2018 Keynote Speakers
Ismail Ahmed, PhD
Ismail Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of WorldRemit, the leading digital money transfer company that's pioneering a mobile approach to sending money around the world. Ismail founded the company in 2010 and since then, it has secured $220 million in funding and has been named the fastest growing technology company in the UK. Serving previously as a compliance advisor to the United Nations, Ismail founded the company on the principles of strong compliance procedures, recognizing that the only way to meaningfully reduce the risks in the money transfer industry was to bring the entire process into the digital world. Ismail has been named third most influential black Britons in the UK and won EY Entrepreneur of the Year, London and South. Originally from Somaliland, he has worked with the UN in Nairobi and Dubai. He received a scholarship to attend the University of London and has a business degree from London Business School and a PhD in Economics.
Clapperton Mavhunga, MIT Professor
Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga’s professional interests lie in the history, theory, and practice of science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the international context, with a focus on Africa. Mavhunga joined MIT as an assistant professor in 2008 after completing his PhD at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe (MIT Press, 2014), which received Honorable Mentions in the Turku Prize (European Society for Environmental History) and Herskovits Prize (African Studies Association) in 2015. His second is an edited volume entitled What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? which explores STI in Africa from an archaeological, historical, philosophical, anthropological, STS, engineering, development, and policymaking perspective. Mavhunga’s second monograph—on tsetse fly as a site of African knowledge production—is finally finished after extensive further research and is expected late 2017 or early 2018. His current project focuses on African modes of chemistry, focusing on the making and strategic deployment of plant, animal, and mineral materials as poisons and medicines. Some of Mavhunga’s essays appear in Social Text, History and Technology, Transfers, and Journal of Southern African Studies.