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On a Wednesday evening in early October 2016, we gathered with 60 of Nairobi’s aspiring changemakers into one room, courtesy of our supporters at Spire Education. Our intention was to tap into the collective wisdom of the great people of this city, to understand the impact they want to create and how the community can support them.

Photo by Silke Opperman – studentoftheworld.de

So what were the conclusions of our co-creators that evening?

  • It’s time for Kenyans to tell their own stories – crafted by Kenyans, about Kenyans, for Kenyans.
  • We want an inclusive and non-elitist space that is open to all. Socio-economic background, race, professions and sectors (read: not just tech, though techies are very much welcome) are all part of this. Diversity is important to cross-pollinate between sectors – we need creatives, entrepreneurs, service providers, educators, investors, techies, capacity builders and more, but this needs to be a community with a common identity. We are all here for the same reasons – to create a better Nairobi and beyond.
  • We want to expand our networks, but in a way that really lets people connect.
  • We need a safe space for conversations, where you can share your problems, because there is someone in the community who can help. If we all put our minds together, we are stronger.
  • We want a haven to come back to, a supportive space for when we feel defeated or demotivated.
  • The hub should be a resource centre and provide access to information and collective wisdom, which is otherwise often hard to find.

These are the conversations that form the building blocks for the community of Nairobi’s purpose-driven businesses and projects. As we progress, we will invite you to further shape the three jiwe (pillars) of this initiative: the vibrant community, the inspiring space and the meaningful content.

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