Sierra Leone teen wows world

first_imgDJ Focus in action – the young radio station manager employs his friends to go out and find news stories.(Image: Innovate Salone) MEDIA CONTACTS • Global Minimum RELATED ARTICLES • Fostering SA’s young scientists • I only ever wanted to dance • Digital drum boosts computer literacy • Light shines for Team Emulsified Gwinyai NhapataAt just 12, Kelvin Doe built himself batteries and a generator using parts found on dump sites, and started a pirate FM radio station. “I built the generator because my radio station needed it and started the radio station because my community needed it,” says the young innovator, now 16. Born in Freetown, the capital of the small West African nation of Sierra Leone, Doe comes from a disadvantaged community; here, electricity supplies are haphazard, prompting him to turn to a generator. He has no formal schooling in electronics or engineering, but is a self-taught inventor. Doe, who is also known as DJ Focus, sourced the materials for his inventions in local rubbish bins and dump sites. “This was a microphone wire, converted to a power output,” he says, pointing out a component from his radio station. “I got it from the dust bin.”Doe’s enterprise received good exposure at the inaugural Innovate Salone, a nationwide innovation contest in Sierra Leone which is sponsored by the non-profit Global Minimum organisation to scout for excellence among the country’s high school students. Doe and his team from Albert Academy were among the eight winners. He also attracted the attention of a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institution of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab, David Sengeh.Sengeh, from Bo, also in Sierra Leone, is one of the founders of Global Minimum.With assistance and guidance from Sengeh, DJ Focus carved himself a bigger niche as General Focus, a promotion he gave himself for his management of the radio station.He found himself on his way to New York to present his ideas and innovations at the 2012 World Maker Faire, held in that city in September. Here he sat on a “Meet the Young Makers” panel alongside four American inventors and was later given a tour of Harvard’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre. According to news agency CNN, General Focus made history as the youngest person ever to participate in the Visiting Practitioners Program at MIT.Inquiring mind“Kelvin represents learning by making,” says Sengeh, who speaks of his respect for the teen. “He takes a part, looks at it and tries to reverse engineer it.”Reverse engineering is Doe’s master and his mind is the apprentice. Using soda, acid and metal, bound together with tape – all items found from surrounding trash – he made his battery. Doe adds that the generator wasformed from a damaged voltage stabiliser, motor, plug and other components which he found while searching the trash. He also found the antenna that allows his audience to listen in to his radio station.The generator lights his home, powers his radio station, and allows neighbours to charge their mobile devices.More impressive, before his Maker Faire trip Doe had never been more than 15 kilometres from his home. He never received any recycling qualification, nor was he inspired by green advocates to reuse obsolete electronics. Now he is not only an inventor, but an employer as well – he gives job opportunities to local youngsters, paying them 5 000 leones (US$1.2) for making themselves useful as presenters or reporters at his handmade, unregistered radio station. In his spare time Doe takes to the boards as a DJ as children’s birthday parties, for a small fee.Using knowledge to help his communityDoe was invited to be a resident specialist at the International Development Initiative at MIT for three weeks, as well as to be a visiting presenter at the Harvard School of Engineering, where he pledges to use all his newly attained knowledge to enhance his society. His international acclaim is growing, and a video made by for its THNKR YouTube channel has already clocked up over three-million hits.Not only is he inspiring his community, but Doe seems to be intent on proving that there is great potential in Africa. “My next invention will be a windmill, for people to use for electricity supply,” he explains.“That is my aim – to promote innovation in Sierra Leone, among young people.”last_img read more

Are you a “people developer” or just a “red pen”?

first_imgMichael was a Director at a medium-sized company. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he had equally high expectations of his direct reports. He began with the company when they were first formed and had the luxury of hiring and training his own team. Like so many young leaders, he struggled with delegation. Michael was a work horse. He could crank out work like nobody’s business, and many times, found it easier to do things himself rather than engage the team he had hired. His team of professionals was relegated to less than fulfilling work for much of the time. When he did let go and assign a project to his capable team, they were thrilled. The team would fly into a flurry of activity and enthusiastically complete the assignment. Michael would review their work and the “red pen” would come out. He wasn’t pleased with their staff work, so he would grab a red pen and begin to edit and edit and edit and edit. He would share with me how shocked he was with the “quality of their work “and comment this was precisely the reason he preferred to do all of the project work himself. Once Michael finished with his editing, he’d hand the work back to the team. Completely demoralized, they would make the necessary “corrections” and return the product to Michael. Now, he was satisfied. So, what’s wrong with providing your team constructive feedback? Nothing, if it is done well. You see, Michael wouldn’t give much in the way of guidance when he’d give an assignment to his employees. Instead, he would communicate just enough to give the team the sense they understood what was being asked of them; however, never enough for them to be successful. What was always interesting was the fact Michael thought he was a very strong communicator. He’d make reference to his communication skills quite often, in fact.  To Michael, he provided more than sufficient guidance. In addition to a lack of communication, Michael had difficulty realizing that no one on his team was going to be a miniature version of him. I find it interesting, just how many leaders struggle in this area. He expected a work product that looked exactly what he would have put together, rather than stepping back to consider whether the end goal was accomplished.  Did it really matter how his team got there? To Michael, the answer to that question was “yes”. So, how do you ensure that you’re providing your team sufficient information to be successful and yet giving them creative license to learn and grow? Does the path the team chooses to take as they successfully complete a project have to be yours or one they are comfortable with? Are you offering a safe environment or one where it is only safe to take on projects in the manner in which they believe you would have done it? My advice to you is that you take your team’s training wheels off and watch how far they can go.last_img read more

Jessica Lynch- Soldier, Hero, and Teacher

first_imgWhen I asked Jessica how important it was for her to continue to serve- more than a decade after her heroic time in uniform she was quick to say how she was both “honored and humbled” to have the opportunity to inspire others, and fulfill her original goal of being a hero- as a teacher in the classroom to young boys and girls.  As we honor our veterans this November 11, and as we support them throughout the year, we should reflect on what really makes them heroic.  For Jessica Lynch, as heroic as her actions were in uniform, her commitment to service today is equally inspirational.  Soldier, teacher and- as always- hero! For more on how you can hire today’s heroes please check out all of the resources that SHRM has compiled for you and your organization.  Click here for more. The former- POW’s equally inspiring journey after combat  In March 2003 our nation’s conscious was fixated on the start of military operations in Iraq.  Tens of thousands of our troops marched to Baghdad and beyond, and one of those Soldiers was Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch.  While many may recall the former POW’s harrowing and inspirational story of courage and commitment, her journey and dedication to service after the military is equally heroic. Jessica shared her very powerful and personal story as the opening keynote speaker during SHRM’s October Diversity and Inclusion Conference in Austin, TX.  I had the opportunity to sit-down with Jessica before her opening keynote speech and asked her about life after the Army, and the challenges and opportunities she’s had over these last 13-years since she nearly lost her life in the service of her country.“It’s not easy,” Jessica candidly acknowledged as she discussed both her personal transition from service as well as the challenges thousands of other veterans face each year. center_img The wounds of war – visible or invisible- make that transition all the more challenging.  Jessica talked about those struggles, and how organizations need to be both “patient” and supportive as veterans find their place outside of uniform. last_img read more

Web Future Week

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… This week’s feature is inspired by Alex Iskold’s recent post on what he called The Digestion Phase. Alex defined this as “a period of time for us to reflect, to integrate, and to understand recent technologies and how they fit together.”We’ve come so far in just a few years and while there’s a lot of integration and reflection going on now about ‘web 2.0’, it’s also useful to think about where the Web is headed. What’s beyond web 2.0? And no we’re not talking about “web 3.0” (whatever that is!).Alex mentioned some Web Future ideas in his post: Digital Life, Attention Economy,Intelligent Machines, Semantic Search and Web Sites as Web Services. What others are there? And if there’s any particular Web Future topic or theme you’d like us to explore this week, please let us know in the comments.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market richard macmanuslast_img read more

Lalit Modi’s RCA terms its suspension by BCCI arbitrary

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India has suspended the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) whose new body has been just elected with Lalit Modi as its president on Tuesday.Lalit Modi defeated his opponent Rampal Sharma by a landslide margin of 26-7.Mehmood Abidi, newly-elected vice president, has termed it suspension arbitrary and questioned fairness of acting BCCI president Shivlal Yadav.”We expected a fair decision from him but he has acted like a stooge of N. Srinivasan, harming RCA like never before,” Abidi told India Today.”You may suspend an individual member but suspending an entire state association is ridiculous,” he said, but added that he was yet to see the notice of suspension.Lalit Modi is expected to address his team through video conference in the afternoon as he returns as president of RCA, five years after he lost in March 2009.He said through his victory in RCA , he wanted to prove a point to N.Srinivasan.Will Modi return to India?His return to India will be easier if a BJP government comes to power despite senior leader Arun Jaitley known to be against him in BCCI.Modi’s passport remains impounded but cases against him are expected to be diluted.Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had been instrumental in his rise but this time, she will help him while keeping him away from her administration.Modi was accused of interfering in her administration by Congress leader Ashok Gehlot during her previous tenure between 2003 and 2008, an allegation never substantiated.advertisementThis was in strong contrast to when then Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot ordered police to hound Modi on RCA premises, threaten him with arrest and encouraged his opponents who lodged a series of cases against him and involved the entire state machinery to ensure that Modi lost.Modi lost to Sanjay Dixit in March but Gehlot got re-elections held in December as his close aide Shiv Charan  Mali, RCA general secretary, could not get along with Modi. Modi again lost, this time to CP Joshi, then union minister and present AICC general secretary.Modi’s fortune to rise againElection of the 24-member Modi team was a foregone conclusion. Abidi and Amin Pathan, both close aides of Modi, have been elected as the vice president and Somendra Tiwari as secretary.So was the foregone conclusion about the BCCI threat to act against RCA if Modi, expelled for life, was elected chief.  RCA says it will move court against the BCCI  suspension orders on grounds that its elections were under the Rajasthan Sports Act and not governed by BCCI’s orders.The BCCI has already stopped most of its financial grant to the RCA. Despite the suspension,  the victory marks a change for better in Modi’s fortune, whose emergence in Indian cricket had started with his becoming RCA chief in 2004, ending the regime of the Rungta family.The elections were held on December 19 in an extreme peaceful atmosphere with Raje as the chief minister.For Modi, it is a long legal battle ahead before he gets actively into BCCI affairs. Modi, in the small period of less than five years, made Rajasthan a name on the international scene by improving facilities to world class level, something that was never even attempted earlier.He had the backing of then Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje , whose defeat in 2008 also expedited Modi’s decline. Raje wanted to show that things in sports could be improved quickly and through Modi, succeeded in proving that.Modi went further and floated the Indian Premier league and launched a cricket team named after Rajasthan, Rajasthan Royals.However, his rise and flamboyant style led to some vested interests in Rajasthan turning against him.His staying away from India and Rajasthan has exposed all those who thought they could match what Modi did.last_img read more

Kolkata a major tourist hub during Durga Puja state keen to promote

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata has emerged as a major tourist hub during the Durga Puja for the past few years as has been indicated by the occupancy rate in Kolkata’s hotels.On Wednesday, during the 35th annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), state Tourism minister Goutam Deb and Tourism Secretary Atri Bhattacharya stated that it has been observed that for the past few years, the hotel occupancy rate during Durga Puja has increased by 8-9 percent, which indicates that the measures taken to popularise Bengal’s famous festival across the globe have been quite successful. Many people from other countries visit Kolkata during the Puja days. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaApart from this, Deb also announced that the state government is emphasising on promoting homestays in North Bengal. For several years now, the state government has developed many unconventional tourist destinations in North Bengal and started a new concept of homestays. According to the minister, at present, around 3,000 homestays exist in North Bengal. However, the state government wants to promote such unconventional tourist spots as it would help to create more jobs in those areas. “Our government is supporting the homestay industry to develop their destination points,” said Deb. The minister also informed that the state government is mulling to create a tourist destination at Piyali in the Sunderbans soon.last_img read more