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Whirlwind Wheelchair International Product Design for Social Benefit Keoke King Independence through quality mobility and sustainable development.

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Presentation on theme: "Whirlwind Wheelchair International Product Design for Social Benefit Keoke King Independence through quality mobility and sustainable development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Whirlwind Wheelchair International Product Design for Social Benefit Keoke King Independence through quality mobility and sustainable development

2 Ralf Hotchkiss - Founder Marc Krizack - Entrepreneur Ralf and Marc receive a Tech Award in 2004

3 Product Design for Social Benefit 1. Background on Whirlwind 2. Our approach to product design 3. Our approach to development 4. Social business - for-profit similar different to non-profit 5. Questions

4 Whirlwind Wheelchair International Since 1989 Whirlwind has been collaborating with Wheelchair riders around the world to create durable designs for rough terrain that empower people with disabilities through independent mobility and sustainable economic development. Roger Mibence Leon, Nicaragua

5 Whirlwind Basics Non-Profit Mission 1. Independence through quality mobility 2. Local economic development Whirlwind uses contract manufacturing in the developing world Two major chapters: Whirlwind small grant funded shops Whirlwind medium scale factories with revenue from sales Historically - Open source intellectual property

6 1979: Managua, Nicaragua Ralf Hotchkiss found: Four young men sharing one wheelchair Inappropriate technology Ralf and friends created: Local designs and parts Low capital requirement Employment for riders

7 A Good Wheelchair Can... 1.Help you stay clean and healthy 2.Take you to school Get you to a job Go shopping and raise a family Promote social acceptance

8 The Need: 20 Million Plus need a good wheelchair and do not have one 20M+

9 The Need 70% of the 20 million live rural areas with lack of pavement rural urban

10 1989: SFSU Nonprofit Incubator At SFSU Whirlwind brought research and public service together Intellectual and lab resources for R&D Funded by SFSU, donations and grants for establishing small wheelchair shops

11 Product Design Whirlwind’s Approach: User-Originated Iterative design process Rapid Prototyping Designers are users SF Hub & Many Innovation locations Simple manufacturing techniques Open source IP Design quoteable MADE – Uganda

12 Small Shop Dissemination 46 small shops started In 2003, 25 shops were ongoing 50,000 + riders Design quoteable Small Shops Production per Month 0 to 20 * Cost to set up < $10,000 Fitting B Quality of Chairs C+

13 Design Criteria - From Rider / Builders Safe - stable Maneuverable Foldable No removable parts Comfortable Cheap to build Locally customizable design Easy to build – low education/ skill required Easy and cheap to repair Indoors/Outdoors - desks, doors, mud, rocks, dirt, sand, stones Design quoteable

14 The User MUST Be A Leader Users are Rider/Builders Users are testers Ralf is Founder and Chief Engineer Hiring preference for direct experience with disability Design quoteable

15 Social Business Risk Tolerance Kenneth Behring’s life changing delivery of wheelchairs Ken (on right) from KIFAS in Ankara Turkey

16 Social Business “It is not a social social or a business business. It is a social business.” Marc Krizack Kenneth Behring’s life changing delivery of wheelchairs Similar / Different to For Profit Orgs no investors can accept donations operate in less profitable spaces you CAN make a profit

17 Social Business Kenneth Behring’s life changing delivery of wheelchairs Business Principals Use the market? Inter-dependence not Independence Scale Control Costs Influence Standards Measurement and Improvement

18 Family of Products 1.RoughRider TM Active Kid’s Chair Trike Add-on for RoughRider Cargo Trike – for micro enterprise Standard Style Chair Open Source Accessories

19 Social Business Consequences In 2000, small shops encounter globalization effects: 1.Competition from imports Kenneth Behring’s life changing delivery of wheelchairs In 2010 our design is copied. We are re-organizing around our durable competitive advantage. 2.Designs could be standardized because of wider availability of components

20 Quote on local econ devel Questions?

21 Thank You Please me right away to join our mailing list We look forward to hearing from you: whirlwindwc

22 Thank You end whirlwindwc


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