It’s time to adapt the Davos model in driving innovation

Technology conferences can help drive growth of new innovations to address some of the challenges Kenya  is facing. Photo/FILE
Technology conferences can help drive growth of new innovations to address some of the challenges Kenya is facing. Photo/FILE 

This week the world descended in Davos Switzerland to take a swipe at the most pressing issues under the auspices of the World Economic Forum.

In the words of its founder—Klaus Schwab—it is an independent international organisation 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 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 but doesn’t necessarily have to draw attention to itself.

As a technology entrepreneur, what I have mentioned that technology cannot exist independently and this I have proven having interacted with numerous professionals and specialists from different fields.

Here is the problem though; every year we hear of meetings and conferences by various groups across different industries and even government looking at how to better meet objectives but without a systematic way of sharing those outcomes.

This creates silos of actions that come the next meeting 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 Boards 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 cross-section of participants that can engage on both formal and informal ways to first identify the issues that we have and find solutions that can be applied at county level and even scaled nationally.

With the mix of personalities, skill sets and knowledge, if well organised, we could fast-track solution development to address some of the 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.

Njihia is CEO of Symbiotic
Twitter - @mbuguanjihia