On a Friday afternoon we headed to AIAS' headquarters (AIAS is the Mozambican government organization responsible for sanitation infrastructure) in the center of Maputo to attend one of our VW Cafés. These Cafés have not taken the classic Café-shape but we have, instead, favored hands-on (and to be honest feet-dirty) approach, and we have visited each and every one of VIA Water's projects, in the places where they operate, meeting their clients and experiencing their successes, trials and tribulations first-hand.
We started by learning all about XL's experience with virtual reality.
However, this time around, with the support of BoP InC and Maputo-based XL-Extra Large we wanted something different. Both parties have been "leveraging Virtual Reality (VR) to raise demand for improved sanitation in Mozambique" and the project has been quite successful. At the same time, BoP supported Orange Corners in organizing a VR hackathon a few months back so we thought: why not have a VIA Water micro-hackathon? And that's what we did.
The people of BUSP telling us all about their ideas.
We started with some background information about VR (very well done by XL) and followed-up by an explanation of what is an hackathon and what is expected from the participants. In total we had about 10 participants from AIAS and from VIA Water projects that we divided in three groups.
We worked hard and had a lot of fun.
While one of the groups presented a VR tool to sell Mozambique as a holiday destination, favouring real experiences and catering for rich Europeans and Americans (yes, not really something with VIA Water potential), the other two groups sticked to the topic: while Bricks & Bags tried to understand how VR can be used in their sales, people from AIAS and from BUSP came up with the idea of using VR to sell rainwater harvesting appliances.
All in all it was a very lively event and it allowed VIA Water projects to come in contact with VR and brainstorm how the technology can be used in each project. We would also like to aknowledge AIAS' support for this very succesful event.
XL's support was paramount for a very sucessful day.