Almaty 

Bishoy Youhana