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October 2011: FrontlineSMS wins prestigious Curry Stone Design Prize

Earlier this month FrontlineSMS was awarded the Curry Stone Design Prize, a prestigious award which recognizes the valuable contributions of social design pioneers across the world. The award “was created in the belief that designers can be an instrumental force for improving people’s lives and the state of the world”. FrontlineSMS founder, Ken Banks, will collect the award on behalf of the team at a special event due to be held at Harvard University next month. Full details are available on the FrontlineSMS blog. Ken’s thoughts on the prize are available on the kiwanja blog here

October 2011: Ken Banks returns to Pop!Tech Faculty

“The faculty for PopTech’s Social Innovation Fellows Program contributes to a unique training program designed to accelerate positive impact. This talented group includes relevant thought leaders in fields that are absolutely critical to success, but rarely “taught” – such as mission clarity, design thinking, social venture and philanthropic capitalization, media relations and community engagement. Their expert advice for social innovators ensures a solid framework for effectiveness and results”. A Faculty member in 2010, kiwanja.net will return again this year to welcome and advise the latest batch of Fellows. Full details are available on the Pop!Tech website

September 2011: FrontlineSMS interview with BBC Technology

Following his talk at the “Power of Information” conference in London, Ken Banks was interviewed for a BBC Technology article entitled “Africa’s quiet digital revolution” which looks at local, mostly grassroots initiatives taking hold on the continent. The article features the soon-to-be-released FrontlineSMS:Radio, and can be read here

September 2011: Local innovator nomination for kiwanja.net

kiwanja.net/FrontlineSMS has been nominated for an “Innovation Award” in the Business Awards for a local Cambridgeshire newpaper. The Hunts Post, which has featured FrontlineSMS in the past, runs an annual Awards ceremony designed to celebrate businesses in the Huntingdon area, where kiwanja has a main office. Full details are available in the Hunts Post

August 2011: Guest chapter published in mobile conflict book

“The book brings together experts and practitioners from different fields – mobile technologies, information systems, computer sciences, online dispute resolution, law, etc. – to reflect on present experiences and to explore new areas for research on conflict management and online dispute resolution (ODR). It also reflects on the transition from present ODR to future mobile Dispute Resolution and discusses key privacy issues. The book is addressed to anyone involved in conflict prevention and dispute management aiming to learn how mobile technologies can play a disruptive role in the way we deal with conflict”. kiwanja’s chapter looks at grassroots access to mobile technology platforms. Full details of the book are available here

August 2011: Ken Banks to appear at Royal African Society in London

Ken Banks will sit on a panel discussing “Mobile Technology: Developing Africa?” at the Royal African Society next month. He will be joined by Marieme Jamme, Nick Short and Guy Collender. The Royal African Society is over one hundred years old and is Britain’s prime Africa organisation. Further details of the event are available on the RAS website

July 2011: Newspaper coverage of UK Government’s African Delegation

FrontlineSMS/kiwanja.net joined the UK Prime Minister’s business delegation to Africa this month along with a number of key business leaders, parliamentary staff and journalists. The four day visit was originally scheduled to stop in South Africa, Nigeria, Southern Sudan and Rwanda but was cut short due to pressing events at home. Further details are available on the kiwanja blog, or interviews which appeared in the Cambridge Evening News and Jersey Evening Post newspapers

July 2011: Innovations Journal features FrontlineSMS

A guest essay on FrontlineSMS and kiwanja’s work in the “long tail” has been featured in the Winter 2011 edition of “Innovations”. According to the website, “The journal features cases authored by exceptional innovators; commentary and research from leading academics; and essays from globally recognized executives and political leaders. The journal is jointly hosted at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship”. A PDF of the essay can be downloaded via this kiwanja blog post

July 2011: Ken Banks interviewed for Yale mobile case study

Ken Banks has been interviewed by the Yale School of Management as part of a comprehensive case study on Project Masiluleke, a collaboration between a number of organisations including Pop!Tech and the Praekelt Foundation. The full case study – Project Masiluleke: Texting and Testing to Fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa – can be read here. The video interview, where Ken Banks discusses his experiences of Pop!Tech, is here

June 2011: Guest post featured on The Guardian website

Following the recent Guardian Activate conference in London, kiwanja’s Ken Banks was asked to contribute a summary of the event for the Guardian “Poverty Matters” blog. The article – Activate 2011: Technology powered by people – can be read here

June 2011: Guest article on innovation published by CNN

A guest article by Ken Banks was recently published on CNN World’s website as part of their Global Public Square focus on innovation. The focus of kiwanja’s article was the role and rise of “reluctant innovators”. The full article can be read here

June 2011: Interview with National Geographic Traveller Magazine

On a recent trip to National Geographic’s Washington DC headquarters, Ken Banks sat down with Keith Bellows, editor of National Geographic Traveller Magazine, for an informal chat about mobile, technology, conservation, development and kiwanja’s travel and work in Africa over the past 18 years. The resulting interview has now been published in the July/August copy of the magazine (available in the US only). You can read the full interview online, though, here

June 2011: Ken Banks interviewed by Ottowa Business Journal

Ken Banks was recently interviewed by the editors of the Ottowa Business Journal on the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the US and the UK. The wider article, which looks at how we harness and incubate young talent, is available on the journal’s website

June 2011: FrontlineSMS featured in Wired

Following the recent Buckminster Fuller Challenge finalist announcement, Wired Magazine interviewed Ryan Jones, Fundraising and Grants Manager at FrontlineSMS, about the software – the history, it uses, and where the platform is headed. The interview is available on the Wired website

May 2011: New Vodafone “Policy Paper” launched

On May 19th in London, the Vodafone “Social Impact of Mobile” (SIM) Panel launched the latest in its series of policy papers. “Making Broadband Accessible For All” concluded that “the most effective way to provide affordable internet access to the majority of people in emerging economies was to extend the reach and capability of mobile networks. The current policy of focusing on significant investment in fibre access networks is unsustainable given the cost of deployment in rural areas”. The report also suggested that greater efforts should be made to increase the amount of content and services that are valued by users as a way of driving the demand for data services and therefore increasing business opportunities. kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been a member of the SIM Panel for the past two years. The full report can be downloaded as a PDF here

May 2011: Ken Banks interviewed by IRIN News

“Sending text messages via cell phones is one of the most effective ways of passing information to a mass audience” according to an interview given to IRIN News by Ken Banks earlier this month. The article, which focuses on the use of mobile technology to help child domestic workers, can be read here

May 2011: kiwanja to give technology talk at Aspen Environment Forum

kiwanja.net has been invited to speak at the 2011 Aspen Environment Forum later this month in Aspen, Colorado. According to the website, “The Forum, in partnership with National Geographic, provides a critical framework for committed voices to address a significant milestone: A global population of seven billion and how to reconcile Earth’s finite resources with its ability to sustain our expanding human needs”. Ken’s contribution will focus on grassroots innovation and the use of appropriate technology to solve local problems. You can read more on the Forum website or in this post-Forum kiwanja blog post. A video of kiwanja’s panel is also available here

May 2011: FrontlineSMS named Buckminster Fuller finalist

After a series of highly competitive judging rounds, FrontlineSMS has made it to the finals of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, one of only four projects to do so. Described as Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. According to the website, “it attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world’s complex problems”. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony in early June. More via the Challenge website here

For earlier news items visit the kiwanja.net News page