Ken Banks has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and international development for over twenty years and is internationally recognised for his work.
He is the Founder of kiwanja.net and creator of FrontlineSMS:
- kiwanja.net helps social innovators, entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations make better use of information and communication technologies in their work. Founded by Ken in 2003, kiwanja.net specialises in the application of mobile technology, with a particular emphasis on its role as a driver of innovation, entrepreneurship and social change around the world.
- FrontlineSMS was created by Ken in 2005 to enable effective communications channels for communities in the developing world. FrontlineSMS leverages the ubiquity of mobile phones and familiarity of text messaging to turn an offline laptop into a communication hub. The simple innovation empowers villagers, aid agencies, and news services to exchange information among groups easily that would otherwise be impossible.
Ken holds a BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology, was awarded a Stanford University Fellowship in 2006, and named a Pop!Tech Fellow in 2008. In 2009 he was named a Laureate of the Tech Awards, an international awards program which honours innovators from around the world applying technology to benefit humanity.
Ken Banks was named a National Geographic Explorer in May 2010 and an Ashoka Fellow in 2011, was the recipient of the 2011 Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest, and was selected as a member of the UK Prime Minister’s delegation to Africa in July 2011. In 2012 the Cambridge business community presented Ken with a “Special Achievement Award” for his work as a social innovator.
In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Ken is an accomplished keynote speaker. If you or your audience have a personal or professional interest in social innovation, technology and entrepreneurship across the developing world, let Ken share photos, experiences and analysis based on over twenty years experience.
Speaking topics include:
- Innovation in the developing world
- Technology innovation and social entrepreneurship in Africa
- How mobile phones are empowering communities across the developing world
- The story of FrontlineSMS (Ken’s personal journey developing a mobile system now helping tens of millions of vulnerable people around the world)
- International conservation and development
- Alternative means of exchange (i.e. non-cash).