About a year ago, NextBillion teamed up with one of our Content Partners, Ashoka, for a Twitter chat. Our mission: Unearth the overlapping challenges and the market solutions to affordable housing for the world’s low-income consumers and producers.
We were soon buried in data.
The discussion was lively, and as much as we tried to stay on point, the conversation splintered quickly – even faster than your typical Twitter chat. It’s hard to find a topic with more complexities and more relevance to the poverty alleviation puzzle. From financing to land rights, from construction of new homes to rehabilitation of dilapidated dwellings, to business models that ensure sustainable and profitable development in coordination with low-income customers, affordable housing is confounding in its intricacies.
With the knowledge and direction we had from our Twitter audience, NextBillion and Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship (FEC) homed in on the issues and identified a diverse cross-section of leaders from organizations including Acumen Fund, Ashoka, Citi Foundation, Dow Corning, Echale a tu casa, Habitat for Humanity International, Hystra, micro Home Solutions and Tara Nova.
The result was a strong lineup of nearly two-dozen posts from a diverse group of authors – in terms of both expertise and geography. They provided cutting edge information, experience, and openness that ultimately led to a rich online exchange over the course six-week series.
This was a special project, and while you can find the entire series on the Big Idea page of NextBillion, we wanted to do something special to match it. So, I’m excited to announce the publication of our new e-book: The BIG IDEA: Global Spread of Affordable Housing.
I want to credit our partners at Ashoka FEC, who have shepherded this process and worked to design it in EpaperFlip – the online tool that literally lets readers flip the pages through their browser or download it as a PDF. (It also works great on an iPad, especially if you download it as an iBook). This tool also lets readers make notes and easily share. Please be sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed before viewing it in EpaperFlip.
We hope this e-book serves as a resource and a spark for generating new ideas, around this ever-changing and all encompassing space. So please share it to your friends and colleagues, and let our contributors and us know what you think.