People living with problems are best placed to solve them

About us

We’re a team of designers who believe that the people who live with problems are often best placed to solve them. So at Desert Rose we focus on listening. We bring an anthropological approach to our design work, taking time to understand local experiences before we even think about innovating.

Culture meets Innovation

Desert Rose’s anthropologists and innovators merge cross-cultural aptitude with imaginative thinking to help companies and organisations better adapt their initiatives to the Horn of Africa. We use our vast experience working in Somali Region to translate anthropological insight and creativity into astute but realistic programming.

Innovation is accelerating in today’s world, but is mainly geared towards comfort and convenience for a small number of customers with large amounts of money. Our business model targets the bottom of the pyramid instead. Our design work focuses on improving living standards for large numbers of customers with small amounts of money.

Our team

We are a small team of creative and innovative people. Our team’s size allows room for initiative and flexibility that we value. Together, our consultants bring a dynamic and varied set of skills and experience in engineering and anthropology; in all of our work we emphasise fusing cultural understanding with innovative design to create robust products that meet important local needs, can be produced cheaply and domestically, and create livelihood opportunities. Our aim is to increase cross-cultural communication and grassroot innovation in a way that promotes local interests in the Horn of Africa.

We are committed to local language proficiency. We are comfortable in Somali and Amharic as well as our other native and second languages (Oromifa, Tigrigna, Swahili, Arabic, English, French, German, Dutch).