University of Nairobi’s Innovation hub, C4DLab has unveiled the innovation fellows for the 2019/2020 cohort.
The fellows were disclosed for the first time during a week-long orientation workshop held at the University of Narobi’s Chiromo campus based innovation hub.
The team consists of multi-disciplinary fellows who will work together to solve a challenge which is set to be introduced by the relevant industry partners later this month.
The cohort has a rich conglomeration of fellows ranging from Undergraduate finalists to masters and finally to doctorate students from different Universities across the globe.
Speaking during the workshop, C4DLab director and Chairman, Nairobi Innovation Week, Dr. Tonny Omwansa said the program will be very intense adding that the fellows must be able to show commitment throughout the 9-months fellowship period.
The director however said that the fellows can request for termination of their involvement at any given stage of the program due to unavoidable circumstances such as but not limited to health issues.
I4DI’s Design, Evaluation and research expert Dr. Steven Lichty appealed to the fellows to adopt four mindsets going forward. To seek health, not mission accomplished. To see patterns, not just problems. To unlock change as opposed to imposing it and to plan to adopt.
Lichty reiterated that the multi-disciplinary facet of the fellows will enable the teams tap into the different strengths the team members’ posses to ensure the targeted goal is satisfactorily achieved.
The 2019/2020 innovation fellowship has attracted two challenge owners. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and East Africa’s online taxi giant Uber will be the cohort’s challenge owners.
UNICEF’s Johannes Wedenig in his introductory remarks challenged the fellows to see the big opportunities amid the widening gap of inequality.
“As innovation enthusiasts and industry players, we should not see a challenge as a threat but should see it as an opportunity,” said Wedenig.
He added that amid the continued learning, the continued creativity and the continued restructuring, innovation should encompass doing something new and different that adds value.