Posts / November 29, 2011

Driving Change

I’ve come to realize there are two kinds of people: those who wait for things to happen, and those who make things happen.

When I met Lukonga Lindunda this summer in Nairobi, I soon realized he fit into that second group of people who were driving change. Lukonga came to Nairobi from Lusaka to experience Kenya’s mobile revolution first hand and to understand the secret of the iHub which was at the very heart of it. Wanting to spark a mobile revolution in Zambia, he shared his plans to open a similar co-working space in Lusaka called the BongoHive.

Following the Pivot25 event, we discussed our views on mobile technology having the ability to empower disadvantaged groups and lift communities out of poverty. Sharing such a similar mindset, I was excited when he suggested I come to Lusaka to teach a mobile development class, although my first thoughts were the idea would never get any traction.

So I was somewhat surprised when later in the fall Lukonga messaged me saying he had secured funding for my trip and already opened the BongoHive. And now here I am a short while later preparing for my flight for Lusaka, amazing all this was driven by one man with a passion to make a difference.

The mobile development workshop will be more than just me delivering content. I’m treating the workshop as a real mobile project, where together we’ll identify a problem and develop a solution to solve it.

Taking a barefoot college approach, I hope to share mobile design principles for the small screen. And here’s the really interesting part; we’ll be building a mobile application which delivers education lessons in which the students will co-create the content, aka building mobile app that will teach others how to build mobile apps. And if successful, the app could be re-used to deliver other lessons on maternal health or agricultural practices.

Although I assume there will be some bumps along the way, I’m excited for this opportunity, let’s see what we can create 🙂