Latest News

Here’s where you’ll find all the latest on kiwanja’s activities including talks, conference attendances, media interviews, writing and other general news. Links to earlier news items can be found at the bottom of the page.

April 2015: New Stanford Social Innovation Review article

Ken Banks has written a new article for the Stanford Social Innovation Review website. Based on an earlier blog post on the kiwanja website, “From Projects to People: Addressing a Donor Funding Imbalance” proposes that private funders and foundations consider funding individuals, as well as projects, to help social innovation flourish in the sector. You can read the SSIR piece here


April 2015: kiwanja to return to the stage at Thinking Digital 2015

Thinking Digital is an annual conference where the world’s greatest thinkers and innovators gather to inspire, entertain and discuss the latest ideas and technologies. kiwanja last appeared at the event in 2010 to talk about his ongoing work with FrontlineSMS. This year we will be returning to the stage to talk about ‘development outside the system’, and how hackers, fixers and lone rangers are taking on some of the bigger development challenges. Ken will also be talking about his new book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator“. Further details on the Thinking Digital website


April 2015: Ken Banks co-authors GSMA mobile data report

kiwanja’s Ken Banks recently carried out a short piece of consultancy work with the GSMA to help with the research, writing and production of a new report on the use, and potential, of data in mobile-for-development. The report seeks to “frame and assess the current landscape of mobile phone and other data usage by mobile services providers operating in emerging markets that serve underserved customer segments, otherwise termed Mobile for Development (M4D) services. There is a growing interest in this area of M4D as the data captured by the mobile platform offers visibility on many aspects of a mobile service’s operations”. You can download the paper from the GSMA website here


April 2015: kiwanja podcast on The Mobile Frontier

Ken Banks recently gave a one hour, wide-reaching interview with Ryan Fetterly as part of his “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” podcast series. You can listen to the interview on Ryan’s website here, or on the kiwanja website here


April 2015: Ken Banks to sit on National Geographic Judging Panel

Following the successful conclusion of the Terra Watt Prize last year, National Geographic are planning a new social and environmental challenge for 2015. Ken Banks, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer from 2010, has been invited to sit on the Judging Panel. Further details of the challenge will be made public in the next few weeks


March 2015: kiwanja to appear at TEDx Cannes

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Ken Banks has been invited to speak at the TEDx event in Cannes at the end of March. Further details are available on the event website


February 2015: Ken Banks to help judge Young Entrepreneur Awards

Building on the success of the 2013 AwardsUnilever is inviting young people to come up with practical and innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, and enter them in the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards. kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been invited to sit on the Judging Panel. Further details of the Awards can be found on the official website here


February 2015: “The Rise” book interview

Ken Banks recently gave an interview about his work in technology, conservation and development, and the thinking behind “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, to ‘Thursday Throng’, a series of interviews dedicated to profiling books of interest. You can read the interview on Linda Parkinson-Hardman’s website here


February 2015: Sussex University talk lined up for One World Week

This year, as in previous years, Sussex University will be celebrating One World Week with a series of events and talks. Ken Banks, who is Ambassador for International Development at Sussex where he studied between 1996 and 1999, will return to the university during the week to give a talk on his work in conservation, development, technology and Africa, and his new book. Further details will be made available on the Sussex website nearer the time


January 2015: New “Reluctant Innovator” book review

The Society of Business Economists recently reviewed kiwanja’s book, The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator. Described as a book that “exceeded our expectations in so many ways”, you can read the review on the kiwanja blog here. It will appear on the SBE website in the coming weeks


January 2015: kiwanja at Technology Innovation Exchange 2015

Later this month Ashoka’s Technology Innovation Exchange in Silicon Valley will bring together leading players in the technology and social change sectors through a series of networking and brainstorming events focusing on entrepreneurial solutions and opportunities for scalable social impact. kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been invited, along with two other international Ashoka Fellows, to take part in the event which includes meetings and talks at Facebook, LinkedIn, Intuit, Singularity University, Intel, Google, and Stanford University’s StartX. Further details are available on the Ashoka website here


January 2015: Ken Banks to speak at Royal Holloway

Ken Banks has been invited to speak to students and members of faculty at an evening event scheduled to take place at Royal Holloway in London. The university has a long history in ICT4D, drawing on the expertise of staff, postgraduates and undergraduates in the academic Departments and Schools of Geography, Computer Science, Management, and the New Political Communication Unit in Politics and International Relations, as well as in the Information Services Department and the Educational Development Centre


Archived news from 2014 is available here.