I am blogging this live at the barcamp which is being held at Strathmore University.
The program started with an open set of short discussions from volunteers:
Alex began by talking about protecting and nurturing innovation. He touched on the role of communities, govt and funding institutions, patenting and the like. He got questions regarding innovation and the distinction between the same and just having an idea, which would appear to be different from innovating which is more practical, implementable. Does patenting block innovation? Situations where people have great ideas but no market for innovative ideas.
Wesley Kiriinya got up next to talk about company-school relationships. He touched on weak curriculum especially in regards to Comp. Sci. According to Wesley it appears that there is a deep divide between the two environments.
[A while after I lost power...]
Nathan got up and talked about a couple of things including how cool and interesting it would be to make use of mobile/cell phone data for various applications. He also talked about High Definition Range Imaging which was really cool: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging
Next up was Valentine who gave a talk on the BPO market and also did an awesome Asterisk demo. (I have to learn more about that). They had a whole set up which was really cool and they showed how they have managed to combine Asterisk with a number of technologies to create a cheaper solution for call center BPO operations.
LUNCH TIME! (Or snack time)
After lunch the discussion was very focused on innovation. We had four speakers and discussions after every two.
Michuki talked about innovation and long term vision, consumption of the internet vs. contributing, relevance of the innvation.
Edgar emphasized that innovation is a driver that gets us from a current situation to a better situation. He talked about using appropriate technology to our situation versus state of the art. He also mention ideas to do with knowledge sharing, evident and replicable innovation, strategic innovation.
There followed a heated debate around this but we realized we were getting stuck at the problem of bandwidth and innovating on the internet. It was noted that innovation is not dependent on this.
Muthoni gave her talk and she mentioned that innovation needs to get roots from your environment, it should be relevant, realistic and applicable to practical situations. She emphasized commercialisability (a rather controversial one: does it have to have a money back guarantee in order to do it). She also talked about focus and persistence.
Wesley emphasized PASSION (and that’s really key in my opinion). He also talked about what he called his big five: School, legal environment, funding and capital and the individual.
After this was another discussion which aimed to build some form of structure of what it takes to be an innovator. It seemed that most of the stuff that really mattered boiled down the individual.
AND THAT WAS BARCAMPKENYA 2.0, in a nutshell. Hopefully I will be able to get a hold of some pictures.