Visioneer – Inspiring Minds and Igniting Hearts Globally

The Tunapanda team was very fortunate to have been connected with Nick Nanton, who allowed us to screen his new documentary, “Visioneer: The Peter Diamandis Story,” at our tech/design/business training facility in Kibera, Nairobi.

This great documentary was inspirational to our team of more than 20 young teacher-techie-designer-professional-entrepreneurs here in Kibera, Nairobi because of both the story and the great production. We were in between cohorts, so numbers were low as it was only the team here, but perhaps we’ll request to re-screen it for our next cohort in March. We collected and posted some quotes and testimonials from our team, check them out.

[Nick: sorry I have to make a confession. We promised to only screen it once, but we didn’t delete the file and one of our trainers just confessed to re-watching it by himself 3 times over the weekend. Hope you don’t mind!]

Peter Diamandis, the subject of the documentary, is a driven and passionate visionary best known for being the founder and CEO of the XPRIZE. Since Tunapanda Institute is fielding a team┬ácompeting in the Global Learning XPRIZE, we were familiar with his efforts to tackle literacy and numeracy through open source software and open learning materials – but through “Visioneer” we now have a deeper understanding of how Tunapanda’s story has been influenced by this man’s hard work and drive.

Future leaders becoming even more inspired during "Visioneer" screening in Kibera, Nairobi. Feb 19, 2016.

Future leaders becoming even more inspired during “Visioneer” screening in Kibera, Nairobi. Feb 19, 2016.

There were many great quotes from Peter Diamandis and others, but one stands out for us:

Technology is that force which takes what used to be scarce, and makes it abundant. So a Maasai warrior in the middle of Kenya today on a smartphone has more access to knowledge and information than you [Bill Clinton] had when you were president 20 years ago. And it’s extraordinary.

We love this quote in part because we are trying to leverage a new found information abundance (through the rapid spread of smartphones and the internet) to create an abundance of opportunity – including skills, security, and material goods. We also like it because one of our team members, Luka, is a Maasai warrior – as well as a technology trainer and key member of the content team delivering learning on Android tablets for the Global Learning XPrize and other efforts.

We certainly don’t have the videography skill or storytelling prowess of Nick Nanton and his team, but last year we did try to imagine what will happen now that at least one Maasai warrior (Luka) has not only a smartphone, but also the ability to spread open learning through technology:

“Visioneers” is highly recommended, and is a great reminder to changemakers and entrepreneurs about the importance of not giving up – success might be just around the corner, or a mere phone call to a trusted advisor away. Though we are a small organization and thus can’t afford to make the Global Learning XPRIZE our primary focus, our team is now even more energized about taking part in such a contest – especially because we know our software and learning materials will be used even if we don’t win, thanks to our location and network here in East Africa.

Innovation requires collaboration. Peter Diamandis didn't make the XPRIZE happen alone. This picture is from a Tunapanda-led co-design session in January 2016 at a Samburu school - the Samburu are closely related to the Maasai.

Innovation requires collaboration. Peter Diamandis didn’t make the XPRIZE happen alone. This picture is from a Tunapanda-led co-design session in January 2016 at a Samburu school – the Samburu are closely related to the Maasai.

Innovation requires articulation. After coming up with an idea, you need to pitch it. How many thousands of times did Peter and his team pitch the XPRIZE to make it a reality? So many! Here, students in Samburu (many of whom had never even used a smartphone) pitch their UI designs for an educational Android app - and most importantly explain WHY they made their design decisions.

Innovation requires articulation. After coming up with an idea, you need to pitch it. How many thousands of times did Peter and his team pitch the XPRIZE to make it a reality? So many! Here, students in Samburu (many of whom had never even used a smartphone) pitch their UI designs for an educational Android app – and most importantly explain WHY they made their design decisions.

Innovation requires diversity. Peter didn't just stop at trying to get humans into space, there are now XPRIZEs designed to help people around the world achieve their dreams and become world-class problem solvers. In this photo, founders of Tunapanda's "Tech Dada" ("Tech Sisters") initiative invite more young ladies to keep thinking like designers and techies.

Innovation requires diversity. Peter didn’t just stop at trying to get humans into space, there are now XPRIZEs designed to help people around the world achieve their dreams and become world-class problem solvers. In this photo, founders of Tunapanda’s “Tech Dada” (“Tech Sisters”) initiative invite more young ladies to keep thinking like designers and techies.

Now… time for us to get back to work! Let’s see if we can sustain Peter Diamandis’ levels of commitment to our dream of growing human dignity on a global scale by expanding access to skills through open software, open learning resources, and open learning experiences. To everyone involved in making Visioneers and all the XPRIZE contests: thanks for the inspiration! (From some of your biggest fans in Kenya)

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