This week the world descended in Davos Switzerland to take a swipe at the world’s most pressing issues under the auspices of the World Economic Forum; which in the words of it founder – Klaus Schwab is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The motto is equally ambitious, “committed to improving the state of the world”, which in this age is rife with variables that are much less predictable as they are controllable.
Technology is embedded in every facet of our lives, which we may not appreciate as we are still locked into the frame of mind that equates technology to computers or the internet. I consider technology best deployed when it adds value transparently, in the background and not drawing attention to itself. As a technology entrepreneur, what I have mentioned above always brings to the fore that technology cannot exist independently and this I have proven having interacted with numerous professionals and specialists from different fields in my day to day work.
This of course present numerous opportunities both for business and innovation that would leverage technology. Here is the problem though; every year we will see focused meetups and conferences by various groups across different industries and even government looking at how to better meet their objectives but without a systematic way of sharing those deliberations and outcomes with those not of the same cloth, who may perhaps think different and offer valuable insights. This creates silos of actionables that come the next meetup many will remain undone.
Initiatives such as the Nokia led Open Innovation Africa Summit, which looks to stimulate interaction and discussion around entrepreneurship, innovation and tech in Africa and the Kenya ICT Board’s own Connected Kenya Summit series, that brings private and public sector leaders together to share ideas on how to give Kenya that one up using ICT, are a step in the right direction.
Perhaps, as we go into the county government model we could look for a vehicle that could better capture a wider cross-section of participants that can engage on both formal and informal ways to first identify the issues that we have and distill solutions that can be applied at county level and even scaled nationally. With the mix of personalities, skill sets and knowledge, if well organized, we could see some positive and ground breaking output that may just fastrack solution development to address some of our most pertinent issues, whether it’s how to increase agricultural output, better models for drug distribution or even how to taper down the effects of negative ethnicity.
Technology, will be there in the background – already thought out or in different phases of the innovation cycle, waiting to play its part as a catalyst of change.