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“It never got weird enough for me.”

     – Hunter S. Thompson

Development and finance are increasingly intertwined, and both fields have over time produced their share of strange but successful, but also many odd and failed ideas. Here are a few recent bits of news from the weird world of finance and development.

#    Since February, East African villagers can buy themselves carbon-efficient stoves to replace their tradtional fireplaces, financed via microcredit. This contribution to reducing global warming then pays off for them via carbon-offsetting credits which they can claim via mobile phone SMS.

The father of this brainchild, Carbon Manna Unlimited, estimates that in this way, an African family can save around 3 tonnes of CO2 per year, earning them between 20 and 30 US Dollars worth of carbon credits on European markets…

Carbon efficiency, mobile banking and emissions trading applied to African cooking – it sounds adventurous, to say the least. But I was also wondering whether, sociologically speaking, is this an immense act of pragmatic creativity or rather simply one mimetic behaviour? After all, emissions trading, mobile technology and carbon footprint reduction are recieved wisdom at the moment in the north.

On another sociological note, the project’s name, Carbon Manna (TM) Xchange, has a both distinctly religious and capitalistic ring to it – what would Weber say? Read the rest of this entry »

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
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