If, by now, you do not know what TEDxEuston stands for, then you’re in for a treat. Set up by Chikwe Ihekweazu, Ike Anya, and a host of professionals passionate about the progress of Africa, the UK-based TED Talk events is a dream come true.
You may ask why I would be so enthusiastic about a conference. Lord knows, the last thing Africa needs is more talk, right? True, but false also. The last thing Africa needs is people who talk the talk, but pillage and plunder. What Africa does not need is more foreigners telling us how to run the continent when their motives are neither altruistic nor in her best interest.
But should there be talk of progress, real talk; talk by people who desire it, who want it, and who actively work towards it, then Africa needs copious amounts of this.
And the speakers at TEDxEuston bring this. Never theorists or hypothetical speakers, they are the people who have got their hands dirty; people who have the soil of hard graft in the building of Africa encrusted beneath their fingernails. They are the Africans and African sympathisers who fight, sweat and walk the walk.
We have heard talks from Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, Mark Essien and Robtel Neajai Pailey. We have been moved by Lindiwe Mazibuko, Christian Purefoy and Ije Nwokorie. And the more we hear, the more we change. Indeed, the more we want to know.
Refuel: Vision to Reality 2016
This year, TEDxEuston brings kindling for our tired minds. The team faced challenges in continuing the programme, but have emerged triumphant as Vision To Reality 2017 is now promised. It is perhaps in keeping with that spirit; one where zeal, zest and vigour need to be replenished that TEDxEustonSalon 2016 comes.
A small gathering of mighty speakers. Just large enough to keep the fire burning, but powerful enough to maintain everything that TEDxEuston has come to stand for.
Jorn is one of the founders of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology(MEST) in Ghana. This is a training program, seed fund and incubator for African entrepreneurs. MEST was recognised in 2015 as one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Africa. Jorn is the recipient of several honours, having been featured in the media for his contribution to the African tech ecosystem.
An alumni of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Ms Giwa-Tubosun is the founder and CEO of LifeBank. This is a social enterprise using technology and smart logistics to improve blood transfusion access to patients in Nigeria. In 2014, Temie was named by the BBC as one of their ‘100 Women’ making a difference in the world.
An international business leader and the CEO of Airtel – one of Ghana’s largest telecommunications companies. She is on the board of several establishments including the International Board for African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and Obaatan Pa Women’s Hospital. Lucy, an electrical/electronic engineer by training, is a great advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Ms Okobi is a former corporate lawyer in New York, Paris and London. She is the founding Global Head and former Senior Legal Director for Human Rights at Yahoo; former consumer rights policy fellow at Consumers Union in San Francisco. Ebele is the Public Policy Director for Africa at Facebook; a senior director of Advisory Services at Catalyst (an NGO with the mission of advancing women in business); and is in the Management Development Program at Nike’s EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam. Her passion for human rights led to her taking a sabbatical in 2001 to volunteer for human rights organisations in the US and Senegal.
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