Dr. Kamau Gachigi features in the list of TEDGlobal 2017 Conference Speakers


Ten years on, TEDGlobal returned to Africa with live event featuring 45+ talks, interviews and performances.

Among the key speakers featured in this year’s conference was Dr. Kamau Gachigi, Technologist and Founding Executive Director of GearBox .

On the other hand Gearbox, is a non-profit organisation that provides members with access to modern machines for prototyping and low volume manufacture, specialising in digital fabrication, including electronics PCB fabrication.

Gearbox also avails training, and incubation/acceleration services in order to broaden access to manufacturing in Kenya. Dr. Kamau was a key consultant in the creation of a science curriculum for the Faculty of Arts and Science at the planned Aga Khan University in Arusha, and the principal consultant in the creation of an engineering curriculum for the planned Kiambu University of Technology and Innovation.

He also holds two government appointments, one as Chairman of the Board of the National Industrial Training Authority and another on the Board of the Numerical Machining Complex, a State Corporation. Dr. Kamau is also a member of the Consultative Advisory Group of the Partnership on Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (World Bank and select African Governments).

He previously served as the Director of the University of Nairobi Science and Technology Park and founded the Fab Lab at the University of Nairobi, another in a low income area in Nairobi and is setting up a third in a Kisumu.

The digital fabrication centres are part of a global network founded at MIT that numbers over 1,000 Fab Labs worldwide, and represent a unique window into Industry 4.0 capabilities. Dr. Kamau holds a Ph.D. in Solid State Science from the Pennsylvania State University (USA) and worked in Japan for TDK in R&D for over two years after earning his doctorate. He holds a US patent for an invention and has around 10 academic and non-technical publication.

Other key speakers technology will include Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda who as president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame has received recognition for his leadership in peace-building, development, good governance, promotion of human rights and women’s empowerment, and advancement of education and ICT.

Sara Menker, who is aTechnology entrepreneur is also in the TEDGlobal Speaker line up. Sara Menker is founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, a tech company that marries the application of machine learning with domain expertise and enables users to understand and predict global food and agriculture markets.

TED, is the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, opens its TEDGlobal 2017 Conference  in Arusha, Tanzania. Themed “Builders. Truth-tellers. Catalysts.,” the event hosted 700 attendees at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge for a program of 45+ speakers and performers sharing ideas in TED’s signature format of short, powerful talks – no longer than 18 minutes.

The four-day event that runs until Thursday,30th August 2017, will also feature presentations and performances from 27 TED Fellows. It marks TED’s first return to Africa since the memorable TEDGlobal 2007 Conference held at the same location.

Other Kenyans who also made it to the list include Kisilu Musya, a Farmer and filmmaker, Afro-pop band Sauti Sol, Fredros Okumu a Mosquito scientist and Washington Wachira, one of the country’s best Wildlife ecologist and nature photographer.

“Our event here a decade ago led to so many meaningful ideas, connections and collaborations,” said head of TED Chris Anderson. “Now, we have a chance to reignite those sparks. The ideas emerging from Africa have the potential to create transformative impact, not just here on the continent, but worldwide.”

“This gathering couldn’t come a moment too soon,” said TEDGlobal co-curator Emeka Okafor. “Africa has experienced spectacular economic, demographic and creative growth, but both opportunity and danger are rising at an exponential rate. Our conference will gather the idea catalysts, problem-solvers and change-makers already hard at work here charting Africa’s own path to modernity.”

The speakers and performers selected for TEDGlobal 2017 offer fresh, unique perspectives and solutions on a global level. They include:

  • OluTimehin Adegbeye, Writer and activist
  • Oshiorenoya Agabi, Neurotechnology entrepreneur
  • Nabila Alibhai, Place-maker
  • Alsarah & the Nubatones, East African retro-popsters
  • Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Publisher
  • Christian Benimana, Architect
  • Niti Bhan, Founder and owner, Emerging Futures Lab
  • Mahen Bonetti, Film curator
  • Ameena Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius

The TEDGlobal Conference will also feature other speakers from across the continent cutting across different industries including the Culture and Arts Industry, Agriculture Industry, Transport Industry, Film Industry among others.

A number of exciting brands and companies have partnered with TEDGlobal 2017 to help share ideas and foster an atmosphere of curiosity and discovery. Partners include: The Africa Center, Boston Consulting Group, Brightline Initiative, Gilead Sciences, Logitech, Omidyar Network, Sandstorm Kenya, Tommy Hilfiger, Westpac Banking Group and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

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