News Archive: 2014

Here’s where you’ll find details of kiwanja’s 2014 activities including talks, conference attendances, media interviews, writing and other general news. Links to even earlier news items can be found at the bottom of the page. Please note: Given the age of some of these entries, some external links may now no longer work.

December 2014: Interview on tech for social change on IDG Connect

kiwanja was recently interviewed by the editors of IDG Connect about his work in the technology and social change sector, and his recent book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator“. You can read the interview here

 November 2014: kiwanja ‘Talking Books’ interview with the BBC

kiwanja’s Ken Banks was recently interview by the BBC for an article on Talking Books, a device which allows people in the developing world to listen to, and record, audio. You can read Ken’s comments, and the article, here

November 2014: Talk at student run Development Summit

The Warwick Development Summit is an annual weekend-long conference organised by WIDS. It is the largest student-run development summit in the UK, attracting students, academics and professionals as well as members of the general public. For this year’s event, which focused on the theme of ‘Rethinking Development’, Ken Banks was invited to give a talk on his thoughts on the future of development. You can see more on the Summit website

November 2014: kiwanja keynote at Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) was launched by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the UK Prime Minister. It is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare. It has grown to 115 countries engaging more than 7 million people. As part of GEW, kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been invited to give a keynote address, and take part in a panel discussion, at the University of North Carolina in the US. Further details are available on the university website

November 2014: Ken Banks to help judge Africa’s Social Media Awards

The Social Media Awards Africa (SMAA) was created to recognise and celebrate excellence and creativity in the use of social media tools and platforms by individuals and organisations on the continent. The SMAA is a genuine, timely intervention for promoting distinctive creativity, peerless innovation and pervasive developments on the African continent through the best use of social media platforms and the rest of the social web. kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been invited to sit on the Jury for this year’s Awards. You can read more on the Awards website here

October 2014: “Every Three Seconds” released

“In a society where materialism reigns, what is the real secret to happiness? Award-winning filmmaker Daniel Karslake tells the unforgettable stories of five regular folks – a boy, a college student, a thirty-something and two seniors – whose lives went from ordinary to extraordinary based on one simple decision: to engage. Each chose action over apathy, and in the process, each one has had a significant and lasting impact on two of the most challenging, yet solvable, issues of our time: hunger and extreme poverty”. kiwanja’s Ken Banks was invited to take part in the filming of Every Three Seconds. You can read more on a blog post here.

October 2014: Ken Banks talks innovation and refugees with PRI

PRI’s ‘The World’ is a global news radio, audio and multi-platform program created by Public Radio International in the United States. The show is currently distributed to more than 280 public radio stations across the US, reaching more than 2.5 million listeners every week. kiwanja’s Ken Banks was recently interviewed for the programme following an article he wrote for the new “How We Get To Next” website on innovation in refugee camps. You can read the original post here, and listen to the short PRI radio segment, and read their summary report, here

October 2014: kiwanja ‘Ebola’ interview with NPR

Ken Banks was recently interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) in the US talking about the continued technology response to the Ebola outbreak across West Africa. This followed an earlier interview with the BBC (see below). You can read the whole article – “The Red Cross Is Using Text Messaging To Take Down Ebola” – on the NPR website here

October 2014: kiwanja ‘Ebola’ interview with the BBC

Ken Banks has been interviewed by the BBC for an article on the BBC News website covering the use of SMS in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. You can read the article – “Ebola text-message system set to expand” – here

October 2014: kiwanja speaking at “Makers of More Summit”

kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been invited to speak at the Makers of More Summit, a joint initiative between the Arthur Guinness Foundation and Ashoka UK, due to be held in London on October 16th. The event will feature “some of the world’s foremost social entrepreneurs to participate in collaborative workshops to develop concrete solutions to solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems”. You can read more about the event, and book tickets, here

September 2014: Donors Charter in Stanford Social Innovation Review

“Donors are in an ideal position to stem the flow of poorly thought-out or inadequately planned technology-for-development projects”. Read more about kiwanja’s recent initiative, Donors Charter, on this guest post on the Stanford Social Innovation Review website

September 2014: Means of Exchange talk at Windsor Castle

Ken Banks recently gave a talk to senior business executives from the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce at an event at Windsor Castle. “The Windsor Debates are a groundbreaking series of events, exclusively for senior level business leaders of major public and private organisations. The Debates are held under the Chatham House Rule and therefore provide a confidential forum for pooling strategies and solutions and identifying areas for clarification and research”. More on the TVCC website here

September 2014: kiwanja Guest Editor on launch of new innovation site

Described as “a global conversation about the amazing innovations that are building our future”, How We Get To Next launched earlier this month with Ken Banks as the first Guest Editor. Ken will contribute articles on global innovation for the first two months as the site develops and grows. How We Get To Next has been launched in support of a new TV series (PBS, BBC) called How We Got To Now, starring Steven Johnson. You can see an index of Ken’s articles here

September 2014: kiwanja launches a Donors Charter

Earlier this month, launched a new initiative, Donors Charter, a call for harmony in how donors fund technology-for-development (and other) projects. The site proposes donors ask a series of questions before giving funding, helping the wider sector by ensuring best practice is followed, and helping foundations by ensuring that they only fund well-thought-out projects. More on the Donors Charter website

September 2014: Ken Banks to speak at global tech summit

Ken Banks has been invited to sit on a panel at the forthcoming Global Education and Technology Health Summit, scheduled to take place in Dublin in November. The GETHealth Summit aims to bridge the health workforce gap in developing countries through new partnerships between innovators in global health education and information technology. More on the GETHealth website

August 2014: Interview with Pimp My Cause

Ken Banks was recently interviewed by leading non-profit marketing website Pimp My Cause. Pimp My Cause is a web-based platform which brings good causes in need of professional marketing support together with professional experts able to contribute their expertise free of charge. Ken was previously interviewed by the website following a talk at the Ben & Jerry’s “Join Our Core” event. You can read the latest interview, where he talks about his latest book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, here

August 2014: Interview on ICT4D, innovation and global development

Ahead of his keynote at the Game Changers Summit in Nashville next month, Ken Banks recently gave an interview outlining his thoughts on ICT4D, innovation and global development. You can read the interview, and listen to selected audio, on the UMC website

August 2014: Ken Banks at Bellagio/PopTech Fellowship Retreat

Over the past few weeks, kiwanja has been working with the Rockefeller Foundation and PopTech to help select the 2014 Class of Bellagio/PopTech Fellows. The five Fellows will get together with a group of catalysts at the Bellagio Centre in Italy later this month to rethink the notion of livelihoods. Ken Banks will join another six catalysts to help guide and develop the thinking, and key output, from the time there. You can read more about the Fellowship here, and see the biographies of all seven catalysts here

July 2014: Ken Banks special guest on BBC Tech Tent

Ken Banks was recently invited to take part in BBC Tech Tent, which broadcasts on the World Service. The episode looked at how contactless card payments – allowing you save a few seconds when you buy a coffee – can often be seen as frivolous. Could their real value most likely be felt when applied to ‘real’ problems in the developing world? You can read more on the BBC website here, or listen to the podcast on the kiwanja website here

July 2014: “The Rise” featured in HR Director magazine

“The HR Director provides in-depth analysis and proven strategies to enable HR directors to keep on top of this fast-paced industry. In each issue, readers are invited to share challenges and successes, with case studies from key global companies and industry professionals providing real solutions to current human resource issues”.

kiwanja’s new book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator“, was featured in a special section looking at social innovation in the July issue of the magazine. You can read more about the magazine, and read the article (when available) on the HR Director website here

June 2014: Future of development talk in London

The Start Network is a consortium of nineteen leading NGOs working together to strengthen the humanitarian aid system. The network extends to nearly 7,000 partner agencies, comprised of over a million staff working in 200 countries and territories. This month the Network will host an event looking at the future of NGOs, where Ken Banks will give a short talk. You can read more about the event here

June 2014: Means of Exchange talk at Guardian Activate

Activate is the Guardian’s platform for digital innovators who are using technology to reshape the way we think and experience the world. The focus this year is on money, and whether it has the same value to society as it did in the past. kiwanja’s Ken Banks will be talking about his work on Means of Exchange, and share thoughts on the challenges facing the sustainability and alternative economy movements. You can read more about the event on the Activate website

June 2014: kiwanja at Deutsche Welle’s ‘Global Media Forum’

The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum is a congress with international reach. Having steadily grown since its launch in 2008, more than 2,500 people from 132 nations attended the most recent conference in June 2013. This year, kiwanja will be taking part in a panel on “M-powering society: How mobile technology is changing society”. You can read more on the conference website here

May 2014: Ken Banks writes for “Virgin Disruptors”

“Through rich content and intelligent debate, Virgin Disruptors aims to tackle hot topics in the music, travel and entrepreneur sectors and feature disruptive innovators who are changing the game for good”. Through his association with Ashoka, kiwanja’s Ken Banks was invited to join the debate. You can read his piece – “Innovation out of necessity is alive and well” – on the Virgin website here

May 2014: Interview with National Geographic Learning

Ken Banks was recently interviewed by National Geographic Learning as part of their research for an article looking at mobile technology, innovation and social change. You can read “Can a Mobile Spark Development?” here

May 2014: kiwanja to give keynote at conservation conference

Ken Banks has been invited to give a keynote address at the forthcoming “Digital Conservation” international conference taking place in Aberdeen this month. The event is billed as the “first major international conference on the rapidly growing field of digital applications in nature conservation”. Further details of the keynote, and the wider conference, are available on the event website

April 2014: Ken Banks writes for Virgin Unite on entrepreneurship

“Each year, hundreds – if not thousands – of engaged students walk through the doors of schools, colleges and universities around the world eager to learn the art of social change. But is this the best approach? Does turning social entrepreneurship into an academic discipline give out the right message?”. This is the question tackled in kiwanja’s guest piece for the Virgin Unite series on entrepreneurship. You can read the full article here

April 2014: Book talk slated for US conference this month

Switchpoint 2014 will take place at the award-winning Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, where innovators and big thinkers in the fields of technology, media, communications, development, global health, the arts, and business come together with one goal in mind – to find new ways to spark innovations that will save lives in the developing world. kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been invited to the event to speak about his new book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”. More on the conference website here

March 2014: kiwanja interviewed by New Scientist

kiwanja’s Ken Banks was recently interviewed by journalists at the New Scientist as part of their research for an article on the use of drones and balloons to provide Internet access to the last billion people across the developing world.

“Big tech firms like Facebook and Google want to bring the internet to the poor world, but their high-flying access points can be only part of the solution”. Read the full article here

March 2014: Talking ‘development outside the system’

Ken Banks has written a new article for the Guardian Activate website. Building on the ideas behind “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator“, the article looks at the emergence of development ‘outside’ the system, and how the rise of hackers, fixers and lone rangers is challenging the way international development is thought about, and done. You can read the article on the Guardian website here

March 2014: Ken Banks to speak at ‘Game Changers Summit’

Hosted by United Methodist Communications, the ‘Game Changers Summit’ will demonstrate how information and communications technology can be used to improve all facets of life. The focus? Helping parts of the world left behind by the technological revolution, to solve problems in education, wellness and community development with cutting edge communications tools. Further details on the Summit website here

February 2014: kiwanja book tops Amazon charts

This month, kiwanja’s latest book – The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator – hit top spot in Amazon’s ‘Development Studies’ best sellers chart. Check out this brief blog post, or check out the book’s Amazon page here

February 2014: kiwanja to sit on government Digital Advisory Panel

kiwanja’s Founder, Ken Banks, has been invited by the British Government to join the Department for International Development’s new “Digital Advisory Panel”. The Panel will be made up of senior experts from the technology sector, academia, NGOs and government and will help DFID make best use of current and emerging technology in its international development work. Further details are available on the DFID website here

February 2014: Canada book talk this April

“Propelling Social Ventures 2014” will bring together social entrepreneurs, the business community, policy makers and innovators to explore how social ventures are developing from ideas to real impact in British Columbia, Canada, and beyond. As part of the conference, Ken Banks will talk about his new book, and the role of ‘reluctant innovators’ in solving some of society’s bigger problems. Further details on the conference website here

January 2014: Book review in Cambridge Business Magazine

Cambridge Business Magazine is the premier business publication for the region. Mike Scialom selected kiwanja’s new book for review in the Business Books section in the January/February edition of the magazine.

“The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator is the most complete collection of stories about technology-driven social innovation available to date – each written with refreshing honesty by first-generation community-based entrepreneurs”. A PDF of the full book review is available here

January 2014: kiwanja talk on development at Cambridge University

This month, the Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) at Cambridge University launches a new practitioner seminar series, partnering with expert speakers from key organisations to delve into the gritty realities of what working in fields like human rights and international development really involves. For their first seminar, CGHR have invited Ken Banks to talk about his work in international development, spanning two decades. More on the university website here

January 2014: Ken Banks to give keynote at Oxford conference

kiwanja’s Ken Banks has been invited to give a keynote address at this year’s Oxford Forum for International Development. The Forum is the UK’s highest profile student-led conference on development issues, bringing hundreds of students together with global decision makers. You can read more about the conference on the OxFiD website here

January 2014: Ken Banks to address Imperial College conference

Ken Banks will be speaking at Imperial College next month at an event which focuses on harnessing youth power and science and technology for social change. Further details will be made available on the conference website in the coming weeks

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