Kenya: CEO of Wildlife Blogging Site Named Pop!Tech 2009 Fellow

Dr Paula Kahumbu

Dr Paula Kahumbu

Pop!Tech is coming again this October and on 9 September they issued a release announcing the 2009 Social Innovation Fellows which was also blogged about by Pop!Tech's Kristen Taylor.

Pop!Tech is a conference set in Camden Maine, where every year scientist, artists and innovators meet to discuss ideas and world changing actions around the world.

PopTech ( is a unique innovation network – a global community of cutting-edge leaders, thinkers, and doers from many different disciplines, who come together to explore the social impact of new technologies, the forces of change shaping our future, and new approaches to solving the world’s most significant challenges. We are known for our thriving community of thought-leaders, breakthrough innovation programs, visionary annual conferences and deep media and storytelling capabilities.

In the list of 16 fellows was Dr Paula Kahumbu, an Kenyan ecologist educated at Princeton and the Executive Director of the Kenyan web-based conservation NGO, WildlifeDirect.

Excited about the news of recognition for their work, WildlifeDirect issued a release informing others of their head's selection and posted it on their main blog, Baraza.

On Wednessday, 9 September 2009, Dr Paula Kahumbu, the WildlifeDirect Executive Director was named one of the 16 fellows of the prestigious PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program of 2009 for her work at WildlifeDirect.

Pop!Tech fellows will attend a 5-day ‘boot camp’ just before Pop!Tech 2009: America Re-imagined conference (October 21 – 24, 2009, Camden, ME). This will be the second year of the Pop!Tech fellows program and the 16 fellows have been drawn from various fields and countries, three of them from Africa. Paula is one of the two that work in Kenya and the only one who comes from wildlife conservation field. Baraza says,

The 2009 fellows program – which is the second since inception – attracted more than 200 applicants from more than 30 countries. Of the 16 selected, only three are from Africa, two of whom are Kenyan. Although a number of these fellows deal with climate change and clean energy, only Dr Kahumbu has been selected for her work in using the internet to raise awareness and funds for wildlife conservation – especially in Africa. The 16 fellows represent organizations based in or running projects in USA, UK, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

The other Kenyan in the list is Ory Okolloh of Ushahidi, an online platform for crowdsourcing  and mapping crisis reports. Nobody at Ushahidi or elsewhere seems to have blogged about her selection however.

Other blogs have also announced their representatives selection to the Pop!Tech list including  the Energize Clinton County who seem quite excited

As Pop!Tech Social Innovation fellows, we’ll be joining 14 other amazing innovators (!!) from around the world in a five day “boot-camp” just before the Pop!Tech conference.

ECC has also posted a video from the 2008 Pop!Tech on their blog to show what the new fellows should expect.

Paula Kahumbu will be presenting the WildlifeDirect concept that was developed by Kenya's renowned conservationist and anthropologist, Dr Richard Leakey back in 2004. Baraza says,

Dr Paula Kahumbu will be taking the WildlifeDirect idea and experience to PopTech to share with the other fellows. The WildlifeDirect idea was developed by Dr Richard Leakey and associates to bring together conservationists working in remote and often dangerous places – mostly in Africa but also in Asia and South America – and supporters of conservation through blogs.

We wish Paula, Ory and other fellows a great experience during the Pop!Tech ‘boot camp’ and conference.

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