Erik Hersman nurtures the creativity springing from the African tech community, and helps spread its innovations throughout the world.
Why you should listen
Erik Hersman harnesses Africa’s boundless spirit of innovation by creating platforms to improve daily lives both inside and outside the continent. Hersman facilitates a host of web and mobile projects via organizations like iHub, a Nairobi community center built around the vision of an epicenter for Kenya’s booming tech industry. The mobile app Ushahidi, which he co-developed, allows users to share breaking news through text messaging, and continues to revolutionize and empower journalists, watchdog groups, and everyday people around the world.
Hersman, a TED Senior Fellow, grew up in Kenya and Sudan and is, as he puts it, "one of those guys who's much more 'at home' in Africa." He keeps two influential blogs: WhiteAfrican, where he writes about technology on the African continent, and AfriGadget, a group blog that celebrates African ingenuity.
As he says: "The constant bridging of worlds (African and American) started at such a young age that it has become embedded in my character. I find it easy to switch between cultures and enjoy friends and associates on either side of the ocean."
At TEDGlobal 2013 he guest-curated, together with Adrian Hong, the session “Forces of Change."
What others say
"I recently watched a TED.com talk about a new online tool called Ushahidi (Kenyan for "witness") and the great value of donating time and knowledge on a global scale. It further confirmed for me that there is a solution to the problems facing the less fortunate: Compassion is the answer." —