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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Announcing the TED Senior Fellowships

It all started with a TED Fellowship to Arusha, Tanzania in 2007, and today it’s a great honor to be selected as one of the inaugural 20 TED Senior Fellows, especially as it’s in the company of people that I know and respect greatly. It’s also neat to see that 25% of us represent Africa (in bold below), no doubt a nod to the African roots of the TED Fellowship program.

Joshua Wanyama, Sheila Ochugboju and myself at the TED Talks viewing in Nairobi earlier this year.

Joshua Wanyama, Sheila Ochugboju and myself at the TED Talks viewing in Nairobi earlier this year.

The TED Fellows program brings together extraordinary individuals who are working on an eclectic group of projects and programs, or are building organizations and companies that are changing the world. Our role as TED Senior Fellows will be to mentor the newer Fellows, help with TEDx events in our communities, post on the TED Fellows blog, and continued year-round participation in the TED community.

The greatest benefit to being a TED Senior Fellow is being able to attend five additional TED conferences (TED and TEDGlobal), participating in five Senior Fellows pre-conferences, the potential to deliver a full-length talk on the TED University or main TED stage, and the possibility to have that talk posted on TED.com.

That’s a lot, but maybe the greatest advantage this type of opportunity provides is the chance to be part of the TED community on a long-term basis. Something that’s hard for those of us who are doing interesting things, but don’t necessarily have the resources to spend on getting to multiple TED conferences.

Check out the TED Fellows site if you’re interested in becoming a Fellow, or want to know more about the program. The TED Fellows blog is also a good source of eclectic information from people doing amazing things around the world.

My TED Senior Fellow colleagues:

  • Taghi Amirani (Iran/UK) – Documentary filmmaker, Amirani Films
  • Rachel Armstrong (UK) – Teaching fellow, The Bartlett School of Architecture; physician; science-fiction author
  • Frederick Balagadde (Uganda/US) – Research scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; co-inventor of the microchemostat, a medical diagnostic chip
  • April Karen Baptiste (Trinidad) – Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Colgate University
  • Faisal Chohan (Pakistan) – CEO, Cogilent Solutions; founder, Brightspyre, Pakistan’s largest online job portal
  • Colleen Flanigan (US) – Fine artist; stop-motion armaturist, coral reef restoration expert
  • Gabriella Gómez-Mont (Mexico) – Founder, Tóxico Cultura, a Mexico City-based artistic think tank
  • Jonathan Gosier (US/Uganda) – Founder, Appfrica, a business incubator in Kampala
  • Peter Haas (US/Haiti/Guatemala) – Founder, Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG)
  • Erik Hersman(Kenya) – Co-founder, Ushahidi; blogger, AfriGadget and White African
  • Adrian Hong (US/North Korea/South Korea) – Director, The Pegasus Project; former director, Liberty in North Korea
  • Juliette LaMontagne (US) – Education consultant; innovation facilitator
  • Alexander MacDonald (US) – Economist, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Juliana Machado-Ferreira (Brazil) – Biologist, SOS FAUNA; PhD candidate, Sao Paulo University
  • VK Madhavan (India) – Executive Director, Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (Chirag)
  • Naomi Natale (Italy/US) – Founder, One Million Bones, a large-scale social activism art installation
  • Bola Olabisi (Nigeria/UK) – Founder, Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network (GWIIN)
  • Alexander Petroff (US/Democratic Republic of the Congo) – Founder, Working Villages International
  • Juliana Rotich (Kenya/US) – Co-founder, Ushahidi; blogger, Afromusing and Global Voices
  • Mohammad Tauheed (Bangladesh) – Architect; founder, ArchSociety


  1. congradulations i mean that, I know some guys also on the list who are like my favourite bloggers.


  2. Congratulations, Erik! That’s awesome. Just one more reason to be proud of you and excited for you.

  3. This confirms it: you are, in fact, The Man.

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