Virtual Salon
How Africa is Changing Global Food Innovation

Wednesday, July 1st
9-10am PT

Conversations about food and disruptive ideas/technologies too often center Eurasia and the Americas — especially where food is concerned. And yet, as the curve of technology swings upwards around the world, the task of sub-Saharan Africa — faced with formidable food security challenges — is yielding the kind of innovation that can lead change not just within the region, but throughout entire world, from farms, to markets, to restaurants, to home kitchens. This is how.



Nicholas Haan
Chair of Global Grand Challenges, SingularityU

Regina Njima
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Kizo Ventures

Jehiel Oliver
CEO, Hello Tractor

Christyna Serrano
Moderator & Director of Faculty Engagement, SingularityU

Nicholas Haan
works at the intersection of science, technology, social/environmental challenges, and innovation. He's a global public speaker and mentors startups across technology sectors. His introduction to global perspectives began as a science teacher in a remote village with the Peace Corps. That led to 30 years of living and working internationally, mainly in East and Southern Africa. Prior to SingularityU, Nick was Senior Economist/Global Program Manager with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He created the international standard for classifying the severity of food insecurity, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), and is on the Famine Review Committee to determine whether a country is in famine. Nick is also the co-founder of Field Ready (field-based manufacturing during disasters), and Propoco (financing community development).

Regina Njima is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Kizo Ventures. Originally from Kenya, she moved to Silicon Valley in 2013 to work at SingularityU, where she was Program Manager for the Global Startup Program. Regina then led SingularityU's Global Impact Challenges where she implemented innovation competitions around the world for early stage startups. She recently moved back to Kenya to launch Kizo Ventures and the SingularityU Kenya Summit. Prior to joining SingularityU, Regina co-founded Global Eagle Investment Company, and worked for Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and the United Nations (UNESCO). She holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco, California and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Health from Kenyatta University.

Jehiel Oliver is responsible for the overall management and strategy of Hello Tractor, an agricultural technology company that connects tractor owners and farmers through a farm equipment sharing application. He has been honored with numerous awards for his work in social entrepreneurship including being recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine as a Top 100 Global Thinker for 2016. He was appointed under the Obama Administration as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, where he chaired the technology subcommittee. Prior to Hello Tractor, Oliver worked in consulting and investment banking. Outside of work, Oliver remains active serving on the board of Shared Interest and H4H, both impact investment funds focused in sub-Saharan Africa.

Christyna Serrano received her Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. She has also worked at Berkeley to both design and teach on-ground and online courses for six years, on which she has published and presented her research. Before coming to SingularityU, Christyna worked in higher education assisting faculty and Subject Matter Experts with the design and development of courses for Digital Learning Initiatives, the implementation of faculty professional development workshops, institutional accreditation, policy development and analysis, assessment, institutional research and data analysis, and learning design.

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