Hello dear reader, welcome back to my blog. If you’re new here thank you for passing by, and please scroll down to catch up on the previous issues. As promised in a previous article on Stories of Innovation , I promised to write about efforts to fuel innovation and talk about The Falling Walls Lab, “The global interdisciplinary competition for students and early-career professionals.”
The Falling Walls Lab is an integrative world class pitching competition that seeks to bring together a richly diverse group of students, researchers and early career professionals by presenting an opportunity to share their innovative breakthrough ideas in three minutes. The Falling Walls Lab provides a platform for networking with passionate innovators from around the globe, and a platform to showcase and collaborate on ideas that positively impact communities. The lab coming to Zimbabwe presents an opportunity to launch Zimbabwe in the innovation space and showcase the talent and potential that the country possesses. It is open to all fields, and all types of research; you sure do not want to miss it.
The competition process and requirements are pretty simple. As mentioned earlier, it is open to all students, researchers and early career professionals, and all you have to do is to present your breakthrough idea to an expert jury in three minutes; how about that? By doing so, you stand a chance to win an opportunity of a lifetime and be a part of the Global Finale in Berlin Germany. This also presents an opportunity to be part of the global network of innovators.
Dates and Deadlines
The deadline for applications is 15 July 2022. The event will take place at the Stanbic Incubator Hub in Harare. Attendance is free, and even if you do not wish to participate attending the event is highly recommended. To apply click here , and be a part of the upcoming innovation event on 5 August 2022.
I sit in my little corner of the world. I think of you and the low burning flame in this little heart burns brighter. Beautiful thoughts, beautiful days, beautiful you. I have a hard time expressing my feelings. It’s hard to search the deepest corners of my heart for words telling how I feel about you. So I resort to my notes app.Write cute little sentences about you, how you make me feel and all. Maybe I’d like to hang out with you my whole life.
I’ll write paragraphs, trying to dissolve the block that’s stuck somewhere in my chest. The violent heart beats when I think of you. I love the feeling, so I’ll write about you. How time flies, and is frozen too when you’re around. How the world looks way more beautiful. And how life seems worth living.
Date a poet they say, and they’ll write about you. The highs, the lows. The beauty, the ugliness. Words that fill you with warmth and some that pierce your heart. I’ll write about you; from the day I lay my heart on you, to the day you hold it in your warm hands, and past the days your hands grow cold and it can’t possibly breathe in your freezing palms. After it’s long done, you’ll stumble upon a piece of art with your name written all over it; and you’ll remember how we once were happy, I’ll remember too.
Life is funny. It requires way too much from us sometimes. We’re just passerbys, are we not? Clay pots ,in some version, the potter breaks when they decide so. We’re here waiting to die. While we wait to die, we try to figure the meaning of life. I’m not a nihilist, but sometimes it all feels worthless. Nothing is real. Non of this matters. Maybe everything is just made up. We’re just passing time, while we wait to die. We discover we have only one shot at life. Maybe if reincarnation was real, we’d take chances. I’ve always wanted to ask, when you got the end of life what did you see? What was it like? Would you do it again? Maybe we’re here for love. We could be bright golden fires lighting the hearts we enter, and ours too. Maybe we’re here simply waiting to die.
Hi there. I hope you’re doing well. We’re wrapping up the month of June and the #WinterABC2022. If you’re new to my blog, thank you so much for passing by please be sure to scroll down and catch up on the previous issues. This week is Stories of Innovation. I’m not sure how gong to tackle this, but what I know is that this topic is interesting especially when viewed with Africa and our place as far as innovation is concerned. I have a lot more questions than answers.
Innovation is vast, it’s literally not one thing and I doubt if we can fully define what it is at the core. The fortunate thing is that we know what it does. It is basically what fuels daily human life as we know it. Ever evolving, coming up with better ways of doing things that make interfacing with the world a lot more easier and interesting. While seemingly insignificant, looking at our past induces an appreciation for innovation and creativity. Most of the “luxuries” we enjoy were actually discoveries by past humans and I don’t think we appreciate that enough on a large scale. I’m thinking if we did, perhaps three quarters of the population would be focused inventing the future because the experience we currently have can not possibly be all that the human mind is capable of. If anything the future is even more interesting because you have people outdoing their creative self in every aspect, thinking outside the box to provide solutions to problems or simply making optimal use of their creativity to create new technologies all around the fields. In all this, I wonder where as a continent (down to a country, community etc) we stand in 1. Contributing to these changes 2. Accepting these changes 3. Being a part of the greater movement.
One of the many fundamental aspects to innovation is problem solving. That is essentially the fulcrum of most successful innovations. Classic examples include automobile pioneers like Carl Benz, Henry Ford and Co. In trying to come up with effective modes of transport, they came up with cars, and then came extensions and filling in of gaps through creating models suited for different conditions, perhaps proof that no single idea is perfect but instead open to further alterations and improvements, another avenue wherein innovation thrives. In a way, larger parts of Africa and African communities remain severely disconnected from the move both as contributors and as beneficiaries to the continuing waves of Innovation. Of course, there are some global challenges and some local that have been solved by existing technologies, a significant percentage of the populations having access to these innovations. However, there are certain challenges, some even accepted as way of life, and some “unsolvable” as a result of finance that are unique to African countries on the whole. For unique problems we need unique solutions. Besides, in this race no one checks on the kids lagging behind, and so for the most part it is on us to think up solutions to the multitudes of challenges we face. From adopting new technologies, to making existing systems efficient, to coming up with technological solutions to undemocratic elections. We’re thinking sustainable solutions perhaps to things like the power and water supply crisis. These present avenues for innovative solutions. With all this, I refuse to believe that ideas are lacking, but rather there are a plethora of hindrances which include capital, corruption (which results in resistance by authorities).
Innovation seeks to upset balance, or rather introduce a new balance to be set. It’s quite unfortunate that for the most part we exist in an environment that is resistant to innovation. Generally people struggle with letting the old ways go, and accepting the new. It’s like one time on social media when LLB Twitter was under attack after an individual advised interns to desist from using emails in job seeking but rather show up in person at the chambers. For the greater part, that is evidence of how the mindsets of those manning most systems in Zimbabwe function. There’s this casual resistance to new ways of doing things, wishing to stick to the old and familiar. You realize that in an world that’s on a fast track in terms of technological development we are terribly lagging behind. Changing ways of doing things means disrupting systems. Most people don’t want that, especially in a place where corruption is rife. Not to say that that’s the main reason why people are so resistant to change, I’m also very curious as to why that is the status quo.
In fueling innovation, I believe that appreciating and understanding indigenous knowledge is paramount to crafting new technologies throughout all fields. Due to colonization, most aspects of African culture and methodology have been erased, resulting in most things being mere shadows of Western countries. A prime example is the field of medicine where Western medicine is the standard, whereas Indigenous knowledge systems show that long back they used herbs, roots, leaves etc for medicinal purposes. Perhaps if we had been allowed the chance to evolve autonomously, we could have a well developed and reliable medical fraternity. The same thing can be said for African architecture and fashion. Our reality could possibly have been different without the copy and paste trend.
I’m still not sure if we’re late to the party, but I’d like to think that change does not have set time lines and time limits. As long as human beings evolve, there always will be room for new technologies and ways of doing things. Our current reality is far from perfect, and change could occur in either direction. So to all the innovators out there, your ideas are valid, the world has a terrible high affinity for the new. That being said, there are efforts to promote sustainable development through innovation by many players in Africa. On that note, I’ll soon publish an article on The Falling Walls Lab Zimbabwe which is launching this year. It is an international pitching competition for innovative ideas and is being introduced to Zimbabwe by award winning science communicator; Scientist Emmie Chiyindiko.
Hello gentle reader, welcome back to my blog and if it’s the first time you’re here please do scroll down and catch up on previous issues. I’m wrapping up the #WinterABC2022 Storytelling Festival, and all I have to say is “wow”. It’s been one hell of a journey but I’ve loved every second of it, every single piece I wrote, burnout and imposter syndrome here and there. But at the of the day we move. This week was Stories of Our World and I just thought to dip my fingers a bit into the partnered topic. This is going to be a terribly short issue.
Social media is a minefield. Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it there. I’m in awe of its existence. Especially after observing it’s rise, and how it is not going anywhere. Who would have thought (except) the masterminds that one day, people all over the world would be connected in real time. If you take into account the amount of time you spend on social media, you realize just how much it is a part of you and extends into your daily routine. For most people, they live their whole lives on their phones, not exactly in a posts everything manner, but also in a sit back and enjoy Beyoncé’s internet. For many social media has become part of their being such that in its absence they malfunction.
The place you interact with other human beings but without interacting with other human beings.
I think we are still in denial of how much impact social media has. You’re looking at platforms where millions gather, perhaps organized into communities, and discourse. People go on there and propagate certain agendas. Somehow, social media could be a reflection of how and what we are as a society. In some instances, it is an extension of our daily lives, a peek into others. Then in some, it’s one’s whole life. Where people come together and meet in this little sphere crazy things are bound to happen too. We’re out on the internet sharing things about ourselves, the world around us and our thoughts. At times, it feels like we’re speaking into a vacuum but we’re really not. By existing together in this little corner we somehow make friends, form communities, forge connections, make enemies and so on. It’s like an alternate reality to “real life”, because while you can converse with these people, discourse, laugh till you cry and all sometimes; actually most times it starts and ends there. It’s like community, outside of community. We are out here making friends of people we might never ever meet, we’re happy for them, we cry together sometimes, walk through the long hard days all by virtue of them logging into the very same platforms as we do. I simply cannot get over how crazy it is to be this connected but also not really connected. We share parts of ourselves and there is a perceived familiarity and relationship that comes from that, that I currently do not have words for.
The lack of physical connection, does not nullify the relationships we have made on social media. For some, it all ends when they logout, then for some they pursue these relationships make lifelong friends and lovers, and then for some we keep watching from our screens; happy to be a part of the lives that cross our timelines.