Ken Banks

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Ken Banks, Founder of kiwanja.net and creator of messaging platform FrontlineSMS, devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty-five years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. In 2013 he was nominated for the TED Prize, and in 2015 was a Visiting Fellow at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. In late 2015 Ken was appointed CARE International’s first Entrepreneur in Residence. He is also a published author, with his first edited book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, self-published in late 2013 with a follow-up, published by Kogan Page, released in March 2016.
  • Faculty 2010 Social Innovation Fellows
  • Faculty 2011 Social Innovation Fellows
  • Fellow PopTech 2008
  • Faculty 2012 Social Innovation Fellows
  • Speaker PopTech 2012
  • Host 2014 Bellagio/PopTech Fellows
  • Speaker PopTech 2016
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Archived blog posts

Create a memory book of special places with new app from Ken Banks

Create a memory book of special places with new app from Ken Banks

In this contributed post from Ken Banks, he discusses the impetus for creating his new app. “For my children” lets you create your own memory book of special places so your friends, your family, your children – and their children – can one day walk in your footsteps and revisit them. Read more »

Banks' new book chronicles innovations from gritty fieldwork

Banks' new book chronicles innovations from gritty fieldwork

As part of a fellows program several years ago, social innovation pioneer Ken Banks found himself at Stanford University where he was surrounded by young students studying social entrepreneurship. When Banks asked them about the focus of their academic work, those students responded that they were trying to learn the skills they needed to go out and change the world for the better.

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New speakers added to PopTech Camden lineup!

New speakers added to PopTech Camden lineup!

PopTech is thrilled to announce a new round of speakers added to this year’s convening in Camden, Maine. New presenters include a civil rights leader and public health advocate, an epidemiologist who studies how traumatic events alter population health, and a former bank-thief-turned-neuroscientist who has shown how to project patients’ thoughts onto a screen in front of their eyes by implanting electrodes deep inside their brains.Read more »

This week in PopTech: Extraordinary women and enduring voices

This week in PopTech: Extraordinary women and enduring voices

 

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

Read more »

This week in PopTech: Transitions, infographics and laughs

This week in PopTech: Transitions, infographics and laughs

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

Read more »

This week in PopTech: Innovating the news and minding the mind

This week in PopTech: Innovating the news and minding the mind

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

Interested in exploring if and how mental training involving mindfulness exercises changes attention and emotion in the brain? Take a free, online course on The Cognitive Read more »

This week in PopTech: Reality based games, science critics, and reforestation opportunities

This week in PopTech: Reality based games, science critics, and reforestation opportunities

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

“Sim City” game designer Will Wright, who unveiled “Spore” at PopTech in 2006, is now creating a new game for real life called HiveMind

Yesterday the Wall Street Read more »

This week in PopTech: Doctors, protesters and monkeys

This week in PopTech: Doctors, protesters and monkeys

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

With yesterday’s announcement of his new company, Sherpaa, Dr. Jay Parkinson (PopTech 2008) continues to re-imagine the patient/doctor experience by making a network of Read more »

This week in PopTech: Audio excepts, music covers and more

This week in PopTech: Audio excepts, music covers and more

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

April Smith and the Great Picture Show (PopTech 2010) rock an amazing cover of “Bottoms Up” by Trey Songz for Billboard Magazine. Smith’s latest song, “Colors” isRead more »

This week in PopTech: Big stories, big news

This week in PopTech: Big stories, big news

There’s always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week’s highlights follows.

The unveiling of annual valentines from renowned typographer Marian Bantjes (PopTech 2008) is always a treat. This year is no exception.

Reihan Salam (PopTech 2009) has a new Read more »

Updates: Gaming Ushahidi, Governing Braddock, GSBI Cohort 2010, and Chimpanzees

A few updates from the PopTech network in the past week:

Ushahidi’s Patrick Meier (PopTech Social Innovation Fellows Erik Hersman and Ory Okolloh are Director of Operations and Executive Director of Ushahidi, respectively) on information vandalism.

Read the great comment thread and watch video from the post:

(Ushahidi is

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Fellows Friday: What They're Up To This Week

Fellows Friday: What They're Up To This Week

Our PopTech Social Innovation Fellows are a very busy group—here’s some of their recent news (nominations are open for next year’s class, please help us find the 2010 PopTech Fellows by nominating now):

Emily Pilloton of Project H Design has been eating pie (recap) from PieLab in Alabama,

Flickr image from

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Fellows Friday: Recent Tweets We Have Seen and Favorited

Fellows Friday: Recent Tweets We Have Seen and Favorited

Our group of 2008 and 2009 Social Innovation Fellows is incredibly active—and they often work together and link to each other’s work.

Some of our favorite tweets from them in the past few days are below; you can follow them on Twitter on the PopTech SI Fellows List.

Jason Aramburu of @re_char is tweeting from the NE Biochar

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