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MOBILETech for Society Nairobi, Kenya June 24-26

WELCOME to AshokaTech’s Mobile Technology gathering


We are thrilled to have you as a participant in this Cell Phone Tech 4 Social Good gathering, the first gathering in Ashoka’s Tech 4 Society event series, generously supported by the Lemelson Foundation. This document contains useful information about Kenya and our schedule as well as biographies and information about your fellow gathering participants; we urge you to take some time to read through it and let us know of any questions or ideas you may have. We hope you will enjoy meeting other Ashoka Fellows, the Lemelson Executive Director, Julia Novy-Hildesley, the Lemelson staff and several business representatives while at this gathering in Kenya. You are a member of an extraordinary group of individuals and we are excited to support you as we map trends, share perspectives, and create action plans for new collaborations throughout this short gathering and after it has concluded. We anticipate that many of you will come away from this gathering eager to continue your conversations and plans for collaborative projects and we look forward to supporting those projects in any way we can over the coming months. We also look forward to welcoming you to the culminating Tech 4 Society event in Hyderabad, India February 11-13, 2010 where you will have the opportunity to share your progress and accomplishments with business and thought leaders and nearly 100 other Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows from around the world. We thank you so much for your participation and look forward to a productive, fun, and inspiring gathering in the next few days!

Warm Regards, Rosa

USEFUL TIPS FOR YOUR TRAVELS Asante= thank you in Kiswahili Brackenhurst Conference Center = the location of our



N O Packing = see below Q R S Time zone = 3 +GMT U Voltage = 240 volts AC, with 13 amp square pin plugs Weather = temperatures may range from the lower 40s F

Carnivore = fun fire-side dinner on the night of the 25th D Exchange rate: 1 USD = 78 Kenyan Shillings = 47.6 Indian Rupees

F G Height Above Sea Level at Brackenhurst = over 2,133 meters (make sure you drink plenty of water and get rest to deal with the altitude effects)

Interact = with your peers by going to our online group J K Limuru = the location of the Brackenhurst Conference Center

from Airport to the Brackenhurst Conference Center = approximately 45 - 60 minutes

to the upper 70s F (4-26 degrees Celsius) during our stay and the facilities are not heated


What to Pack: Casual to business casual attire | Sweaters + long pants | A flashlight & batteries | Comfortable walking shoes | Your camera + any physical samples of your work that you are able to bring easily | Your laptop &power cord if you wish to use the center’s wireless network | your passport & visa | NO POWERPOINTS â˜ş





•Question and answer session led by our facilitator, Jack Edwards, to help all of the participants understand one another’s work, vision, and relationships with mobile tech


•Time to unpack and relax followed by an informal working dinner


•Address from Julia Novy-Hildesley, Executive Director of the Lemelson Foundation, •Small group trends mapping •Group discussion around the most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities in mobile technology now, and in the next 5 years.


•Lunch •Travel by van to Senior Fellow Ingrid Munro’s organization, Jamii Bora,


•Site visit: Jamii Bora to observe the power of mobile tech first-hand •Travel to dinner,


•Group dinner at the famous Carnivore restaurant


•Travel back to Brackenhurst •Free time


•Recap of Jamii Bora site visit •Small group and roundtable discussions to map potential collaborations around mobile tech and business-social partnership opportunities, begin action-planning for collaboration and next steps




•Continued action-planning for collaborations to be taken forward and showcased at the culminating Tech 4 Society event in Hyderabad, February 11-13, 2010.



•Participants gather at the Huron hotel in Nairobi via pre-arranged taxi •Departure as a group to Brackenhurst •Lunch

•Dinner •Travel back into Nairobi where participants will either spend the night at the Huron hotel or depart for the airport

•Participants still in Nairobi and able to participate will have the opportunity to do a site visit at Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow David Kuria ‘s work: IKO-Toilet business kiosks

Ashoka and Ashoka-Lemelson


Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow Mathias Craig Mathias and his organization blueEnergy Group have developed a community-based clean energy model dependent on local manufacture and maintenance of a specially designed hybrid solar/wind turbine along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The hybrid solar/wind turbine model allows communities to harvest renewable energy almost every day of the year while the model’s basic construction and use of local materials makes it serviceable by trained community members. Households in the community purchase home-electrification kits that include a battery, wiring, and light-bulbs and then pay a small fee to charge the batteries at the community charging center every 10-21 days. The battery charging fees are channeled into a fund managed by a local energy commission created with the support of blueEnergy to maintain the community energy system. As residents in one community began charging their cell phone batteries at the community charging station for US $0.40 apiece, the model has becoming even more popular and is fueling the success of blueEnergy through local demand.

ASHOKA: What are some of the obstacles to mobile phone access and adoption of mobile innovations? Mathias In our areas the most pressing needs are access to mobile networks. Most of the communities are isolated and do not have cell coverage. In my mind, we need to develop a strategy to pressure or entice the cell phone company to expand its coverage to these communities based on our commitment to develop the energy source to charge the phones. Other than the obstacles you mention, I can’t think of any other real road blocks. In communities we have worked in to electrify that had cell phone coverage, mobile use increased dramatically. ASHOKA: What has the most potential in the mobile phone ecosystem to create even more positive outcomes in economic development? Mathias: Reduction in cost of multi-media phones like the iphone for content rich sharing by people who are not literate. The ability to deliver video recorded messages for example. From our perspective, again, the main limitation is in the physical network itself. Innovations that enable existing towers to broadcast and receive over greater distances or other improvements that drive down the cost of the repeater towers would enable isolated communities to get connected. This would revolutionize the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.

ASHOKA: What hypothetical invention or a new technique to solve one of the challenges that you think is most pressing in the field of mobile tech? Mathias: I would invent a phone that could use traditional cell phone signal or alternatively short-wave radio signals to send short text messages hundred of miles. This would allow basic communication even when far from the formal network. This address connectivity issues in remote communities. I would also invent a phone that picks up radio broadcasts so that community members could use it to listen to their favorite radio stations, which is there main cultural link to the “outside” world.

Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow Joseph Adelegan Dr. Joseph Adelegan has brought technological innovation to conventional anaerobic biodigesters by designing a reactor dubbed “Cows to Kilowatts” that treats slaughterhouse waste to abate water pollution and mitigate greenhouse gas emission while also producing viable commercial products for farmers and households. After conducting an original economic and technical appraisal, he engaged community











implementation for the construction and maintenance of the reactor. He led discussions about the dangers of slaughterhouse pollution, the impact on the health of residents and the potential of the new technology. He also identified partners that provided leveraged access to residents who could directly benefit from the biogas plant. The Farmers Association distributes the organic fertilizer and trains other farmers in its use, the Butchers’ Association collects user fees from users of the facility, and the Market Women’s Association promotes and sells the bottled biogas for cooking fuel. The bottled biogas is expected to compete successfully against conventional bottled cooking gas over time since it sells at a quarter of its price. Finally, local youth, who would otherwise be unemployed, are given priority for jobs at the reactor during and after construction. Having successfully begun to turn slaughterhouse waste into useful commercial products, Dr. Joseph Adelgan is now setting his sights on other environmental waste problems such as disposable plastic bags which he believes may be recycled efficiently into plastic cell-phone cover components.

Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow Patrick Gathitu Patrick sees that scattered access to information about affordable technologies and simple innovations is a primary deterrent to the productivity of Kenyans—many of them rural people whose livelihoods are tied to the land. Without this access, small-scale business efforts, even of enterprising people, are doomed to low productivity and earning.

To change this reality, Patrick identifies hundreds of promising, affordable, and

appropriate technologies to share with local farmers and early-stage entrepreneurs.

Patrick is stimulating

entrepreneurship and productivity, especially in the agricultural sector, in three main ways: he aggregates locally made technologies, making them available for sale to farmers; he teaches customers how to use them to raise their incomes; and he supports citizen groups in seeing that they can generate jobs and solutions, that they change their circumstances and livelihoods, and their world.

Having begun his work in Western and

North Rift Kenya, Patrick hopes to build a network of inventors, farmers, and civil society groups across East Africa to foster efficiency and entrepreneurship.

Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow David Kuria David Kuria designs technology-enabled sanitation "kiosks" that halt environmental degradation and promote health and social cohesion in slum areas. He engages urban communities in the design and construction of his “IKO toilet” and has made sanitation facilities a profitable venture for the urban poor as well as the business community by collecting dues and providing innovative financing schemes in collaboration with local and international financial institutions and funding partners.


revenue generated from these enterprises goes towards subsidizing, and therefore reducing the user fees. Even human waste is collected and turned into gas that is pumped back into the facility for light and hot water. Each kiosk charges a small fee for the use of a clean and sanitary toilet facility, but also serves as a business center for a wide variety of other ventures including shoe-shining stations, telephone top-offs, and newspaper vendors, and advertisements.

Safaricom, Kenya’s largest

telecommunications company, and Royal Gate, a local real estate firm, also pay for advertising at the sanitation facilities making David’s IKO toilet kiosks viable, reputable, and busy centers of sanitation, business and community life.

Ashoka Fellow Vincent Bagiire Vincent Bagiire is increasing incomes in poor farming communities by leveraging tools in information and communication technology to facilitate the sharing of indigenous farming knowledge and practices across ethnic groups and to enable poor farmers to obtain better prices for their products. Most Ugandan farmers rely on indigenous farming methods handed down from generation to generation. Many of these highly-effective and highly-localized techniques though can be lost with the advent of new farming information and models that may or may not prove as effective.

To prevent the loss of this

knowledge, and to provide farmers with the information they need produce high yields and also sell them for fair prices, Vincent is leveraging modern technology to build a national central database of indigenous farming knowledge and organizing farmers to take advantage of it. Through a website, blog posts, text messages, printed how-to guides and monthly meetings, Vincent has built a national network of farmers eagerly sharing best practices with others throughout the country. Having started in the small district of Mayuge with 100 farmers in 2004, Vincent has expanded to 17 districts around the country and has started to see remarkable changes in the quality of life of farmers who are benefitting from his program.

Ashoka Fellow Collins Apuyo Has introduced a system to safely collect, store and reuse used oil: the source of one of Kenya’s most intractable environmental challenges. For each liter of oil mechanics collect and store in an “oil bank,” Collin's organization provides either a cash reward or a loan to support their businesses. Mechanics use their cash rewards or loans to bolster security in their shops and buy new equipment. To support the mechanics’ growing businesses, teach safe oil-handling practices, and impart environmental consciousness among them, all of the mechanics participating in the “the credit for safe collection of used oil” program are also required to attend business-management and environmental safety trainings.

The used oil

collected from the mechanics is sold to heavy manufacturing companies in Kenya that rely on the used oil in their production processes. Collins intensively researches the companies he sells oil to, to ensure that they are ethical and environmentallyconscious corporations. The fees collected from these companies go towards financing new loans to the mechanics and other slum households.

ASHOKA: What are some of the obstacles to mobile phone access and adoption of mobile innovations? COLLINS: 1) Service affordability 2) Need to charge phones 3) Equipment affordability (cost of phone) ASHOKA: What has the most potential in the mobile phone ecosystem to create even more positive outcomes in economic development? COLLINS: 1) Storing, saving, investing, transferring money – the size of market represented by the unbanked is enormous, especially in Africa. This is an opportunity. 2) Using mobile technology for quality control/assurance and risk assessment – with many goods and services from many supplies, counterfeiting is on the increase. Mobile technology could be a window for curtailing this. Has both health and value implications

ASHOKA: What hypothetical invention or a new technique to solve one of the challenges that you think is most pressing in the field of mobile tech? COLLINS: Phone with in-built solar charging system (similar to a solar calculator). Avoid the need to have electricity to charge phone.

Ashoka-Lemelson Fellow Vijay Pradap Singh Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya and his organization, Ekgaon Technologies, are creating new software platforms that provide financial, health and agricultural services to rural customers. As more and more companies compete for the “bottom of the pyramid” markets in rural India, Vijay’s technological solutions force private companies to compete fairly and offer better services to their rural customers. In return, Vijay’s technological platform also offers these companies the aggregated consumer data they need to develop stronger products and services. Ekgaon also provides a variety of other software products and systems that help non-profits track constituents, and that support craft groups and farmers seeking to organize more efficiently and obtain special certifications. Rather than relying on computers out in the field, Vijay and Ekgaon have adapted the software to run almost exclusively on cell phones for the rural customer. Hospitals, citizen federations, and NGOs serve as aggregation points for the information that cannot be stored on cell phones. Vijay’s company, Ekgaon Technologies, licenses their software through the Creative Commons, seeking to protect the intent but not the content of their creative work creative work. All of the software programs he creates are freely available, open source solutions.

What are some of the obstacles to mobile phone access and adoption of mobile innovations? vijay: 1) Common Operating System and application standards – These are required particularly in low cost mobile handsets, adoption of these standards based on open source could help in furthering of services access on mobile platforms far and wide. Google’s Android initiative in this direction is appreciable. Open standard is the way to go, proprietary standards cannot help grow the mobile market. 2) Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) is the future market – lowering entry cost barrier for owning a mobile device and Mobile Network Operators (MNO) connection can actually make accessibility higher and get more people connected. Usable mobile VAS could supplement incomes for both MNOs and service providers.


What has the most potential in the mobile phone ecosystem to create even more positive outcomes in economic development? vijay: 1) Decentralization of service support for mobile hardware devices, including suitable changes in hardware standard to enable capacity enhancement possible using a base hardware at local level. 2)Entry barrier for mobile services should be reduced by MNO, to


enable mass expansion. 3) Common Networking standards across internet, would enable greater access a cross multiple platforms. 4 ) Mobile VAS is the way forward, MNO and Mobile Device manufacturer should enable level playing field for service providers to offer application enabling greater services access to clients. Low cost and volumes should be targeted instead of tying down clients in prohibitive contractual agreements. 5) Common Access Protocol should be adopted for financial and other such information based services transactions. Necessary regulatory changes in various country Banking norms and trade bodies should be advocated. What hypothetical invention or a new technique to solve one of the challenges that you think is most pressing in the field of mobile tech? vijay: Software Sim Card – The necessity of having new sim card while moving into new networks (while traveling to different countries or sometimes in the same country), to save on “Roaming an Network cost”, could be resolved by having a software sim card. These sim cards could be downloaded at any time using a Common Access Protocol and paid to similarly. This sim card would solve a major bottleneck for clients, allowing them to use both sim cards (or more at the same tine), thus remaining always connected.


Ashoka Fellow Adrian Mukhebi By facilitating the flow of information between small-scale farmers and commodity markets, Adrian Mukhebi and his organization KACE is increasing farmers’ negotiating power and improving rural food distribution and household food security. Through the establishment of Market Information Points (MIPs) across rural Kenya and the creative use of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs), Dr. Mukhebi collects, processes, and disseminates accurate and timely information on commodity prices, offers to sell and bids to buy, and available markets. A simulated stock exchange at each MIP and the distribution of information through both text message and voice technology gives even illiterate small-scale farmers greater bargaining power when dealing with buyers. At the same time, Dr. Mukhebi’s model channels commodity supply and demand information from farmers into the trading system, allowing a more responsive market that balances the distribution of surplus and scarcity.

To expand the reach of his idea, and more efficiently collect and disseminate

information, Dr. Mukhebi has created a technology-based distribution system through partnerships with the leading service providers of ICTs in Kenya. Through partnership with Safaricom, the leading mobile phone service provider in Kenya, Dr. Mukhebi is able to collect and disseminate information through short message service (SMS) via mobile phones. The partnership with the Safaricom Limited, the leading mobile phone service provider in Kenya, also makes cell phones affordable to farmers through a cost-sharing agreement in which farmer groups’ pool money to cover half the cost of a phone, and KACE subsidizes the other half.

Ashoka and

Staff participants

Ashoka participating staff members Jack Edwards, Miami/Latin America Jack joined Ashoka in 2003 after working for 31 years as an executive with Cummins Engine Company. He has lived and worked in Latin America for more than fifteen years, starting as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, and then in Mexico and Brasil. Jack came to know about Ashoka through Cummins, which sponsored Fellows in three different countries. Jack's work with Ashoka includes helping the Latin American group develop partnerships, with his initial work focusing on Mexico, though he has traveled across the world to interview potential Fellow candidates and facilitate Ashoka gatherings.

Rosa Wang, San Francisco Rosa Wang is the Leader of the Ashoka-Lemelson Tech 4 Society event series and has been with Ashoka since 2002. Prior to her work with Ashoka, Rosa had a 12-year career in portfolio management and international finance, with past employers including the Federal Reserve Bank NY and Lehman Brothers. She lived and worked in Asia for 7 years (from 1995 to 2002) where she worked on cultivating and developing new capital markets in the region. Rosa has a master's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University and a BA in international studies from Rhodes College of Memphis TN.

• •

Danielle Smith, Washington DC Danielle is the project manager for the Ashoka-Lemelson Tech 4 Society event series. Before joining Ashoka, Danielle most recently worked in Chennai, India where she developed programs for a small women’s rights organization. At Ashoka, Danielle has designed and pioneered new fundraising initiatives for the organization while also working closely with the Venture and Fellowship staff both in DC and across the Asia diamond. Danielle is also an active contributor to Ashoka’s social media outreach and working group.

Lily Paul, Bangalore Lily Paul is the Director of the Ashoka Support Network (ASN) in India and manages the Ashoka-Deshpande Partnership project in the Indian state of Karnataka. Lily is also the conference leader for the culminating Tech 4 Society event to be held in Hyderabad, India February 11-13, 2010. Prior to Ashoka, Lily has had a diverse career incorporating work in banking, motherhood, working as a stock broker, and as a marriage counselor. Lily was one of the founding members of Chrysalis - a training and counseling group that worked with adults and children to build life skills through workshops and counseling.

Abu Musuuza, East Africa Abu is the Ashoka East Africa Representative. Prior to joining Ashoka, Abu was awarded the Social Worker of the Year Award by the Makerere University Social Workers Students Association (MUSWSA) for organizing a range of events that challenged students of Social Work and Social Administration to see themselves as worthy professionals. Since joining Ashoka, Abu has developed a keen interest in the role of business in development. Tapping from his extensive knowledge in Social Work and Social Administration, he is working on initiatives that will help top businesses in East Africa to see corporate responsibility as a longer-term partnership to provide services to needy communities, rather than a one-off donation.

participating staff members Julia, Novy-Hildesley •

Julia Novy-Hildesley is Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation. Along with a team of advisors and staff, Julia develops and implements the Foundation’s programs and oversees operations. Prior to joining the Lemelson Foundation, Julia was the Director of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Pacific office where she spearheaded the organization’s strategy for marine conservation and public outreach on the west coast of the United States and taught at Stanford University in the Law School and Earth Sciences, Anthropological Sciences, and Human Biology departments. Prior to joining WWF and teaching at Stanford, Julia conducted research in Madagascar, funded by a Fulbright Scholarship. Julia earned a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in International Development from the Institute for Development Studies at Sussex University in the United Kingdom, funded by a Marshall Scholarship. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology with a Minor in African Studies and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. She speaks French, Spanish and Kiswahili.

Patrick Maloney Patrick is the Senior Program Officer at the Lemelson Foundation and focuses on the Foundation’s Technology Dissemination and Program Related Investment work. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2008, he worked in northern California with mission-driven investors and donors in emerging technologies, including Omidyar Network and Patrick has also worked at Rosum Corporation, a location technology start-up where he was Director of Business Development, and with Barclays Global Investors, where he helped develop the world’s first exchange traded fund risk-optimized to social, environmental and governance factors. He began his career with Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Patrick holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BS in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Peggy Reid, Program Director Peggy is the Lemelson Foundation Program Director and oversees the Foundation’s grantmaking, program related investing, learning, and monitoring and evaluation efforts. Before joining Lemelson, Peggy served for six years as director of Stanford Business School’s Public Management Program. Prior to this, Peggy worked in the private sector in product development, management consulting, and mergers and acquisitions. She sits on several nonprofit boards of directors and has been a judge for Coro Northern California and the Global Social Venture Competition at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Peggy has lived or done field studies in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Spain. She holds an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, a master’s degree in Theology from Harvard University, and a BA from Wellesley College.


About Ashoka Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, Ashoka has elected 2,000 social entrepreneurs as Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries. This includes more than 350 Fellows across Africa.

About the Lemelson Foundation Established by Jerome Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, the Foundation’s programs in the U.S. and across the world recognize and celebrate accomplished inventors; provide financial and mentoring support to grassroots inventors; offer hands-on opportunities that enable young people to develop their budding scientific curiosity; and disseminate technologies that improve people’s lives. To date, the Foundation has donated or committed more than $150 million in support of its mission.

About AshokaTech Together, Ashoka and the Lemelson Foundation are hosting the Technology for Society Event Series to engage, inspire, and build a network Ashoka Fellows, business leaders, and thought leaders from around the world working to create and refine new technological solutions for global environmental, social, and economic challenges.

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Ashoka Lemelson Nairobi Gathering  
Ashoka Lemelson Nairobi Gathering  

AshokaTech in partnership with the Lemelson foundation invited social entrepreneurs and the business community to discuss the future of mobi...