They are the organizations where this week’s set of mentors honed their skills and experience! We are very excited to introduce to you a set of mentors with a rich array of talents and expertise. This group has created a network of grass roots innovators, developed an application to support disaster relief and transparency, worked on every Intel microprocessor over the last decade and led the World Bank’s work in South Asia. Please welcome Anil Gupta, Erik Hersman, Joseph Nsengimana, and Praful Patel to the EVOKE network!
Anil is the Executive Vice Chair of the India National Innovation Foundation, and the founder of the Honey Bee Network. He is a member of the National Biodiversity Authority and the newly set up National Innovation Council, Chaired by adviser to Prime Minister. He is also a Visiting Professor of Innovation Management in Emerging Markets at the European Business School, Berlin.
Anil is committed to the expansion of global as well as local space for grassroots innovators to ensure recognition, respect and reward for them; blending excellence in formal and informal science; protection of intellectual property rights of the innovators but also expanding open source as a part of ‘technology commons’; ethical issues in conservation and prospecting of biodiversity; linking innovations, investments and enterprise; creating knowledge network at different levels for augmenting grassroots green innovations and inventions in informal and formal sector; and helping organizations become more creative and innovative from bottom up and by learning from grassroots innovations.
Erik is the co-founder of Ushahidi (which means “testimony” in Swahili), a web application created to map the reported incidents of violence happening during the post-election crisis in Kenya. Ushahidi has been used for disasters in Haiti and Chile, by media organizations such as Al Jazeera and the Washington Post, for election monitoring in India, Afghanistan, Namibia and Mexico, and for multiple other uses around the world.
Erik is also the founder of AfriGadget, a multi-author website that showcases stories of Africans solving everyday problems with little more than their creativity and ingenuity. Fascinated by micro-entrepreneurs, gadgets and improvisation, he is proving that technology is changing Africa – daily.
In early 2010, Erik helped launch the new iHub (innovation hub) in Nairobi. It’s an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers and designers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.
Raised in Sudan and Kenya, Erik brings unique energy and insight to the world of technology and innovation – bridging the gap between Africa and Silicon Valley. An avid blogger Erik writes two different technology blogs including: AfriGadget and WhiteAfrican. One dedicated to low-tech African ingenuity, and the other to high-tech mobile and web changes happening throughout Africa.
Joseph is the Director of Corporate Affairs and Strategic Alliances in Africa for Intel Corporation; the leading Manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products in the world. In this capacity Joseph works with governments and the development community to promote the use of ICT to fast track economic development throughout Africa. Before relocating to South Africa in 2008 to take up his current post, Joseph spent over fourteen years designing Microprocessors in the US. He has worked on virtually every Intel Microprocessor family in the last decade.
Praful Patel is the President of Centennial Africa and Middle East and former World Bank Vice President, South Asia.
A Ugandan national, Praful was born in Nairobi, Kenya. He completed his higher education at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark and later at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. He is also a graduate of the Harvard University Executive Development Program.
During his career at the World Bank Praful covered different programs including poverty reduction, regional integration, infrastructure, private sector, capacity building, financial sector including microcredit and macro-economic management. Praful retired from the World Bank in August 2008 and continues to be based in Washington DC, working as a Development Specialist and as President of Centennial Africa and Middle East, part of the Centennial Group (a global strategic advisory group and convener of regular Emerging Markets Forums). Principal focus of Praful’s professional activities is Africa and South-South collaboration.