Kenyan Company Invents New Type of Computer Modem

Erik Hersman – Director of Operations & Strategy

Erik Hersman is an international technology influencer with a keen eye on the impact of web and mobile technology innovation across Africa. Raised in Sudan and Kenya, Erik brings unique energy and insight to the world of technology and innovation – bridging the gap between Africa and the West.  As part of the Ushahidi strategy he built the iHub (Nairobi’s innovation hub) in 2010, a place that has grown to 10,000+ Kenyan developers, designers, and entrepreneurs with connections in the corporate, academic and investor sectors.

An avid blogger, Erik writes two different technology-related blogs – AfriGadget and WhiteAfrican. He is frequently a speaker at meetings and conferences dealing with technology in Africa, including; TED, PopTech, DEMO, Picnic, and SXSW.  He is a TED Senior Fellow, a PopTech Faculty Fellow, and is a founding organizer of Maker Faire Africa.

David Kobia – Director of Technology Development

David is a co-founder and technology lead at Ushahidi and brings more than 10 years of product development experience and a multidisciplinary background to his work, with a focus on social and emerging technologies. He works in a variety of roles, from designer and coder to strategist. After pursuing a BS in Computer Science at the University of Alabama, he has been a professional software developer and has worked with almost every web technology in use today. In 2010, he was a recipient of MIT Technology Review’s TR35 award (35 top innovators under 35) and the Humanitarian of the Year award.

Nathaniel Manning – Director of Business

Nathaniel’s work orbits around the theme of developing technology that makes the world a better place. As a former Presidential Innovation Fellow and the Chief Data Coordinator at USAID he was responsible for developing strategies for liberating data to fuel innovation for development. As an alumnus of Singularity University he co-founded 9th Sense Robotics, a telepresence robotics platform that allows for customization with sensors and software. He is a TEDed speaker and holds a BA and MA from Brown University.

He is currently attempting to build a 3D printer and scanner in his basement.

Reg Orton – Director of Hardware

Reg is product designer engineer, originally from Auckland, New Zealand, and currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Reg has worked his way across the globe over the last 10 years designing high tech solutions for a range of problems ranging from single photon counting microscopes to field ready emergency medicine tools. In particular Reg’s background in life saving medical devices has given him a real appreciation of the importance of getting products right the first time around and the real negative impact that poorly engineered devices can have in peoples lives. Reg has extensive experience bringing highly technical products all the way from concept and design, through to full blown mass production.

Philip Walton – Director of Software

Philip is a systems architect and technology innovator with a diverse portfolio of experience in designing and building both software and hardware systems for industries ranging from supply chain to biometrics.  As a serial, international entrepreneur, he has worked on 6 different continents using his mix of business strategy skills combined with a deep technical knowledge to successfully bridge the gap between the needs of business stakeholders and the constraints of their technology resources.  Raised in Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, Philip has a unique perspective on global culture and business that has allowed him to seamlessly engage with companies and governments in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.  Currently involved in multiple entrepreneurial projects from his home base in Nairobi, Kenya, Philip’s long term focus is to assemble a diverse team of African technologists and business resources who can focus on building innovative systems and solutions that are uniquely suited to the broad needs of the African continent.


The full Ushahidi Team