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Ken Banks        

Founder of

As the founder of, Ken Banks leverages mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. His early research helped establish FrontlineSMS, one of the most effective text messaging field communication systems available. His most recent project, Means of Exchange, uses everyday technology to promote the use of local resources.

Banks has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty-five years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent.

He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognized for his technology-based work. In 2013 he was nominated for the TED Prize, and in 2015 was a Visiting Fellow at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. In late 2015 Ken was appointed CARE International’s first Entrepreneur in Residence.

Banks' book “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, was published in 2013.

In recognition of his pioneering work in mobile, in June 2017 Ken was presented with the Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions to Computer Science by the Association for Computing Machinery in the USA.

Speech Topics


industrial companies business markets change brands people cars customers


system cities greece mobile growth government china ountries euro


thought change power start understanding build human future open


india africa mobile forest technology regulation people understanding rural


Want to Do Good? Don't Go Looking for Problems

In his new book, Emerging Explorer Ken Banks highlights ten innovators who unexpectedly encountered social problems they felt compelled to solve.

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