Saber del Monte

Our team addressed a wicked problem:
with a multidisciplinary empathetic social design project.

Building a network to connect the farmers of this war torn region of Colombia back to the markets. 

Service, Strategy, Creative Direction, Design Research

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Sustainable farming has allowed the farmers to preserve the Tropical Dry Forest and the local economy and produce more then their basic human needs. Our team needed to build a system or program connecting the regional farming cooperative to the markets. 

Four conservation pillars to be addressed were established: Cuarentano beans, honey, instruments, and agroecology farmers to farmer service.


Assemble an international multi-disciplinary team that will use methods of critical thinking, service design, systems analysis, and promotional marketing and communications.


Developed a program that includes authenticates the innovative farming practices providing a level of authenticity for that commercial allies, businesses and markets, creating trust in not just the product but also in the collaborative community that was created. 

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The people lost nearly everything when they were exiled from the Montes de Maria region, including their connections to a market for their produce. The farming practices had removed all but 8% of the Dry Tropical Forest. This destructive practice negatively impacted the pollination of the regional bees. 


Building a network of allies that have as much pride and ownership in the brand, the people and products of the region. Building upon the pride of the framers and their vision for the future of the region. as much as the farmers have pride and ownership of their vision of building on heritage in a new world culture. 

Promotion Kits
Authentication and Recognition Materials
Collaboration Labs (workshops)
Commercial POP and Marketing Materials

Design Objective:

Provide the farmers with a means to getting their product to the market while considering the four pillars of the region. The bees, the Cuarentano bean, the forest and the musical heritage of the forest. 

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The people of El Salado. Their passion and drive to look to the future. After an immersion into the community our team found one data point that was extremely important to the people, pride. It was this pride that drove our enthusiasm for a meaningful solution.


Connect the markets to the farmers and build on their existing pride by enhancing credibility and authenticity to their products.

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Steps in the process: Separate the group into teams to provide an expanded base of community research. Rapid and immersive design research with the farmers and people of the community. Converge the data from each team into points of interest and areas for opportunity. The client was embedded with the team throughout the process making it a fully collaborative and co-creative process. We assembled the two other client bases early in the process, the farmers and the allies together, as divergent strategy. The strategy and service teams developed touch points base on the areas concentrated through synthesis  affinitization. The communications team worked with the moving data as the process progressed. The final solution was then presented back to the farmers and allies.



Brand and mark – Built using an empathetic approach it represents the pride of the farmers of Montes de María.

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Promotional Kit

A brochure and pack of seeds that is the first touch point between the promoter and the farmer/commercial ally. The promoter hands out the brochure with a pack of seeds to the farmer as an invitation to know more about the project and get involved in it while the commercial ally only gets the brochure. The brochure includes all the information related to the program and a harvest calendar that is meant to be the main tool between the farmer and ally to determine the best season for each product.

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The binder is the main tool that the farmer connects to. This is where they keep a record of each crop production, the classes and workshops with other farmers and recipes to take more advantage of their production. The binder is checked every month by the promoter to keep track of the farmer’s progress and ensure that they are implementing the proper agricultural techniques. After each workshop is accomplished, the farmer gets a diploma that certifies his knowledge on each specific crop type and the unique agricultural practices that it requires.

The branded pieces like burlap sacks and IDs help to identify the farmers that are taking part of the pro gram. This recognition is the official approval that ensures that the products are unique and harvested under the best agricultural practices possible.

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The events with commercial allies are another benefit that the certified farmers from the program get. Every month these events will take place to help reinforce the relationship farmer-ally. The main goal during the events is to share knowledge from both sides and find connections with new possible allies.

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The branded pieces for the commercial allies are very important to the program too. They are intended as a communicational piece that allows to inform about the project and its benefits to the commercial allies’ clients. Through these pieces we want to invite more people to get informed about the project so that they understand the value and hard work behind the product they are consuming and the story behind it. This is also a way to let them know that the product they are about to it is fresh and comes from the soil to their tables without any chemicals or additional processes involved. 

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