Published: Sept. 4, 2018

Kari Santos teaches two women to make the peanut roaster.

Kari Santos, ICTD alumna and member of the Laboratory for Playful Computation, lends a hand as Letang Sefako (left) and Ketletseeng Sedumago (middle) drill holes to add a hinged door to the peanut roaster they built in Kaputura, Botswana in August 2018. The peanut roasting business was one of eight enterprises that were developed during IDDS Botswana 2018.

Kari Santos, ATLAS community partner, Information & Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) alumna and member of the Laboratory for Playful Computation, participated in IDDS Botswana 2018, a four-week, hands-on summit hosted in Botswana from July 15 to August 13. The summit's goal was to provide tangible solutions that improve the livelihoods of community members in villages in Botswana through strengthening local innovation ecosystems.

During the project, Kari worked with four residents from D'Kar and Kaputura villages to design and build a portable wood-burning peanut roaster. Kari's team built the roaster, experimented with roasting and flavoring techniques, conducted taste tests in Kapatura and developed a business plan for the peanut business, including marketing, supply chains and distribution. 

"The IDDS summit taught me how to work with an incredibly diverse group of individuals and how to quickly iterate through the design cycle and create a business that can continue past the summit," Kari says. 

Kari also worked with a local teacher, mentoring him in computer science teaching methods that engage and interest children ages 8 to 14. As part of the collaboration, she taught a group of his students how to use micro:bits, fully programmable computers that are roughly half the size of a credit card.

IDDS's theme, “improving rural community livelihoods in Botswana,” focuses on co-creating grassroots technologies and innovations, while supporting business models that will be adopted by the rural community members to enhance and sustain their livelihoods.