Before I head out to start my Master’s program in the dream that is the MIT Media Lab, I get to spend my last few months in Kenya working on a mini-Media Lab here in Nairobi.
360Afrika is a consortium of companies and individuals joined together by a common goal: to connect creators, activists and innovators with industries and organizations to explore and develop the next generation of storytelling technologies.
I get to work and think with awesome companies in Kenya such as Code For Africa, BlackRhino VR, Fuse Catalysts, Woman Republic, Nairobi Garage and Nairobi Design Week to come up with the best ways to democratize immersive and emerging story technologies.
We live on the cusp of a new wave of story technology which will fundamentally change how we interact with the world and communicate with each other. From Virtual Reality world making and Augmented Reality interfaces powered by artificial intelligence to Drone technology, we’re seeing things that will radically change the way we look at the world. These new technologies also bring up important and fundamental issues that deserve interrogation and reflection — especially in the context of Africa. Right now, technology feels like something happening to us, not created by us. We believe the future will not be created in Silicon Valley or London, but will be made out in the world by people with real skin in the game. We want to ask how we, as Africans, can get ahead and ride this new wave of technology so that our voices are not silenced as they have been in the past.
360 Afrika Forum
To solve these problems, we’re bringing together the most creative minds to help us get ahead. For the first time in Kenya, we’ll be putting together three game changing events on the weekend of April 20th-22nd. We’ll be hosting Africa’s first AR/VR Pan Africa Hackathon (happening in 7 countries, you can read more about it here), exhibiting a first of it’s kind emerging and immersive technologies exhibition in Kenya and conducting an Industry Night forum where we’ll bring together creatives, storytellers and techies from across the continent to brainstorm, learn and generate ideas for an African Media Lab.
You can check out a program of all our events here!
Beyond this event, we’re hosting workshops and VR office hours in our pop up studio (located in Nairobi Garage in Pinetree Plaza). It’s the most amazing experience sharing VR knowledge and seeing people take that and expand it into something more.
We’re trying to build our network of activists, artists, storytellers, designers, techies and entrepreneurs interested in joining this movement with us. If you’d like to be a part of this, contact 360Afrika here or reach out via e-mail: 360Afrika@gmail.com