NRBuzz - short for “Nairobi Research Buzz” - was conceived in late 2012 as a way to bring stakeholders in the tech ecosystem working in disparate fields for interesting discussions and collaboration around relevant research. We held the first NRBuzz in January 2013 with Dr. Laura Mann of the Oxford Internet Institute, who gave a talk on "The Promises of Fibre-Optic Broadband - A Pipeline for Economic Development in East Africa? Focus on IT and Outsourcing", and held them regularly on an almost monthly basis until 2016.
Once a month, participants from all research and tech backgrounds working in Kenya or East Africa came to the iHub space. Audiences and presenters included University students and staff, independent researchers, NGO/UN researchers and government researchers. We also welcomed researchers at all stages of their projects; those seeking guidance at the start of fieldwork, those mid-way through projects wanting fresh eyes on preliminary findings and those whose work is more polished, seeking engagement withother researchers and stakeholders. Government stakeholders, Entrepreneurs, Techies and other individuals with interests in technologies and communications were also invited to attend and participate.
NRBuzz usually took place on the first Thursday of every month at 5:30pm at the iHub. The typical session structure entailed the presenter sharing about their work for about 30 minutes, and then spending the rest of the time in an interactive Q&A, feedback session.
In 2016, the team brought in diverse industry players to interact with the researchers: In February 2016 for instance, iHub Research hosted Nation Media Group, and looked at media and tech innovation, and how that impacts their work. In March 2016, the team assessed the role of tech on civic engagement in Kenya.
This PECE essay helps to answer the STS Across Borders analytic question: “What events have marked the development of this STS formation?"
This essay is part of a broader exhibit on iHub Research.