Ken Banks, founder of kiwanja.net, specialises in the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He combines many years experience living and working throughout Africa with a 22-year career in IT. In 1999 he graduated from Sussex University with honours in Social Anthropology with Development Studies.
His vision is to empower others to create social change, and he does this by developing and providing tools to mostly grassroots organisations who seek to better use technology in their work. He recently hit headline news on the BBC when his text messaging application - FrontlineSMS (which is provided free to NGOs) - was used to help monitor the Nigerian Presidential elections. Ken has recently been interviewed by Pambazuka News, the BBC World Service, Nokia, Mongabay.com, White African and the Sussex University Alumni magazine, among others.
He has spoken about the application of mobile technology at a number of conferences, workshops and organisations including Nokia, IDEO, Stanford University, the MacArthur Foundation, Amnesty International and the University of Arizona. He also presented a paper at the W3C Workshop on the Mobile Web in Developing Countries (Bangalore, 2006) and the 16th International World Wide Web Conference (Canada, 2007), where he also sat on a specialist panel discussing web delivery models for emerging markets.
Ken was recently awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant to continue his work, and was shortlisted for a mobile industry award for the development of FrontlineSMS. Between 2006 and 2007 he was based at Stanford University as a Visiting Fellow on the Reuters Digital Vision Program.
For an excellent video overview on "Applying mobile technology in the global conservation and development effort" go to: http://www.kiwanja.net/shareideaskeynote.htm