MACRO: Nairobi Cosmopolitanism

To Dos and Tentative Timeline

Monthly data generating calls (Oct, Nov, Dec)

Add in relevant artifacts

Annotate artifacts

Call to discuss insights gained from annotation process

March 2021: First full draft of chapter

Points to Explore/Discuss

Changes to the Nairobi tech "community" (2008 - 2020)

  • In its early days, the iHub's magic “product” was being able to connect people. The iHub was THE place to come and meet other "like-minded" individuals. We prided ourselves on being the place where serendipitous connections happen regularly (over time we were less and less able to do this as those who worked at the iHub lost close contact with the large and continually changing membership). Today, the iHub is just one of many nodes in the broader tech ecosystem (no longer at the center). Techies are much more decentralized both in terms of physical geography and demographics (there are now several generations of educated techie cohorts who have been produced through the universities).
  • How should such a disbursed community of practice be "governed"? Incidents--such as the firing of Ushahidi's executive director who was accused of sexual harassment, and the funding politics surrounding the Angani scandal, which led to East Africa's first fully automated cloud infrastructure company being divided and fractured into two separate companies-- bring attention to the fact that disbursed, multi-stakeholder communities of practice may still warrant some level of community oversight. What kinds of governance mechanisms are appropriate in such a case?
  • What shared values and norms exist within the Nairobi technology community? (e.g. that tech can help improve the quality of life?) How have those shifted over time?