The Open Corner Initiative

By Jessica Colaço
  Published 31 Jul 2011
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The Open Corner Initiative
Young Kenyans are constantly looking for jobs and new skills, and at the same time the community around us seek innovative solutions to solve problems we face on each passing day. Smartphones are increasingly getting popular in Kenya and apps for these phones a big growth area. The mix of these elements present an opportunity for the tech community and other stake-holders to work together to try and solve problems using technology in the best and easiest way possible. During a brainstorm session dubbed “Bunge” with the tech community at the iHub last week, the topic on whether technology on it’s own could solve social problems came up. This was objectively discussed for about an hour seeking to find strategies on how the Kenyan tech community could work together in achieving this. It is a fact that the application of technology to solve a problem needs collaboration between technologists and those who seek to address social problems. This party needs to be able to pose the problem to the technologist; the person who can innovate or adapt existing technology to provide a viable solution to the problem. Having this in mind, the iHub Community introduces to you a forum that will connect the techies with the people seeking to address social problems in the Open Corner Initiative. This will be an open forum that will invite and urge Kenyan technopreneurs to take up the challenges faced by manyindividuals, corporates, NGOs, social workers and human-rights monitoring agencies, and provide masterful solutions to their problems. The concept of the Open Corner Initiative depends essentially on the fact that, because it is an open call, it gathers those who are most fit to perform tasks, solve complex problems and contribute with the most relevant and fresh ideas. This forum will seek to encourage communication, problem solving, and technology integration as a joint collaboration with different stake-holders. We will identify problems with the help of groups and individuals seeking to address problems and work with the tech community to find tech solutions for these identified problems. This will be done by bringing the two groups together in the same physical space once every three months, followed with a series of hackathons to try to hack tech solutions. The first Open Corner brainstorm session with the iHub community will be held at the iHub this Tuesday at 5pm and will seek to identify leads, teams and participants. Please sign up for this event so as to get regular updates on the same
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