Imagine that every village in Africa had a little box.
Each day, the people in the village would tell the box what they had to sell, and what they needed: food, tools, livestock, and services. Some days, the box would travel with one of the village children to the local school. Other days, it would travel with an adult to the local market.
When the little boxes come close to each other at the school, or in the market, they exchange information. While the children are learning, and while the adults are working, the boxes are finding opportunities — discovering who has corn to sell, who can service a tractor, who wants to buy a chicken.
In the blink of an eye, in the casual passing of strangers on the road, the boxes are silently comparing and discovering the inventory of entire villages.
A match is found, and the boxes chime. The strangers greet each other and negotiate the exchange.
Ten times over, and a family is strengthened. A thousand times over, a community is empowered. A million times over, and a nation is transformed.
That little box doesn’t exist today, but it could, and it should. What would it take to make it a reality, and why is now the perfect time to start?
Peat Bakke is a nerd about town with odd ideas on how to change the world.