2 Years of NRBuzz: What's the Next Level?

By Nanjira Sambuli
  Published 20 Mar 2016
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NRBuzz - short for “Nairobi Research Buzz” - is a monthly iHub Research event series that brings stakeholders in the tech ecosystem working in disparate fields for interesting discussions and collaboration around relevant research. We held the first NRBuzz in January 2013 with Dr. Laura Mann of the Oxford Internet Institute, who gave a talk on "The Promises of Fibre-Optic Broadband - A Pipeline for Economic Development in East Africa? Focus on IT and Outsourcing", and have held them consecutively every month since!

Once a month wewelcome participants from all research and techbackgrounds working in Kenya or East Africa. University students and staff, independent researchers, NGO/UN researchers and government researchers haveall been welcome to attend and present.We also welcome researchers at all stages of their projects; those seeking guidance at the start of fieldwork, those mid-way through projects wanting fresh eyes on preliminary findings and those whose work is more polished, seeking engagement withother researchers and stakeholders. Government stakeholders, Entrepreneurs, Techies and other individualswith interests in these technologies and communications are also invited to attend.

So far, NRBuzz has been taking place on the first Thursday of every month at 5:30pm, at the iHub. The typicalsession structure has entailed the presenter sharing abouttheir work for about 30 minutes, and then spending the rest of the time in an interactive Q&A, feedback session.

This year, we have been experimenting a bit more with bringing in diverse industry players to interact with the researchers. In February, for instance, we hosted the Nation Media Group, and looked at media and tech innovation, and how that impacts their work. In March, we assessed the role of tech on civic engagement in Kenya. As it stands in Kenya, all eyes (local and international) are on the tech industry, coined the 'Silicon Savannah'which has the potential to propel several industries into the next phase of innovation. At iHub Research, we want to use events such asNRBuzz to leverage on this opportunity.

In this regard we would like to hear from you, the community that has supported and attended this event over the years, on how we can take it to the next level. To this end, we would appreciate if you took a few minutes to share your feedback and suggestions through this form. Your insights are most valuable!

Stay tuned to this, and other events at the iHub, by signing up for our weekly newsletter. Find out the latest from iHub Research on our latest iQuarterly issue, which constitutes aseries of reflections from the team on our work, and on technology and society.

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