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Franco Papeschi

Franco Papeschi

Program Manager & Service Design expert
Topic Designing impactful experiences - starting with the non-users

Recent evolutions in mobile technologies are fostering new modes of interactions, and allowing the creation of services that work seamlessly across devices. Of all contexts where this has happened, the most radical and disruptive is probably the African one. Despite the many challenges (dumbphones instead of smartphones; low literacy level; scarcity of PCs; …) in the past few years we have witnessed innovation flourish in the Continent, starting with the creation of services for underserved populations.
Showcasing some of the most innovative start-ups in the African continent, the talk presents some of challenges of designing products and services when driven by impact rather than features. Also, it reflects on the learnings and how these can be applied to user experience projects for products aimed at different contexts.
The presentation covers many UX-related issues. Among the others: conception and design of services for different cultures; organisation of content across multiple channels; product development techniques for rapid validation of usefulness, impact-driven design.


Franco works as Service Design Expert at the Web Foundation, where he is responsible for the creation of a series of Mobile Innovation Labs in Africa. Currently active in Kenya, Ghana, Senegal – the labs are community catalysts, training centres and incubation hot-spots for transforming ideas into start-ups able to generate useful, sustainable services to local communities. Also, Franco is one of the co-founders of the Design Jams initiative: one-or-two-day design sessions, during which people team up and collaborate to tackle engaging User Experience (UX) challenges. Prior to joining the Web Foundation, he worked as User Experience manager in Vodafone Group.