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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

THE RE INVENTION GENERATION



Greetings to all!

Earlier this month we were graced by Global Minimum to being part of a remarkable panel entailing; Bonolo Matjila- Spiruteens(South Africa), David Sengeh from Global Minimum(Sierra Leone) , Leroy Mwasaru-Human Waste Bioreactor(Kenya),  moderated by Kate Krontiris from Berkman Center for Internet and Society .

 



Having dinner at The Codmother
The experience was uniquely exciting, right from our tiring 16 hour flight from Dubai to San Francisco, all the way diligently served with unending hospitality. Sincere thanks to our chaperone, Mr. Dheeraj Sanka for receiving us from SFO, checking us in at The Ritz, Carlton Half Moon Bay, in addition to treating us with  dinner at the Codmother Fish and Chips. Night life and transport systems in the city- San Francisco was quite fascinating- this gave me some ideas! After the treat we then retired to The Ritz Carlton, which is an hour drive from San Fransisco.




BoLeAriam.jpeg!
Sunday morning marked the beginning of the conference after checking in at the Techonomy desk and getting our tags. We had breakfast at The grill, adjacent to the main block. This was then followed by a briefing session by our chaperone for the day, 
 
Ariam Mogos, unending regards for staying with us through the day!  We set a list of great personalities to meet at the conference, with all that checked, we signed up for morning activities. Unfamiliar with golf I  gave it a try, thanks to Antony- our instructor, I’m your buddy when it comes to chipping and teeing ;-) .After two hours of polishing our skills, the cold had no mercy on my shaky hands we headed to the ball room where we met David Sengeh and Kate Krontiris, the panel was complete! We chatted our evening away to our first session right after dinner, having one of my long awaited speakers in line, Genevieve Belle from Intel Labs, Jack Dorsey for Square & Twitter moderated by James Surowiecki from  Staff Write about- Tech bringing Equality and Peace. Having my take; slow uptaking of tech widens the gulf between the rich and the poor as the rich exploit tech to fetch more as the poor lurk in adject poverty. Hands up to tech bringing equality and peace!

that finalized our day.

D Day
The panel
Monday morning was our D day, with our panel scheduled at 9:30 am. It was really privileged addressing an assembly of great personalities as my inspirations also tapped from within the panel, David Sengeh who challenged me further into my work, academics and life of multi tasking , right from prosthetics at MIT to TEDx events and now a panel member. Responses from the audience right after the audience were encouraging, one key lesson-  You are of great importance to your work and contribution to the community. Perhaps this is where Africa’s youthful generation gets its inspiration to write a chapter in the history of development. And after the panel  was straight to the green room where we got free of the mics!..

Joining a tech lab facilitated by Kate Krontiris, was a very interesting one  entailing- How Civic engagement can be collectively upped by the power of tech and having  protocol of convincing the public into collective action.ie Biometric voting. Backed with great speakers ; Nigel Jacob, Urban Technologist in Residence, Living Cities  Jerry Paffendorf, CEO, LOVELAND Technologies Kathryn Peters, Co-founder and COO, Democracy Works Matt Stempeck, Director of Civic Technology, Microsoft New York . Lucky enough we got to exchange ideas with Matt Stempeck and Jerry Paffendorf, it was a great experience hearing their dimensions of thinking.


Here's my view Sir!
After an exhilarating lunch hosted by Ford,  we joined our last Tech Lab moderated by Dan Elron from Strategy and Corporate Development. With a remarkable set of speakers; Ali Diab, Co-founder and CEO, Collective Health Dane Howard, Director, Global Brand Experience, eBay Scott Sanborn, Chief Operations Officer, LendingClub   Jake Seid, President, Auction.com  .- Will every industry have its own Tesla?-of Companies embracing change driven by every day tech . Business leaders have a task to be the disruptors than disrupted.  Taking this into consideration; German cars are a unique set with great engines and peak performance sadly one has to take it back to its manufacturer for a patch/ update, perhaps there is a great possibility of cars updating automatically over Wi-Fi! With Jake Seid taking auction.com not only 

 

as a lending site but further providing services similar to banking, creating consumer trust in new models. Ali Diab ‘s Collective Health founder+ CEO great sense of leadership is exhibited when he counteract problems into problem motivations- on how Health Insurance companies should handle their insured eg answering phone calls, tone to use and how to reply to them!
 We were lucky enough to enjoy a scenic trail  along the cliff all the way to the beach with Kathryn Peters- founder of Democracy Works and Kate Krontiris - Berkman Center for Internet and Society !
A beach troll with Kathyrn Peters


The conference wrapped itself to an end with an eager live performance from The Fray . David and I vividly remember our  personal touch with them : -) . Thanks to Kate Krontiris  for double casting as a shaperone for  both of us and David Sengeh for unending encouragement and inspiration through the conference. Credits to the Techonomy team for their hospitality. – Tim Charters and company :-) 
Utmost thanks to Global Minimum for the opportunity and  opening our eyes beyond our community in our bid to solve problems!




Then was our long flight back to  South Africa for Matjila and Kenya for me!

 
 
 
 
 
Me and my lenses couldn't resist!
 
 
On our next publish find out what next for the hwb team..!

What next?






Saturday, 23 August 2014

SHINING LIGHT ON INNOVATION

In Kenya, we are not short of ideas, our challenge is the social conventions among the local community that bound the solution among innovative youth.
The path from idea from idea to invention is investment in science ,engineering, technology and design. For many businesses it's a new and daunting route, but when it comes to sustainable growth there is no back road.

As Kenya struggles up the ladder to achieve a developing economy , its efforts are backlashed by its own citizens. In an equal measure foreign aid has helped her citizens and equally instilled dependency among its citizens, it then comes to her citizens that the help does more harm to them.

Through the help of  organizations  namely Global Minimum,Rockefeller Foundation among them have made it possible  for the youth to put their innovative solutions to solve problems engineering them to working solutions. Most important initiating of campaigns through Innovation competitions.

INNOVATION LESSONS FROM DISRUPTORS
Richard Branson -Frustration fueLs disruption
: “Over the years we’ve started many Virgin businesses out of frustration at the way things were done in established sectors. Whether it was airlines, mobile telephones or financial services, we’ve stood out by focusing on ways to improve people’s lives through better service, innovation and value. There is little point in entering a new market unless it provides the opportunity to really shake up an industry. If our entry has the potential to make waves, we’re going to look at it very closely. But we always protect the downside and make sure that we have a way out if things go wrong. If a new business has the potential to damage your brand in any way, you should not invest in it.”




Steve  Jobs- Focus: When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, it was producing a random array of computers and peripherals, including a dozen different versions of the Macintosh. After a few weeks of product review sessions, he’d finally had enough. “Stop!” he shouted. “This is crazy.” He grabbed a Magic Marker, padded in his bare feet to a whiteboard, and drew a two-by-two grid. “Here’s what we need,” he declared. Atop the two columns, he wrote “Consumer” and “Pro”. He labelled the two rows “Desktop” and “Portable”. Their job, he told his team members, was to focus on four great products, one for each quadrant. All other products should be cancelled. There was a stunned silence. But by getting Apple to focus on making just four computers, he saved the company. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he told me. “That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”






Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Human Waste Bioreactor

Our idea which was fostered by Gmin's Innovate Kenya was as a result of the  following upcomings;





 




CHALLENGE

>The school's newest dormitory was completed and it has a capacity of  720 students . The local community held protests against the completion of the dormitory as the villagers constantly complained about the stench coming from the  sewage  disposal from the dormitories.
> Lack of water currently in the new dormitory sometimes leads to immense blockage  in the  waste disposal system, this waste also overflows to a nearby river which acts as a vital source of water thereby polluting it and consequently its dependants' clean water.



PROBLEM MOTIVATION


The challenge is important because it motivates us students to think of amicable solutions to the problem. It is a practical problem that is felt and seen by all and therefore needs a practical approach in solving it.The promotion project has the capacity to address energy, health, ecological problems and can be considered as a multi dimensional development approach in Kenya.



Major insipirations  for the production of biogas were political, social , agricultural , environmental , waste recovery and in energy.
-Political: Kyoto Protocol, European Union , National Legislation
Environmental: Reduction of biological and organic wastes
-Agricultural: Waste treatment to obtain fertilizers.
-Waste recovery: Production of new products from waste.
-Social: Boosting the local market
-Energy: Replacement of fossil fuels to local resources.



 PROPOSED SOLUTION


The human waste bioreactor will be a simple plant dug into the ground with a latrine and a solid waste outlet. This also makes gravity feed of the system much simpler.







OUR BREAKTHROUGHS


After our first camp we were solicited with some funds to come up with a
prototype , we therefore came up with a simple prototype,
 
 
 



Optimistic about our idea, we drafted calculations on how our project would save the school economically wise, picture this:


>In one term, the school uses 28 Lorries of wood fuel each 7 tonnes.
>This is equivalent to 2,940,000 KJ of energy.
 In order to get this amount of  energy;

  1 gramme of methane= 0.055 KJ of energy
  53 tonnes of methane per term= 2,940,00kj of energy
  1 term=14 weeks, therefore
  1 day= 0.54 tonnes of methane


if 1 kg of human waste gives 0.0012m3 0f methane then 540 kg of  methane requires 1,080 kg of waste
If 1,300 students give 200g each of human excreta per day then 260 kgs waste will be produced daily. This is equivalent to 130kgs of gas per day.



If 13 kg of LPG cooking gas costs Ksh. 4,000 daily thus saving the school Ksh.3,920,000 if the school was to use gas from our digestor.







After our second camp, we were able to purchase a digestor  courtesy of Innovate Kenya under Gmins' stewardship.
 
The digestor was affixed to the school kitchen to a gas stove with a meter reading to monitor gas levels.
 
 



Soon after the installation of the digestor we embarked on feeding it, this entailed collecting cowdung from the school farm and  collecting food refuse after meals.
 
 

 
 
 



The waste would then be mixed in appropriate ratios with water for optimum production  of the gas.









As soon as there is stable supply of the gas, we hope to avert the dangers that come with using firewood to cook as it remains the source of fuel for the kitchen , clearing our forest cover day by day.


 

 





I am glad that the same project was applied in our  rural home ,Taita Taveta, near coast strip, the plant underway will harvest waste from 10 Freshian cows in a zero grazing unit that was initially put to waste, it is my pride that the project will put to perfect use the waste from cows to produce cooking gas for the village, It can also be used in lighting and generating electricity.


The rural home project is underway, the pictures shows its initial phases of construction:
 
 
 










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