What do you think was unique about the type of work that iHub Research conducted?
... More personally, as a recently graduated Engineering student who had studied abroad (Malaysia), iHub Research presented an opportunity to develop my talent, career and professional interests as fashioned by the realities present in Kenya. This ‘reorientation’ was pivotal to my understanding of the uniquely Kenyan condition and its place in the global scheme of technology and innovation.
"iHub Research provided a rich environment to holistically consider, apply and iterate on assumptions I held with invaluable critique offered from and through the team in day-to-day work. The innumerable opportunities provided fertile ground to entrench new and validated hypothesis on entrepreneurship & innovation and the pivotal role research plays in traversing between the two.
Of note was the need for intellectual rigour in Kenya’s innovation sector to which I sought to exercise through various mediums (iHub Quarterly, iHub Research Medium, Youtube and Interviews much like these). In a lot of ways, this deeply instilled appreciation for the scientific process provided further encouragement to advance my studies, focusing in on Robotics and Computation as a constituent wave towards a forthcoming African Economic Revolution.
I came to particularly value the nuances of ethical and appropriate technologies and its implication for societal growth and cohesion. Additionally, working with conscientious individuals highly regarded in their own fields provided the mentorship and guidance I required having only just graduated.
Angela Okune: This excerpt from a questionnaire response by Wachira Ndaiga illustrates how iHub Research served as a training ground for early career researchers to develop their own empirically grounded understanding of how technologies operate in diverse contexts within Kenyan society. I think this highlights the importance of looking at the forms that research training and knowledge making are taking outside of the university and how these opportunities might be extended as part of discussions about more "relevant" African curriculum in universities. Wachira's experience also speaks to the importance of fostering spaces for interdisciplinary research and collaboration across disciplines such as Build Lab (which brought together diverse engineers and social scientists to both "build" and study the process of building).
Wachira Ndaiga, "Wachira Ndaiga on iHub Research training", contributed by Angela Okune, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 19 August 2018, accessed 8 August 2022. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/wachira-ndaiga-ihub-research-training