Business education must be completely redefined to include the best, most appropriate principles of design in every curriculum. Marketing classes should teach a deep reverence for the user in context and the power of observational research methods. Finance classes should teach the art of storytelling and information design. Strategy classes should teach systems thinking and synthesis. If the goal is to create great “hybrid thinkers” who will have real impact, design should not be tacked on to existing business education but infused throughout it.
But the road to hell may well be paved with good intentions. There clearly is a bottom-of-the-pyramid market, but linking it to “aid culture”—a non-market-driven-culture—detracts from the entrepreneurial opportunity. And correlating hunger, AIDS, malaria, poverty, and illiteracy with Africa perpetuates a stereotype that is far from the optimistic, go-get-it-attitude and ambition that we’ve encountered when traveling in Africa.
An alternative is to be happy wherever you are, with whatever you’ve got, but alway hungry for the thrill of creating art, of being missed if you’re gone and most of all, doing important work.