Sunday, 21 September 2014

Social Good Summit 2014- #SGSNairobi Panel and Panelist Bios

Panel 1- Digital Economy
The launch of M-Pesa in Europe for the first time has been making waves in Social Media in Kenya recently. The potential for the export not of raw materials but of intellectual capacity, of innovative and disruptive technologies, out of Africa is hugely exciting and a potential source of pride for the continent. We heard from Safaricom on M-Pesa in our first Nairobi Social Good Summit, in 2012 and tonight we will be hearing about how the cashless, or digital economy is now taking on a life of its own.

1.   Mark Kaigwa, Nendo Ventures: Mark Kaigwa is the founder of Nendo  a strategy & storytelling consultancy for digital Africa. He has published two of the most influential African blogs of the past 6 years - AfricanDigitalArt (award-winning African showcase for digital art & design) where he presently works as Partner and Digital Strategist and Afrinnovator (leading East African technology & innovation journal) where he served as Partner until end of 2013. Mark’s time in new media in Sub Saharan Africa has seen him launch mobile pilots in Freetown, Sierra Leone, direct films in Kampala, Uganda, create an award-winning video game in Nairobi, Kenya among other pan-African projects. His repertoire earned him the accolade as a Forbes 30 under 30 Best Young Entrepreneur in Africa of 2013.He is a writer and professional speaker on technology, innovation and new media in Africa having spoken in over 20 countries across the globe. Mark is the Ambassador of the Sandbox Network in Africa - the world’s leading global network of innovators under 30 years of age.
2.  Denis Gikunda, BebaPay: Senior Program Manager at Google. BebaPay, a card that can be used to make payments in transportation systems, makes payments easier with technology by Google. 
3.  Michelle Atagana, Ventureburn: A fiery tweeter and digital native, Michelle Atagana has been hanging around the internet since she was eleven, back in the days of Netscape. Later on, her interest lead to her graduating with a Masters Degree in New Media and Journalism, and her position as Managing Editor at Burn Media. She was named one of Mail & Guardian's top young South Africans in 2012, writes a column about technology in Africa for CNN, judges occasional startup competitions and spends her free time working on the final draft of her PhD. But Michelle says she's just a girl, standing in front of a startup, asking them what their business plan is. 
Panel 2-Activating the Youth
One of the great things about Social Media is its reach and - as we saw from the various forms of the Arab Spring, its ability to bring about rapid change. A number of initiatives have been using Social Media platforms in Africa in innovative new ways – particularly when it comes to engaging and activating wider audiences – and particularly the youth – around particular issues. One of the most profound issues is the environment. From food security, farming in a time of rapid climate change, to fighting the poaching of elephants and rhinos, social media is being used in innovative ways to activate around the environment. We’re hoping tonight to hear about some of the ways in which the youth, in particular, is being engaged and is taking on issues and driving agendas.

1.   Julius Bett is co-founder of Mkulima Young: Bett is a farmer and a senior developer at a local Media house with 7 years hands on experience managing high traffic websites.He tells the story of applying practical technology for the social good. A co-founder of Mkulima Young ( an organization that integrates the use of Social Media, Radio and Website to help young farmers access free extension services and market their produce online.
2.   Brighton Kaoma is a youth activist with U-Report in Zambia: A 20 year old youth activist, Mr.Brighton Kaoma has been a UNICEF youth Ambassador for 5 years and is a trainer under a program between UNICEF Zambia country office and the Children’s Radio Foundation of South Africa which trains children in Radio and other media production. He has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and passion in helping other young people in Zambia become agents of real change. He is a co-designer and champion of the Zambia U-report youth engagement SMS platform.  He has been a youth representative and speaker at various international events in South Africa, Belgium,  at the Hague, and gave the keynote speech at the Maastricht School of Management 2nd Annual Research Conference in Holland in 2012.He’s pursuing his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Zambia and currently serves as Zambia In-country coordinator (ICC) for the Voices of Youth Connect – a UNICEF global network for in-school and out-of-school  youth activists and global citizens. He’s also co-founder of a youth led radio foundation called ‘Agents of Change Foundation’ which aim at catalyzing a new generation ethical young leaders by equipping them with both leadership and radio skills and tools.
3.  BP Panwar, UNICEF: Chief of IT for Uganda and an active contributor to global innovations

 Panel 3- Solar Energy
Energy has become one of the most pressing needs of Africa, in our time. US President Obama has made energy generation on the continent a central pillar of his country’s engagement with Africa and both public and private international capital is being harnassed to invest in and grow our capacity. Meanwhile, on the ground, solutions to the growing need for energy are being invented, built and developed on a much more localized scale. And the means – in this case, using the sun’s energy as a source – tend towards happens to be an increasingly sustainable model.

1.  Cindy Kerr, Sunny Money: As SunnyMoney’s Global Marketing Director, Cindy Kerr leads global brand development, marketing communications, media, training, promotions and customer care for SunnyMoney's operations.  She guides strategy, implementation and creative development in all the countries to meet the social enterprise’s goal of eradicating toxic, kerosene for lighting by the year 2020.Cindy’s efforts are building SunnyMoney into a powerful global brand and driving sales increases through promotions and advertising as SunnyMoney continues to expand.  With nearly 25 years of experience in branding, communications, advertising and retail in the U.S. and East Africa, this dynamic individual is committed to using her skills to uplift the quality of life for people in the developing world.  Cindy is a specialist in “bottom-of-the-pyramid” marketing, and has lived and worked in Africa for six years.  She received her M.A. in International Broadcasting & Communications from Wheaton College and a B.A. from Penn State University.
2.  Jon Bohmer, Kyoto Energy: Jon Bohmer, made the first model of the Kyoto Box solar cooker with his daughters then aged 10 and 5 years old. It was first just a project with his children, but later won the FT Climate Change Challenge award.[5] He won the first prize, since the invention reduced carbon emissions by eliminating the need to burn wood.
3.  Mark Wopicho, PowerGen: Mark Wopicho holds a B.Sc. in Energy Engineering from Kenyatta University. He has over five years of experience in the Kenyan renewable energy industry and has worked with multiple renewable energy companies. In 2011, he co-founded WindGen Power East Africa which locally manufactured small wind turbines for electricity generation and water-pumping. WindGen has since re-branded as PowerGen and now offers complete turn-key wind and solar solutions for the East African market. As Director of Sales, Mark forms new client relationships and leads PowerGen into new markets. He also oversees PowerGen's supply chain and manages PowerGen's most complex projects in both the office and the field. Mark is passionate about renewable energy and believes that it is the most effective way to electrify Africa. 

Panel 4-Conservation
In the past several years we have experienced unprecedented pressure on the continent’s ecosystems, with the impact on those ecosystems brought to our attention as never before.  From long-distance forays by militias and criminal gangs in North Africa to West African parks explicitly to machine gun elephants for ivory to finance their activities, to a huge increase in the poaching of rhino for rhino horn in east and southern Africa, again often by well-financed, well-organized gangs and cartels, to the less obvious but potentially more devastating impact of growing populations and development across the continent, to the widespread impacts of essentially imported climate change, Africa’s the environment seems to have been hit by the perfect storm. But activism around environmental issues is also climbing fast, within Africa. With us this evening are a group of panelists who are at the forefront of efforts to mobilise around the environment.

1.   Trezer Oguda, Save the Elephants: A media and communications officer at Save the Elephant. Save the Elephants (STE) works to secure a future for elephants in a rapidly changing world. Pioneers in cutting-edge science, their research provides vital insights into elephant behavior, intelligence, and long-distance movement. By understanding life from an elephant's perspective, STE is able to map out critical corridors that link up protected areas, better manage the conflict between humans and wildlife, enthuse people about elephant intelligence, and closely monitor incidents of illegal killing.
2.  Mutua Matheka, Photographer: An artist born and bred in Machakos and fine-tuned by Nairobi. I draw, sketch, mold stuff, destroy stuff & occasionally create stuff… I have been drawing and sketching since my mother placed crayons in my hands at just 3 years of age. The art has since then morphed from Drawing, Illustration, Graphic art, Architectural Visualization to Photography, my latest obsession. When I’m not meeting a deadline or sharpening crayons, I love to get my adrenaline pounding by riding motorbikes, mountain climbing, and (if I got a chance) para-troop and ski.I am a graduate Architect from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (J.K.U.A.T), now fully applying my architectural eye to capture Architecture, cityscapes & landscapes. I love photography and I hope you can see that love by looking through my images. Together with David ‘Blackman’ Muthami and the UN Habitat, we are using my photography of urban spaces in Africa to showcase a beautiful Nairobi and eventually Africa. Through the ‘I’m a City Changer‘ campaign, we seek to change mindsets of people in cities especially in Africa about their cities. Take a look at the ‘I’m A City Changer‘ page on my website to see the images that people all over the world are sharing to show why they love their cities. To this effect we held the first photography showcase for ‘I’m a City Changer’ in Nairobi that attracted lots of media attention.I’ve been featured in Nokia’s ‘Teddy Bears & Talking drums’, a documentary (view here), ADA (African Digital Art), Afri-Love (, BBC News Africa’s In Pictures, Nation Newspaper feature, Kiss 100′s Breakfast show with Caroline Mutoko, Zuqka magazine (Nation newspaper). I have won the pioneer BAKE AWARD for best Photography Blog in Kenya, as well as being nominated for the International CSS DESIGN Award based in the United States, putting both Kenya and Africa on the Map in photography. My photos have been used by BBC MEDIA, CNN, African Digital Art, NTV’s PM LIVE, among other media outlets to showcase Africa."
3.  Njambi Maingi, Hands off our Elephants: Education and Outreach Coordinator at WildlifeDirect. WildlifeDirect is a Kenyan NGO and US registered organization co-founded in 2004 by Kenyan conservationist Dr. Richard Leakey. Its flagship campaign comprises a winning combination of expertise including wildlife ecologists, communications specialists, lawyers, politicians, media representatives, strategists, and linguists, making us bold, influential, and successful. This African led initiative is supported by Kenya’s First Lady, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta as patron.

Panel 5- GPS/ Satellite
As you will have seen from the video introduction, the African continent is being mapped at a pace that is unprecedented.  From way points on GPS maps, to being sent information on your mobile as your proximity to a point of interest triggers a message, we are all being included in a huge digital map of the continent. The potential applications are absolutely enormous and range from rescue work to almost irritatingly commercial applications. How is this helping us? Tonight we have three panelists who can tell us more about how their particular applications are impacting not only humans but also the natural world around us.

1.  Lindsey West, Sea Sense: Lindsey has lived and worked in Tanzania for the past seven years and is the Director of Sea Sense, a community-based NGO focusing on the conservation and protection of endangered marine species and their habitats in Tanzania. Lindsey is responsible for the overall management of the organization including the implementation of the Indian Ocean-South East Asia Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Dugongs, to which Tanzania is a signatory state.  Her role includes designing and leading species research programmes, overseeing the implementation of community based conservation initiatives, producing technical and financial reports for donors, liaising and communicating with stakeholders, representing Sea Sense at regional and international meetings and conferences and securing funds for the implementation of the Sea Sense Five Year Strategic Plan. Lindsey is a member of the IUCN Marine Turtle and Sirenia Specialist Groups and is Vice Chair of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Turtle Task Force.  She is regional editor of the African Sea Turtle Newsletter and a member of the editorial board of the Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter.  Lindsey also serves as the Co-chair of the Tanzania National Sea Turtle and Dugong Conservation Committee and is an Independent Study Project (ISP) advisor for the SIT Zanzibar Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management programme. Prior to working in Tanzania, Lindsey’s passion for species and habitat conservation led to her involvement in a diverse range of projects across the world.  Over the past twenty years, Lindsey has conducted research into the diving behaviour of harbour seals in the USA, reviewed the use of oil spill dispersants on the Great Barrier Reef, restored habitat for yellow eyed penguins in New Zealand, studied transmission of tuberculosis in Cape buffalo in South Africa and surveyed movement patterns of badgers and water voles in England. 
2.  Rajeev Handa, Garmin
3. Bob Koigi, Farmbiz Africa :Bob Koigi is an multi award winning journalist having won 6 awars 5 international and is the editor of Farmbizafrica, a news site specializing on food security, youth and agriculture and rural development. Bob Koigi has also been involved in a lot of youth, women and farmer groups where he takes the information he collects and disseminates it to the groups through farmer field schools with a view to uplifting them.

Panel 6-Reporting the Continent
This panel could be looked at as the forgotten side of innovation, technology and social change. The sector our panelists represent is often maligned and usually taken for granted. Yet it’s the most common way that we find out about the things are impacting our world.  And the sector’s own innovation, use of technology and social change that it brings about, often goes unrecognized. They are the reporters and their reports are helping shape our continent in ways we could never imagine.
Tonight, we’ll hear more about what they are doing, why and how this is bringing about change for the better.

1. Chloe Spoerry, Hivi Sasa: Chloe works with a company called HiviSasa. It is a local news website tailored for the mobile web. It brings county-level news to any internet-enabled phone. It sources all its news stories from local ‘citizen reporters’ (i.e. anyone who wants to report the news) who are paid via mobile-money for each published article. is one of the most far-reaching and cost-effective media models presently available in the country.
2.  Ken Oloo, Filamujuani: Ken is the founder of Filamujuani (films in the sun) in the an organization that teaches the youth from vulnerable communities in Nairobi on how they can use the skills they get to earn a livable wage, educate themselves through college and high school, get a career in the TV and film industry. He is also the co-director of Zindua Ltd, a social enterprise, that does television commercial, televisions shows and communication consultancy across Africa.

3. Michelle Atagana, Ventureburn: A fiery tweeter and digital native, Michelle Atagana has been hanging around the internet since she was eleven, back in the days of Netscape. Later on, her interest lead to her graduating with a Masters Degree in New Media and Journalism, and her position as Managing Editor at Burn Media. She was named one of Mail & Guardian's top young South Africans in 2012, writes a column about technology in Africa for CNN, judges occasional startup competitions and spends her free time working on the final draft of her PhD. But Michelle says she's just a girl, standing in front of a startup, asking them what their business plan is. 

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