My work orbits around the theme of developing ideas and technologies that makes the world a better place. I am the Director of Business Development and Strategy at Ushahidi, with the task of monetizing our free platform. Ushahidi is a non-profit tech company from Kenya that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Ushahidi builds tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. At Ushahidi we encourage immersion in many areas to create convergence, so in that vein, I have also co-founded 9th Sense Robotics. We build affordable, intuitive telepresence robots that enrich the human experience by enabling people to extend their capabilities. I am also an advisor to the Ecuadorian social enterprise, Runa Tea, and have previously worked in clean tech in emerging markets with the Clinton Climate Initiative. At first glance there doesn’t seem to be overlap between clean tech, robots, or an African web firm. But my challenge for all has been to make a beneficial-technology financially sustainable. Finding wonder in many fields and exposing parallels in unexpected places helps me to creatively map out strategies. Other areas of interest include being a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional and giving talks to students on climate change and innovation. I hold a BA in Philosophy and MA in International Environmental Development from Brown University. I was led to Ushahidi by founding TheInteract.net, writing a blog on technology and ethics at moraltech.com, and attending Singularity University. Most recently I have been working with the World Economic Forum's Personal Data Team, to reshape the personal data ecosystem to give more agency to individuals. There is one thread weaves through each of my passions: ideas that make the world a better place. I want to make a difference.
I am passionate about the ideas that evolve from the questions “why” and “what is the meaning of life?” There are many philosophical paths; I am drawn to where they intersect.
There is an informal, unregulated trade on the web: personal data for services. This is the business model of most Internet giants. A mass awakening has not yet taken place, and the amount of data online is getting larger and more personal. Data is the only commodity that grows exponentially. Other commodities are limited resources, and so we have no idea how to regulate this new industry. At the moment, web giants know who your friends are, but soon our DNA will be digital. With 3D printing our stuff will be digital, and with the Internet Of Things our devices will report where we are and what we are doing. The key is the value from aggregated data. Google makes more money from your data than Facebook because they know more about you. If you could safely combine your data, that aggregation would have more value than the sum of its parts. You could then choose when to share. This way you retain value and have agency over your data – an imperative as we move deeper into the digital age.
How to shape business models for technologies that make the world a better place. Or about the intersection of philosophy and science.
Dancing. I love to dance. West African, hip-hop, Tai Chi, I am even experimenting with ballet. Like in my work, I love the intersection and amalgamation of dance. A hip-hop fused ballet is magical.
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