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What makes a city a hub for innovation?

27-29 May 2015, Nairobi, Kenya. 

Context/thematic challenge

More and more people were beginning to look at Nairobi as an example of an innovative city.

But in order to copy it, and spread the city’s ideas more widely, we needed to understand the key ingredients that make Nairobi so special. By drawing on local expertise and examples, we wanted to understand - what makes a city a 'hub' for innovation and what can other cities learn from Nairobi? 

SIX’s contribution

Between the 27-29 May 2015, we worked with Amani Institute and Hivos to explore what makes a city a 'hub' for innovation and what we can learn from Nairobi. This event highlighted the need for a unique space for thinkers and doers from the region come together and connect with the global SIX network. This event was the second in the series of gatherings that we hosted across Africa from 2014-2016.  This series of events highlighted new and unique social innovations coming out of the region, explored new trends and thinking, provided unique forums and spaces to accelerate thinking and share best practices and buillt a community that enables people to connect with each other and around the world.  


· This event was part of a programme of work between SIX and Hivos examining how the fields of social innovation and international development could better connect and learn from each other

· 'What makes a city a 'hub' for innovation? Learning from Nairobi' Highlights report

· Film from Nairboi event 'What makes a city a hub for innovation? May 2015'

· SIX Interview Series: Amis Boersma on innovating within international development

· Learning from Nairobi - Amrote Abdella from Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative

· Learning from Nairobi - Boniface Mwangi from Pawa254 in Kenya

· Learning from Nairobi - Carla Cipolla from DESIS in Brazil

· Learning from Nairobi - Jordan Fabyanske from Dalberg

· Learning from Nairobi - Kanika Kumar from Sankalp Forum in India

· Learning from Nairobi - Rym Baouendi from Cogite Co-Working Lab in Tunisia

· Learning from Nairobi - Ore Disu & Malaika Toyo from Nsbidi Institute in Nigeria

· Learning from Nairobi - Nivi Mukherjee from ELimu in Kenya

· SIX Interview Series: Roshan Paul on building capacity for social innovation in Africa


50 participants took part in the event from 27-29 May, 2015.


SIX, Amani Institute; Nairobi, Kenya; and Hivos, The Netherlands and Kenya offices.