A community of investors

iDE has been going through a rebranding process.  This is not just about visual identity, but also in terms of how we think about ourselves, our work and the people we interact with.  Along the way, we have decided to go with the word mark as illustrated. 

The distinctly colored lower case “i” represents a lot of ideas we want to be known for:  innovation, integrity, international, intentional, income, irrigation, impact, imagination, and the list could goes on to include investment.

We have developed a little graphic with multiple “i’s”.  An “i” alone represents me; it starts with what I believe is necessary and possible and what I am prepared to accept responsibility for.  This is not an individualistic organization, however, the multiple “i’s” become “we”.  We share a common belief system, a common philosophy of development, a common commitment to action … and we understand that when we believe and act together, things happen.

To take it further, we understand that we are a community of investors.  You can see us in the graphic – some diversity to be sure, but there we are lined up shoulder-to-shoulder in common cause.   

Each of us are investors.

Our donors invest in our mission because they believe and desire that we will create a social return on that investment which results in income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor.

Our staff invest their careers and time in pursuit of a mission which is driven by the same desire for a social return.  We believe that the efforts we invest in innovative product development and rural marketing programs will pay off.

Our interns and volunteers invest their time and passion to join us; the leverage they bring is not inconsiderable.

Our supply chain partners invest working capital to source and/or manufacture treadle pumps, drip systems and sanitary latrines because they believe in the underlying value of those products; that value to include the margins to keep the supply chain profitable and sustainable.

And most importantly, our small plot farmer clients invest their meager resources to acquire and put to work technologies which will increase their productivity and production, and their disposable income.  We have learned a long time ago that small plot $1/day farmers require a payback which, in most cases, is less than a year.  Generating this return is primary for us.

So we are a community of investors.  We partner to achieve common purpose.  Each of us has something at risk; each of us has a particular desired return on that investment.  When we recognize that we are a community of investors, thoughts of paternalism disappear.  So do characterizations of our small plot farmers as beneficiaries. 

All of us in iDE are investors.  We stand together, and together we achieve a considerable return on those investments.  Some call it ROI.    And that is good for all of us.

Al Doerksen


About Al Doerksen

I'm sort of a vocational tramp; my working career divides about evenly between non-profit and the business worlds. I have lived in Mexico, India, Germany and Canada, and now USA. I've had the good fortune to travel to 90 countries of which at least half are developing countries. The last 25 years of my "career" have involved significant (and enjoyable) international management challenges: travel industry, furniture manufacturing, food (aid) programming and ultraviolet water treatment among others. I'm now leading a development enterprise called IDE.
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4 Responses to A community of investors

  1. Robin says:

    Congratulations on the I-dentity and all the good thoughts around it. It’s way time we all came accountable for our actions and the way we invest our time. Good to see living the iLife. I saw your water into wine piece and disruptive innovations appearing here and there – all good bold stuff. I love it. Now looking forward to iDE solving the world food scarcity issue while helping 1billion farmers quadruple their output. Grey job well done.

  2. robin says:

    tapping too fast too early, i meant, of course, great job well done (though the greys in the i-d are good too).

  3. doradueck says:

    i like the new logo too

  4. Neil Janzen says:


    It is great to see your creativity at work. Thanks for including me in your emailing list.

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