Introducing the Global Innovation Competition Jury Members
Featured below are the six selected experts who consist of the Global Innovation Competition’s Jury.
They share Making All Voices Count’s vision of stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship to improve the performance and accountability of governments worldwide. Their role is to monitor and select wildcards during the semi-final round, and ultimately the Global Innovation Competition winners who will be announced April 3, 2014. Read more on the role of the Jury here.
Dr. Sheila Ochugboju (Chair of the jury)
Dr. Sheila Ochugboju is a development professional with specialist knowledge in science, economics and policy development in Africa. She is founder of the Kenyan-based media and stock photography consultancy Africaknows, which aims to ‘re-brand’ Africa by “telling a different story” with words and pictures. Dr. Ochugboju is a TED fellow for the Technology, Entertainment and Design community and she curates the annual flagship event TEDxNairobi.
Having gained a PhD in Biochemistry from London University, she became a Daphne Jackson Trust Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She went on to specialise in scientific administration and communication and, among other key roles, she has been the Chief Communications Officer for the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), an international NGO based in Accra that promotes policy research and advisory services that facilitate African governments attaining development goals, sustained growth and economic transformation.
Dr. Ochugboju has managed large-scale development programmes in health, innovation and leadership development. Whilst a Facilitator for the British Council InterAction Leadership programme, she received a grant from the Commission for Africa to train and engage over 930 leaders across 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and the UK. She has also been a Director for the Global Women Inventors & Innovators Network (GWINN) in the UK and has contributed to the IBM Global Innovation Outlook for Africa (GIO 3.0).
Dr. Bitange Ndemo
Dr. Ndemo is a leading light in Africa’s Open Government and Open Data movement and Africa’s Open Government Partnership efforts. During his tenure as Permanent Secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications, Dr. Bitange Ndemo was responsible for policy formulation and managing the implementation of ICT projects. His priority has been to connect East Africa to the rest of the world via under-sea fibre optic cable. He is at the forefront of developing the demand side of ICTs by actively promoting Business Process Outsourcing in both urban and rural areas.
Dr. Bitange Ndemo gained his PhD in Industrial Economics from the University of Sheffield and also spent a period in the US at the University of Minnesota and as a Financial Systems Analyst for the Fortune 500 company Medtronic Inc. On returning to Africa, he became Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Business School, where he taught entrepreneurship, management and research methods, with a focus on SMEs in Kenya.
Bright Simons is president of the mPedigree Network, where he pioneered a system allowing consumers to send text messages to check whether their medicines are counterfeit or not. Simons is the honorary director of development research at IMANI, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils on Data and Development for Young Global Leaders and Technology Pioneers. He is also a TED and an Ashoka Fellow, and a Brain Trust member of the Evian Group at IMD.
Bright Simons has received many awards; most notably, an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Award and a Marie Curie and Commonwealth Vision Grant for a PPARC Scholarship in Gamma Ray Astronomy. He is regularly called on to advise international organisations, such as the World Bank, UNECA, USAID and the Commonwealth, on innovation strategy, and he is a member of the UN taskforce on innovative models in healthcare. In addition, Simons is a Global Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar. He is an active board member for a number of bodies, including IC Publications, a leading publisher in the area of Africa and the African Diaspora, Microsoft’s Africa Advisory Council and the Sanofi Digital and Africa 2.0 Advisory boards.
Country: South Africa
Sector: Media/ Academia
Since 2003, Zimbabwean-born Chris Kabwato has been Director of Highway Africa, a centre within the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, South Africa, that promotes the use of digital media among African journalists. Previously, he was Head of Education & Public Affairs at the British Council in Harare. Kabwato sits on the board of the African Arts Institute (AFAI) and he indulges his passion for digital media and photography by, among other things, adjudicating journalism awards; most notably, the Siemens Profile Awards.
Dr. Shikoh Gitau
With more than a decade of experience in ICT4D technology design and implementation, Shikoh Gitau is a strong and passionate leader, determined to empower Africa’s youth with the skills to be job creators. She has expertise in both African and Emerging Markets research and a particular interest in the use of technology to empower poor communities. Shikoh Gitau is an ardent believer in, for example, harnessing mobile phones to facilitate development. She currently channels her experience and expertise in these areas into her leading role for the User Innovation efforts at Mercy Corps.
In addition, she is a mentor to various start-ups and research efforts in Africa in both academia and industry that strive to make technology relevant, usable and useful in the life of African users. Gitau holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town and her career has included work as a User Experience Researcher for Google focusing on emerging market users and as a business analyst. She is the founder of Ummeli and the Guitings Education Trust as well as TaaSisi. She is an active participant in gender discourse via, among other things, her membership of the GSMA mWomen steering group, UN-Women and the Clinton Global Initiative on Women Leading Women in ICT. In 2013, Shikoh Gitau received the Anita Borg Change Agent Award and she featured on both the AfroElle Power List of African women who affect change and Huffington Post’s Tech Women to Watch.
Faisal Chohan is a Senior TED Fellow, tech entrepreneur, innovator and geek. He made his entrepreneurial debut in 2002 as a founding member of the one of the earliest technology start-ups in Pakistan, Coglient Solutions, and has gone on to lead initiatives in online recruitment, disaster and open mapping, social games and virtual economy. In 2012, Chohan won the TED Prize in the City 2.0 category and he was a finalist in the $ 1 Million Nokia Growth Economy Venture Challenge Competition held in the United Kingdom in 2010.
In 2008, he was a finalist in MIT’s Business Acceleration Program Competition. He gained crucial experience as a core developer and software engineer for the online hiring solution BrightSpyre.com, which he has since put to good use in managing and developing dozens of software projects. During the floods in Pakistan in 2010, Chohan launched pakreport.org, which maps disaster and open data initiatives for transparency and accountability at the society and government levels. His research paper on Crowdsourcing for Multipurpose and Multicategory Climate related Disaster Reporting is published by the University of Manchester and he is involved in promoting technology through numerous local and international organisations. Chohan’s work has been reported on by, among others, Wired UK, Christian Science Monitor, DW TV and the BBC.