Ken Banks, Founder of kiwanja.net and FrontlineSMS, devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. Ken is also a published author, with his first edited book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, released in late 2013. His latest project, Means of Exchange, looks at how everyday technologies can be used to democratise opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, rebuild local community and promote a return to local resource use.
1 blog from the author
When problems find people
Think of innovation in health and many people conjure up images of men and women in white coats – surrounded by coloured test tubes crouched over microscopes in sterile laboratories – developing intricate vaccines or other miracle cures. Yet these tightly controlled, high cost, industrial scale operations are only one end of a very long scale. In the developing world at least, we’re increasingly witnessing some of the more interesting, impactful healthcare innovations coming from lone entrepreneurs and problem solvers. Large multinationals just don’t operate in what can often be seen as the ‘scrappy long tail’ of social innovation. Not only are few present in these markets, many just don’t understand them – or even worse they don’t understand why they need to be in them.