Blog Post #5

Group: Bishoy, Ugochi, Tommy, Allison

20 FAQ’s:

  1. Where the app will be available (platform)
    1. Right now we have an elementary version of the app for android phones. Android is used more commonly among this age group in Kazakhstan, based on questioning our partners.
  2. Where do you get stats for your environmental goals?
    1. We have researched that the recycling rate is 11% in Kazakhstan right now, and projecting an increase to 40% by 2024 is reasonable because the infrastructure is already there, citizens just have to be taught how to be more sustainable; which our venture/app does.
  3. Roles of small businesses?
    1. Small businesses are a core part of our reward system. In our 4 categories, (in game customization, in game power ups, classroom rewards, and gift cards) small businesses would contribute gift cards for users to earn by actively using the app. It makes a win-win situation for both parties because small businesses can advertise our app to people in Almaty, and we can advertise their businesses in our app.
  4. Why did you choose this age group?
    1. Our app is for three age groups; 6-9, 10-12, and 13-16. We chose these ages because that is when children are the most impressionable and formulate lifelong good or bad habits. It is also the age range to most likely find an app/game engaging to play.
  5. Are there current gamification apps that have been successful?
    1. Grendel Games is a company in the Netherlands that has created many successful gamified apps. One of them is called Water Battle. It takes the users (primary school children) through a story of a character in the water network in a city in the Netherlands, and the user learns to use water and energy wisely. This is a very similar concept to ours, and they have found successful, measurable outcomes.
    2. An IEEE publication: “Using Gamification to Incentivize Sustainable Urban Mobility” discussed a case study on a green game called Viagga Rovereto which enhanced Rovereto, Italy’s sustainability in mobility.
    3. IEEE : “A mobile gamification learning system for improving learning the learning motivation and achievements”
    4. IEEE : “HomeSchool: an Interactive Educational tool for child education”
  6. How are kids going to influence their families on their habits?
    1. Children involve their families into their school lives, for example mothers tend to help children with homework, so the family will definitely be involved with a new and innovative idea.
  7. Verification and validation of concept
    1. We have been arranging for the app to be distributed among our partners, but we are still waiting for a final MVP to test it. But we have already heard from a few school teachers (including Xeniya Volkova) that our concept could work.
    2. We have surveys created to send out to students and teachers in Kazakh schools as soon as we hear back from our contacts.
  8. How will the reward system work?
    1. Each sustainable act will earn the user a certain number of points. To get to the next level they need a required amount. In our 4 categories of rewards, (in game customization, in game power ups, classroom rewards, and gift cards), users will be able to choose where they want to spend their points. Outside rewards such as classroom rewards or gift cards will require more points, therefore incentivizing users to complete more sustainable actions.
  9. Inner workings of the app?
    1. There will be a storyline to engage the user, and tasks and quizzes for them to complete to progress forward in the app’s levels.
    2. Will be answered more effectively with a 20 second video. We can send the link to you afterwards if you would like further information.
  10. How is your app an example of a smart city innovation?
    1. Smart City innovations can range in scope. Ultimately it is some sort of technology that improves citizen’s quality of life. We have written a paper for IEEE’s GHTC conference that was accepted titled “A Taxonomy of Smart City Innovations.” We can send you the link afterwards if you would like to read it.
  11. How can you quantify the impact of the venture and is this impact even a significant role in the potential increase in the recycling rate in Almaty?
    1. We quantify impact using the number of active users compared to the number of schools and students in Almaty. For example our goal is to implement our solution at 4/8 international schools in Almaty. We also plan to quantify by calculating the recycling rate, and also by our quizzes in the app to determine if the students gain knowledge as they play.
  12. What market share might this app have in Almaty?
    1. So there are not a lot of gamified recycling apps in Kazakhstan currently, so we aim for a decent market share of 20%?
  13. How have you tested the app among students, teachers, etc.?
    1. Unfortunately due to many covid restrictions, we haven’t been able to test the app among students or teachers, but as soon as it is possible/safe, that is our next step.
  14. What role do your partners play in the venture?
    1. Our partners in Kazakhstan play a big role in validating our app. Throughout our creation and development process, we shared our progress with our partners to get feedback, criticism, and any advice or recommendations that we could use to improve our process/designs.
  15. What social / cultural barriers are expected?
    1. Their methods of teaching, project management, and achieving goals are different. We use a more active and persistent approach, which sometimes clashes with their work ethic.
    2. Kazakhstan is being affected by covid as well, so communication is more difficult now.
    3. It’s a new form of teaching, so it will be met with skepticism.
    4. Environmental literacy and sustainability is a few field of study being implemented into school as far as we know from a few of our partners
  16. How are you planning on funding the development of the app?
    1. We are currently working on a proposal for IEEE SIGHT funding.
  17. What is the significance of using the Saiga antelope?
    1. The saiga is an endangered animal native to the Kazakh steppe, so we wanted to integrate the idea of increased sustainability and recycling with improving the environment for endangered saigas.
  18. How are you incorporating Almaty or Kazakhstan into the design of the app?
    1. All of the sustainability acts will be mindful of the user’s location and what is available and accessible to them in Almaty.
  19. What about students who don’t have access to a mobile device? Will there be a web-version available?
    1. Once we have our app worked out, we can then work on a web-version. However, phones have become progressively less expensive, so most households in Kazakhstan have at least one mobile device.
  20. Why do you think your approach of using gamification and education will be successful?
    1. Literature: In reading many publications about gamification successes, if it includes some form of “persuasion” it is able to change habits. The paper “Gamification of Persuasive Systems for Sustainability” emphasizes this. Also more IEEE papers back this up with successes in children with dyslexia, and ADHD learning to manage better.
    2. Strategy: We will have a storyline to engage users, and rewards to incentivize and persuade effectively.

Case 4

Teammates: Kelly Mulvaney, Bishoy Youhana, Megan Lindle

Part 1: Ethical Decision Making 

Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation:

Implicit facts:

  • Due to their inability to conduct research on the matter, the women believe feeding their children gruel is highly beneficial. This is probably a cultural norm that everyone has just gone along with for decades without concrete proof it is sufficient.
  • No readily available testing – if they have HIV they might not even know
  • The women do not necessarily know how the pesticides might affect the children

Explicit facts:

  • HIV/AIDS is very prevalent in the region.
  • 35% of children in the region is stunted due to poor nutrition
  • The child’s main source of nutrition is from the gruel that is made out of maize and bananas
  • We have 500 women willing to join the co-operative.
  • The crops that will be used for making the porridge are often exposed to pesticides which can have adverse effects on the children.
  • Few women are tested for HIV/AIDS
  • There is a higher chance of transmitting HIV through breastfeeding


  • We are assuming that the cooperative will make products that are affordable for the women.

Primary issue: 

  • Breastfeeding can be potentially harmful in regions where HIV cases are prevalent since it can increase the chances of transmitting the disease to the children.
  • Alternative nutritional supplements such as porridge can be offered as a possible alternative to breastfeeding and reduce the growth stunting numbers in the region. However, the ingredients that go into making these are known to be exposed to pesticides which can potentially harm the babies.

Step 2 & 3: Define the Stakeholders and Motivations (personal vs professional)

  • The children: 
    1. Personal:
      1. Want the porridge to taste good
      2. Need food that will help them grow
    2. Professional: None 
  • The mothers: 
    1. Personal:
      1. Want their children to be properly fed (no pesticides) and HIV/AIDS free 
    2. Professional:
      1. Make money
  • Myself/the cooperative: 
    1. Personal:
      1. Improve nutritional status of the children and improve the livelihoods of rural communities
    2. Professional:
      1. Build credibility to get more funding for future projects
  • The women who joined the cooperative:
    1. Personal:
      1. Income opportunity
      2. passion for the cause
    2. Professional:
      1. To produce nutrient packed porridge using locally grown produce.
  • Government/other groups (secondary):
    1. Personal:
      1. Want to reduce growth stunting cases to go down
      2. Improve livelihoods.
    2. Professional:
      1. Develop the country overall
  • Donors (secondary):
    1. Personal: 
      1. Improve livelihoods of the families and reduce the growth stunting
    2. Professional: None

Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions:

  1. Exclusively breastfeed children- The mothers could simply breastfeed the children until they no longer need it because breastfeeding can provide essential nutrients that can’t be replicated at an affordable price point.
    1. Ethical principle: consequence based thinking
    2. Pros: 
      1. No risk kids receiving pesticides 
      2. The mothers will not be worried about feeding their children products that they are unfamiliar with
    3. Cons: 
      1. Kids will have poor nutrition
      2. Risk receiving HIV/AIDS from prolonged breastfeeding
  1. Guidebook/pamphlet detailing which fruits/vegetables contain which nutrients and when is the best time to serve this to their children (0-6 months, 6-12 months, etc.)
    1. Ethical principle: consequence based thinking and ethics of care
    2. Pros: 
      1. No dire need for prolonged breastfeeding (less risk for receiving HIV)
      2. Allows them to understand the benefits and proper nutrition that each food brings; each child will have a more well-balanced diet
    3. Cons: 
      1. Mothers may not be educated enough to utilize the guidebook
      2. Mothers may resort to archaic or traditional solutions rather than the guidebook
      3. May not be as cost-effective as the porridge.
      4. There still could be nutrients from breastmilk that these food lack
  2. Use the funds to develop a nutritious and shelf-stable porridge. Maybe use more of the funding to better process/wash off the pesticides before they can go into making the porridge.
    1. Ethical principle: consequence-based thinking 
    2. Pros:
      1. This way the mothers could be assured that their children would not get HIV from prolonged breastfeeding 
      2. Children will have the essential plus supplementary nutrition from the porridge which can help reduce growth stunting. 
      3. Still will receive nutrients from breast milk; this would be used after the baby is 6 months 
    3. Cons:
      1. Risk receiving pesticides
      2. Will not have enough funding left to market the product 
      3. The baby might still have HIV from birth

Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection 

  • Pesticides are more common in fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, and fish
  • Pesticides can bio-accumulate in the body. Most people don’t consume enough for it to be fatal, however, the neurotoxins can harm small children.
  • In children, pesticides pose a threat to the developing brain and the nervous system.
  • Most East African countries import their pesticides from Europe 
  • AIDS is one of the leading causes of death in East Africa
  • 25% of babies born to women with HIV will also be infected

Step 6: Select the best course of action – that solves the problem, saves face, and has the best short term and long-term implications for your relationship and venture. Explain reasoning and discuss your solution vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in class. 

Solution: Use the funds to develop a nutritious and shelf-stable porridge and use more of the funding to better process/wash off the pesticides before they can go into making the porridge. This way-

  • Children will receive good nutrition.
  • Children will not be dependent on prolonged breastfeeding for nutrients (decreasing the risk of HIV)
  • It would reduce the risk of receiving pesticides but would cost a bit more money.

This solution allows the children to not depend on breastfeeding as the only source of nutrients, thus making sure they don’t practice prolonged breastfeeding, reducing the risk of HIV. This also allows the children to receive a good amount of nutrients from the porridge, reducing malnutrition. However, it is more expensive to implement than the other two solutions proposed, and does risk the children receiving pesticides, but if resources are allocated correctly, fruits should be washed carefully, so the pesticide level in the porridge will be minimal. 

Having the porridge would be an excellent solution supplement to breastfeeding since it would provide some nutrients that breastfeeding cannot provide. Additionally, processing the local produce before making the porridge with them would let the local women working at the cooperative know that pesticides are harmful and they might share this knowledge with other locals of the region. If done right this might even be able to spark some change in agricultural practices. An advantage of this would be that there could be an important shift from using store-bought pesticides to natural pesticides and herbicides like manure.

Step 7:  Implications of your solution on the venture


  • Technology-  the technological implications of the solution would be that it would require more physical capitals such as extra machines to better clean the produce to reduce the potential risk of pesticide residue from the porridge. However, this might also spark a change in the agricultural field since if farmers are aware that the pesticides they use on the produce is harmful, then they would likely use natural pesticides which would help make the solution more cost efficient.
  • Economic- the economic implications of the solution is that a lot more money would go in the making of the product. There would be a lot less money allocated for the marketing of the product since many of the target market is unfamiliar with the product. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, it might not be sustainable for the venture to use local produce to manufacture the porridge in the long run especially if they cannot sell enough of them.
  • Social-  the solution has a major social implication in that it is sort of based on the assumption that the consumers of this region would even buy the porridge in the first place. Since mothers in this region are culturally accustomed to exclusively breastfeeding their children, it would be difficult to market the product since it would essentially mean changing their way of doing things. However, if done correctly, the porridge could be supplemented with breastfeeding and would be incredibly helpful with bringing down the growth stunting rate of the region.
  • Environmental- the environmental implication of this solution would be that the processing of the produce might leave behind harmful chemicals that might hurt the surrounding environment if they are not taken care of properly.

Part 2: Grassroots Diplomacy

Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation:


  • The women have a chance to sell their locally grown produce to the cooperative
  • They like this arrangement because it saves them time and money
  • When they bring the money back home, they are forced to give it to the males
  • Men spend the money on alcohol and other things
  • The twin outcomes of the cooperative are not achieved
  • I only have 6 months left at this cooperative
  • The other members of the board wants things to change as well
  • The women are not unhappy about giving their money to the males, but do not like the fact that the males don’t look after their families.


  • The women cannot use the money directly to improve the nutrition of their children because of aggressive male members of the family who take their money away and use it on alcohol and other frivolous things.

Step 2 & 3: Define the Stakeholders and Motivations (personal vs professional)

  • The children: 
    1. Personal:
      1. Want the porridge to taste good
      2. Need food that will help them grow
    2. Professional: None 
  • The mothers: 
    1. Personal:
      1. Want their children to be properly fed (no pesticides) and HIV/AIDS free 
    2. Professional:
      1. Make money
  • Myself/the cooperative: 
    1. Personal:
      1. Improve nutritional status of the children and improve the livelihoods of rural communities
    2. Professional:
      1. Build credibility to get more funding for future projects
  • The women who joined the cooperative:
    1. Personal:
      1. Income opportunity
      2. passion for the cause
    2. Professional:
      1. To produce nutrient packed porridge using locally grown produce.
  • Government/other groups (secondary):
    1. Personal:
      1. Want to reduce growth stunting cases to go down
      2. Improve livelihoods.
    2. Professional:
      1. Develop the country overall
  • Donors (secondary):
    1. Personal: 
      1. Improve livelihoods of the families and reduce the growth stunting
    2. Professional: None
  • Men:
    1. Personal:
      1. They just want the women’s money and want to spend it on desirable things for themselves.
    2. Professional: 
      1. Instead of spending money on alcohol, they could work with the women and make their own money.  
  • The six members of the leadership group: 
    1. Personal:
      1. They want what it best for the cooperation
      2. They want the women of the cooperation to use their own money instead of surrendering before their husbands because these members are local women who likely struggle with similar issues.
    2. Professional: 
      1. They want to achieve the twin outcomes of the cooperation.

Step 4,5,6: Formulate an alternative solution:

  • Optimal Solution: Bring together leaders in the community and discuss the issue immediately and talk about the ⅓ rule of payment. Essentially how it would work is, the cooperative would function as an equity firm. The workers can work for the cooperation and have one third of their income be given to them immediately, one-third be saved by the company as bonds and the rest of the money could be used to provide the women with high value products such as goats or chickens which can generate income for their families in the long term. The cooperation could establish a separate store at the cooperative where the workers could use the money right away to purchase these products. This would stop the males from taking the money away because they would already use the money to buy products. This solution also allows the women to generate income for their families for the long term without any major risks because they would be guaranteed their money in the future when the cooperation bond matures. The males would also likely be in favor of this decision because it would mean that they would receive more money in the future instead of a small sum immediately. This solution meets the twin goals because it incentivizes the women to keep working at the cooperation by providing essentials, securing their future through bonds and avoiding having to deal with the males of the households while also making sure that they get the necessary items the women need to properly take care of their families.
  • Pros: 
      • Gives immediate and long term benefits to the the women
      • Gives the men a reason to not take the money from the women immediately since they would get more in the future.
      • Allows the women to buy essential products like the porridge to feed their children which would help minimize the growth stunting in the region
  • Cons:
      • The men might be resistant to the idea of the women not having enough money to give to them and this might lead to abuse 
      • There could be a trust issue since the idea of bonds might be new to them
      • Getting only one third of the income at a time might not be sufficient for them to sustain their families
  • Short term implication of the venture:
      • In the short term the venture might run into problems of retaining the workers because having only one third of their income given to them at a time might not work out that well considering the fact that it would be a very low amount.
      • There would be alot of trust issues between the employees and the cooperation since this system of payment would be new to them.
  • Long term implications of the venture:
      • The cooperation could be able to sustain itself and thrive at some point if they are able to build trust with the women they employ.
      • The women would be happy since they would have a steady source of income as well a plan for their future.
      • This solution could potentially get the males to start doing something productive to earn their own money instead of relying on the women.
  • Saving face:
      • The women get a chance to save face since they do not need to confront the men regularly about their income since they would spend it on essential items.
      • The cooperation saves face by discussing their ideas with local leaders and getting them on board with their plan and allowing the women to get a steady source of income.
      • The men saves face by not relying on the women for money but getting a job to pay for their own things
      • The committee saves face by coming up with a great plan to achieve the twin outcome goals of the cooperation.
  • Assistance sought to come up with the solution:
    • The class discussion and the group discussion mainly helped in brainstorming ideas from which the group narrowed it down to this solution.

Implementation steps:

  • Apply grassroots diplomacy steps to bring about change in the large scale in the long run by talking to local leaders
  • Ask the women if the solution works for them 
    • Getting their feedback is very important
  • Validate the process and discuss with male leaders (25 to 30 males) and get them on board
  • Get recommendations from all of the stakeholders before making any major decisions
  • Hire people to handle the bonds/finance related activities 
  • Hire people to maintain the store
  • Take a survey from the women to see which items they spend the most money on
  • From this survey, buy products in bulk for the store
  • Get in touch with government officials/organizations to see if they can donate products to the store
  • Take surveys from the women in the future to see how the cooperation impacted their lives


Case Study 3

Case Study 3

Jack is an American student who works in a youth center, where he lives and interacts with the children. One day, he had given out gifts that the staff members had allocated to the children; however, the gifts ran out and four children did not receive gifts. The staff members did not seem concerned about the children, but Jack was concerned that they felt left out or forgotten after the incident. Initially, he approached the other staff members expressing his concern, but they dismissed it by saying, “if you think there is a problem, then you go ahead and solve it.” Jack wants to approach the situation by making sure the children don’t feel left out, make sure the children like him, and not be portrayed as the westerner activist. What would be the best solution?

Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation – obtain all of the unbiased facts possible

  • An international donor organization sent gifts for children under the age of 14 to a youth center in Kenya
  • Jack has spent five months at this youth center
  • Jack was asked to hand out the gifts and the children believed that Jack gave them the gifts
  • The gift-giving occurred in a grander fashion
  • There were not enough gifts for all the children, which caused four children to receive a substantially less important type of gift in a less grand fashion
  • Assumption: Four of the children blame Jack for not receiving a gift
    • One child made a face at Jack, indicating he blames Jack for not receiving a gift.
  • The staff does not think there is an issue with the four children not receiving gifts.
  • Black hat has a negative stigma attached to it.


Step 2: Define the problem and the stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome

  • The children
  • Jack
  • The youth center workers
  • Kenya Youth Center
  • The international donor organization


Problem: How should Jack do the right thing while not putting his relationships with other stakeholders at risk of degrading.


Step 3: Determine and distinguish between the personal and professional motivations of the stakeholders.

  • The children
    • Personal: increased happiness and wellbeing, they may tease the kids who did not receive presents.
  • The four children who did not receive the gift
    • Feeling as special as the rest of the children who received a present ceremoniously.
  • Jack
    • Personal: To make sure all the kids are happy
    • Professional: Maintaining positive relationships with children and staff to achieve a successful social venture.
  • The youth center workers
    • Personal: Altruistically, make the children happy.
    • Professional: To continue positive operations.
  • Kenya Youth Center
    • Personal: Pride in their kids’ happiness.
    • Professional: make sure there is no tension between the employees.
  • The international donor organization
    • Professional: Increased philanthropic reputation
    • Personal: to give back to the impoverished communities


Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on information available, to have a win-win situation for your relationship and your venture.

  • Potential Solution 1: Leave the situation as it is.
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Pros:
      • Make sure there is no tension between him and the staff.
    • Cons:
      • Jack doesn’t make all the children happy
  • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Jack does not come off as an activist which is perceived poorly from the staff
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term
      • Keep a positive attitude with the staff.
      • A quick fix to move on in the day to day progress of the center
      • Doesn’t create any tension in the relationships with that staff that can manifest in the long term
      • The 4 children will be unhappy with Jack.
    • Long-term
      • Could cause unresolved tension over how to handle future donations
      • Could cause the same situation to be repeated.
      • Could foster tension between the children—those who received gifts versus those who did not.
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term
      • Could cause Jack to want to end his five months stay sooner than expected if he feels unwanted
      • It could make the organization hesitate in choosing Lehigh or other organizations to help them or allow them to do studies
    • Long-term
      • Could cause Jack to not participate in another social venture in-country
      • Could cause the venture to reconsider sending anyone again if Jack felt unwelcome.


  • Potential Solution 2: Help the kids decorate their black hats with available arts and crafts tools.
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Pros
      • Allows those four children to feel special
      • Turns their lower quality gift into something better and more valued
      • Helps to rebuild (and strengthen) the relationship between Jack and the kids
    • Cons
      • May cause other kids to be jealous.
      • The staff may see this tactic as activism.
      • May set the expectation of what Jack would do for the kids too high and lead the staff members to overload him with work.
      • Jack would have to take money out of his budget to pay for art supplies.
  • How does it save face of those involved?
    • It protects Jack from facing backlash from the children, saving his face.
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term
      • Aims to fix an issue in the relationship
      • Allows the four children to feel as valued as the rest of the children
    • Long-term
      • May cause the children to believe that they will get something special each time which they may not necessarily receive
      • Kids might still see their friends playing with their gifts and get jealous.
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term
      • Jack would have a good experience (from a good relationship with the staff and kids), so the venture would send more people.
    • Long-term
      • More and more people will be sent and the venture will be optimistic about sending volunteers like Jack.


  • Potential Solution 3: Offering each of the kids a chocolate bar (along with a short talk to comfort them)
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Pros:
      • Makes the kids feel special
      • Allows the kids to fully understand the situation with the gift
    • Cons
      • Eating the chocolate will provide temporary satisfaction; once they see the other children playing with their gifts, they may feel left out again.
      • Extra costs on Jack.
  • How does it save face of those involved?
    • It protects Jack from facing backlash from the children, saving his face.
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term
      • The kids will enjoy the chocolate and forget about the gifts.
      • Their relationship with Jack will be stronger.
    • Long-term
      • Kids might still see their friends playing with their gifts and get jealous.
      • The children may take advantage of Jack’s feeling of guilt in the future. In other words, they make him feel guilty for him to provide them with chocolate or another type of gift.
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term
      • Jack would have a good experience (from a good relationship with the staff and kids), so the venture would send more people.
    • Long-term
      • May cause the venture to have added costs to bring in extra supplies to avoid conflicts like this in the future
      • More and more people will be sent and the venture will be optimistic about sending volunteers like Jack.
  • Alternative solutions (group discussion)
    • Make an activity out of hats – have them use hats in the skit b/c they were chosen.
    • Convince children to share their presents.


Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection

    • Seek program Mentor
    • Ask previous American volunteers.
    • The experience about previous situations that you were in as a child and how it made you feel
    • Situations similar to this where you were an adult and had to deal with unfairness with immature people

Step 6: Select the best course of action – that solves the problem, saves face, and has the best short- term and long-term implications for your relationship and venture. Explain reasoning and discuss your solution vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in class.

    • Arts and crafts solution
    • This allows the four children to feel special and to understand that they were not forgotten about, and turns their bad gift into a better one, especially with the memory entailed with it.
    • Teaches the children indirectly how to make the best of unfortunate circumstances.
    • Avoids the dissatisfaction once they see the other children playing with their gifts, they may feel left out again.
    • However, this solution may cause other kids to be jealous of those 4 kids and may also put Jack in danger of being used by the staff (exploited) given they will see a western activist nature in him. The other children may also feel jealous about how Jack spent extra time with them.
    • Jack may have to use his own money to purchase art supplies if the center doesn’t have its supplies

Step 7: List the sequence of actions you will take to implement your solution.

Derived from an abridged version (6-step) of the 9-Step Process from “Applied Ethics Case of the Month Club”; adapted from a methodology developed by Andy Lau @ Penn State.

  1. Realize that talking with the staff is a waste of time and think of another solution
  2. Realize if he needs to earn the children’s trust and wants to make amends. He also doesn’t want the children to have temporary satisfaction.
  3. Next Jack comes up with the arts and crafts plan.
  4. Jack goes to the store to pick up the extra supplies that may be needed.
  5. He pulls the four kids to the side and asks if they want to decorate their hats
  6. After the children decorate their hats he apologies for not getting them a gift.
  7. If the staff asks about it then try to limit the conflict.


Case Study 2

A group of researchers want to test water sources in Lesotho for disease-causing problems. The testing requires a lot of collaboration with community members, who will take the researchers to the water sources. The issue here is whether the researchers should be expected to pay the individuals who help them. One may say I’d be willing to provide the same service for free, so they wouldn’t pay them; others would say it would be important to offer them something as a thank you for their help. If the people in Lesotho are nice enough to perform the task without expectations for a return, should we take advantage of this, or will it be exploitation?
Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation – obtain all of the unbiased facts possible. Clearly state the ethical issue.
• There are disease causing pathogens in their water
• In order to test the water and understand the source of water locally, researchers have to obtain help from locals
• Lesotho is a developing country
• The goal is to understand the lifecycle and characteristics of the pathogen
• Several publications are expected from the research study
• Assumption: IRB from institution and country
Step 2: Define the Stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome
• University representing the study
• Locals- assisting this project
• “Big picture” locals
• Funding agents of this project
• Academics / Researchers
• Healthcare Workers
Step 3: Assess the motivations of the Stakeholders
• University representing the study
o Motivations: Reputation/ publications/ possible accolades from the project
• Locals- assisting this project
o Motivations: Safer water (Help community), added incentive(?), better reputation as a country (tourism).
• “Big picture” locals
o Motivations: Safer water -> Potential improved health
• Funding agents of this project
o Motivations: Reputation and the comprehensive profile. Revenue from investment.
• Academics / Researchers
o Motivations: Reputation, publication, experience, pay, helping community. Advertising for other ventures if research proves to be advantageous.
• Healthcare Workers
o Motivations: Improved health for the community.
Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on information available, using basic ethical core values as guide
• Potential solution 1: Provide monetary incentive so they want to assist with the research
o Ethical Principle or code
 Care based thinking. We give back from people we take very important information from to ensure and maintain a solid and important relationship. It is also just to give back from individuals we take from.
o Pros:
This way community members will be more likely to assist with the project as there will be a monetary incentive that will possibly help them with daily expenditures. Since, the community members have a greater drive to help the researchers, the academics will not risk halting their research because there are no participants.
o Cons:
This approach will cost more money to be spent on gather participants, rather than being spent on the research itself. Some locals may get offended from the offer and not want to help us, while others will compete for the limited spots and may cause chaos.

• Potential solution 2: Provide a souvenir (water bottle filled with sampled clean water)
o Ethical Principle or code
 Care based thinking. We give back from people we take very important information from to ensure and maintain a solid and important relationship. It is also just to give back from individuals we take from.
o Pros
Providing the locals with a small water bottle (with the team’s or university’s logo) filled with clean water not only will create a motive to participate in the research, it’ll also create a reputation amongst the locals of how friendly the team is. The logo will serve as a remembrance for the locals of the team and their goal. The sampled clean water will give the locals perspective on what clean water tastes like and motivate them to support the project in hope of future improvement of their water. Academics will not risk halting their research simply because no one wants to participate and not risk anyone getting offended.
o Cons
It’ll be expensive as manufacturing and transporting the water bottles can be costly. Also, the logistics will be complicated and will consume the team’s times.
• Potential solution 3: Do not provide an incentive
o Ethical principle:
 Consequence based thinking: If locals will be willing to provide us with information without expecting a return, then there would be no reason we would give back and this would be for the greater good. Not waste or time and money.
o Pros
No time or money will be wasted on gathering participants, they will be concentrated more on the research itself.
o Cons
The locals will receive a bad first impression on the academics because they are not willing to offer them anything in return for their services. Less people will be willing to work on the project, thus there will be a risk of uncompletion.
• Potential solution 4: host workshops for education
o Ethical principle:
 Virtue based: Ethical to make sure they are educated and understand what is the goal and how they can help.
o Pros
This will educate the locals and give them an understanding on what the team is trying to accomplish, so they will gain their support. Probably wouldn’t cost as much as other solutions. It’ll be a great tool to create relationships with community members and build a reputation and trust for us among them and not risk anyone getting offended.
o Cons
Will consume time and money to organize.
Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – engineering codes of ethics, previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection
Seek additional assistance from community leaders, in particular women who transport the water.

Step 6: Select the best course of action – that which satisfies the highest core ethical values. Explain reasoning and justify. Discuss your stance vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in the class.
The best course of action: To provide a souvenir (water bottle filled with sampled clean water) along with workshops.
This is the best solution (ethically) because:
1. Providing a more educational based experience that allows for more of an understanding of the problem at hand allows for the research to be more ethical. (Clear understanding of why research is being conducted = more ethical solution because it creates for more equity)
2. Would still provide a tangible incentive (like money) but would decrease the amount of jealousy (for getting the money) which would help the community sustain a more positive community and social environment. Also, money would only be provided to one or a couple people, some will refuse to take money and be offended, while the bottles can be provided to more.
3. Providing locals with a souvenir would leave a reputation for us among them.
4. Solution 1 does not offer an education along with the incentive, so locals would do it only for the money, but this solution raises awareness alongside our research. Solution 3 would risk the academics not being able to complete the project as locals would not be as inclined to help them, and also does not provide a reputation among the community.
5. If chemical additives are added to the water in the future, there may be less resistance since locals are aware there is a problem with the water (given the built relationships trust, and reputation).
6. While this solution will be costly and time consuming, it is vital that there are good relationships between the resrach team and the locals. This relationship will later serve as a catalyst when they come to put the chemical additives and for future interactions in general. The solution would not be ideal if the funding is very limited; however, if it is feasible then the low cost bottles and a few lectures will go a long way into establishing an essential relationship for this research to succeed.
Step 7: (If applicable) What are the implications of your solution on the venture. Explain the impact of your proposed solution on the venture’s technology, economic, social and environmental aspects.
This solution may enable us as the academics as well as our institutions and sponsors to have a stronger relationship with the population of Lesotho. This may offer more opportunities. The team must ensure that the final solution does not affect the ecosystems in the water resources they are using.

Bishoy B Youhana

Case study #1 – Auto-disable feature in syringes

The issue:

The issue is whether we (designers) should add the auto-disable feature into the syringes the firm manufactures. Given the syringes are made for low-income countries, adding this feature might cause financial distress for the individuals who need the syringes, or the hospitals that are willing to offer them. Not adding this feature may be seen as unethical because without the auto-disable feature, diseases will spread much faster and in a developing country, epidemics are much harder to control and have a devastating effect on the community and economy. Both are possible approaches but which one is the best option, concerning the ethics and practicality of the solution.

The facts:

  • I am a designer and I must develop a low-cost syringe for the developing world.
  • The auto-disable feature that might be added is expensive
  • The auto-disable feature prevents the spread of disease.


Stakeholders and their motivations:

  • Doctors
    • They want to prevent the disease from spreading and offer good and safe services to treat their patients.
  • Patients
    • They want to receive safe and cost-effective treatments for their ailments.
  • Hospital administration
    • Want to offer good and safe environment to treat their patients.
    • Help as many patients as possible.
    • Avoid mediating the spread of any disease.
  • Firm I work for
    • Increase in reputation and status when an effective syringe would be released.
    • Increase in revenue and profit when the product is released.
    • Company would be seen as innovative.
    • Open more partnerships with other hospitals.
  • Manufacturer of the syringe
    • Increase in reputation as a manufacturer.
  • Me (designer)
    • Possible promotion and/or raise in salary.
    • Reputation in the job market


Possible Solutions:

Applying the auto-disable feature


  • It will provide a safe environment for the patients to receive their vaccines and treatments with a peace of mind.
  • It will prevent the spread of disease.
  • It will improve the reputation of the company.
  • It will increase the profit and revenue of the company.


  • It will be expensive and will represent a financial hardship for some individuals.
  • Not everyone will be able to pay, so some may not get the vaccine/treatment at all, leaving themselves uncured.

Ethical principle: Duty and consequence-based thinking.

The syringe ensures that diseases don’t spread, protecting the population as a whole. The syringe will also offer safety for all who take it equally. With consequence-based thinking, we should always think about what is the greater good, and with duty-based thinking, we should always think of the option that would be fair for everyone.


Making the feature optional


  • If one is unable to pay, he can still receive the injection.


  • It puts the fate of the general public in the hands of individuals.
  • Risk that some patients wouldn’t understand the importance of the auto-disable feature and would opt for the cheaper option, causing disease to spread.

Ethical principle: Virtue based thinking

This option leaves the choice up to each individual’s understanding of the importance of having the safe option, his financial ability to do so, and his own judgement of whether or not it is necessary. It is based on each person’s virtues.



Not adding the feature but ensuring they are thrown away after every use.


  • Syringes will be cheap, and more people will be able to afford them.


  • Greater possibility for an epidemic to be released, halting the development of the country by damaging the economy and infecting communities.
  • Damage the reputation of the company.
  • Risk doctors and nurses do not co-operate and throw syringes after one use.

Ethical principle: Consequence based thinking

If we enforce the feature on everyone, some patients will avoid the treatment overall, so it may make sense to consider this as an option. Cheap syringes are needed to inject all kinds of treatments, it wouldn’t make sense that for every syringe the patient has to pay extra money that, in a developing country at least, he would need for necessities. By training the hospital staff to throw them away after one use, we ensure the price of the syringe does not financial distress and there is no epidemic outbreak.


Best course of action

The best course of action in my opinion would be to manufacture all syringes with the auto-disable feature. This way we are ensuring public safety and making sure that everyone receives equal care and treatment. According to the WHO, syringes with safety features shipped to developing countries would cost about 5 cents [1] (compared to 3 cents for the one without the safety feature), which should not be thought of as a lot of money because in return you are ensuring the safety of a population. Developing countries are prone to epidemics and do not recover from them easily, so public health cannot be taken lightly because the consequences would have a major negative impact.

Making the feature optional means that we would depend on a relatively uneducated population to decide, which would mean that the vast majority would not care to take the more expensive option, not understanding the full magnitude of the case. Given the culture of developing countries, the patients will also be reluctant to opt for the more expensive option even if it’s a small raise in price. This option risks the health of the population, which would not be a wise course of action to take.

Training the hospital staff to simply throw the syringes away after one use does not ensure public safety. This can be seen as an opportunity to unsafely reuse syringes and make the cost even lower, but all it takes is one syringe and a whole outbreak can happen. Risking the health of a population, along with halting a developing country’s economy, is not worth making every syringe about 2 cents cheaper. Developing countries take a long time to recover from epidemics, and some don’t recover.

This is the best course of action in my opinion; however, it has shortcomings. This solution will cause financial distress on a lot of low-income families that are more concerned with paying for the treatment rather than the syringe. Some hospitals may refuse to administer the syringe because they know the patients will go to other cheaper options and some patients may not take their treatment at all! Depending on the situation these issues can be seen as major (for example, in an economic recession raising the price is not wise) or minor; generally, these issues would fade considering we are risking the spread of disease.

Implications on the firm

This solution would raise the incoming profit and revenue of the firm, since a lot of syringes would be needed. Would give the firm a higher status in industry, since their product is needed. The venture would also work on improving their technologies to meet the demand. The engineers working on the team will receive accolades from their friends in other firms. In terms of environment, the venture would have to move towards syringes that are easily disposable to leave a negligible impact on the environment.



Bishoy B Youhana

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.