Field Update: Social Innovation with Amani Institute

Nick Martin teaching a course at the Amani Institute in Kenya

Greetings from Nairobi! I’m currently in Kenya to teach a three-day course on technology and social change as part of the Amani Institute’s course in Certificate in Social Innovation Management.

If you’re unfamiliar with the The Amani Institute, they’re a social-change organization focused on: “Preparing next-generation talent to tackle global challenges by filling the gap between university and the workforce through a new approach to higher education.

A little known fact is that the President of the Amani Institute is none other than my good friend Roshan Paul, who was instrumental in the early stages of TechChange. So I’m excited to join him in Nairobi and support Amani Institute and its inaugural class of changemakers.

“Nick: Don’t call it TechPeace, call it TechChange”  – Roshan

I’ll be modeling the lessons after our George Washington University course on Technology for Crisis Response and Good Governance, as well as incorporating a number of new teaching ideas and techniques — many learned after spending a week at THNK school of creative leadership in Amsterdam.

Students will take part in the flagship TechChange zombie apocalypse mobile data collection simulation, a video games for social change unit, Twitter sweepstakes, early tech bingo, as well as a new exercise we’ve built for better understanding the challenges of user acquisition and so much more. Somewhere between and through these fun exercises, this course will also help these young entrepreneurs better understand and use a range of new technology tools for starting an enterprise. Although the Amani Institute isn’t a tech-focused organization, they recognize that the rapid increase of the role of technology in our lives and work mean that social innovators and change agents need to become better at understanding and harnessing technology as a tool for social change. That’s what brought me here!

Thanks again to everyone who turned out for the TechChange & Amani Institute Happy Hour on Wednesday! I’ve posted a few selected pictures below.



Stay tuned for more details (and photos!) from Kenya.

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