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Team Rwanda: Meet the Coaches from Kenya

As most of you know, the Impact Week already took place twice in Kenya. The former participants are still deeply connected to the team and dispites of the distance three of them took the opportunity to join this years program to coach the pupils of the SOS Child Village in Kigali. Meet our old friends James, Kendi and Caleb :) 

Junior Coach Kendi Muchungi 

Coach Kendi
Coach Kendi

I am Dr. Kendi Muchungi (Computational Neuroscience), an incipient lecturer at Africa Nazarene University in the School of Science and Technology, the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology.  I have a passion for ideating and really appreciate logic.  I have varied interests, however, in the field of research, I am interested in finding out how the retina functions, how best to simulate its functionalities on a computer, and how to leverage on the results simulations of the same show in the design and development of improved retinal implants. My persistent passion is for the environment, what is my role in nurturing my immediate environment?  With regards to education, how can I facilitate critical thinking for my students?

I am an avid learner and really appreciated the opportunity Impact Week provided for the realization of this goal.

Impact week saw me re-evaluate how I look at problems and ideate towards a solution. It became apparent that a more purposeful approach towards solving problems was better suited for the design of innovative solutions. As a result of the uptake of the design thinking approach, my students and I have been able to come up with an innovative modus operandi for facilitating the learning of programming fundamentals. We instituted tutorials that have shown a quicker uptake for programming and a heightened interest in learning. I have also re-addressed how I require class presentations to be conducted, and I now encourage presentations beyond the use of power-point so as to nurture innovation and critical thinking. 

I started out my first experience with Impact Week in the training-of-trainers program, and so my approach hence has always leaned towards how best to expose design thinking as a catalyst for innovation and critical thinking? To this end, I have facilitated four design thinking sessions, two as a paid consultant. I still feel that I have a lot to learn and would love to hone my skills. I believe the Impact Week Rwanda will help me do just that and I can't wait to start :)

Junior Coach James Obuhuma

Coach James
Coach James

My name is James Obuhuma and I am a Kenya Citizen. I hold an MSc in Computer Science. Currently pursuing a PhD in Computer Science with research inclined towards Artificial Intelligence, GPS and GIS. I am currently a member of faculty, Computer Science Department, Africa Nazarene University. In addition, I coordinate operations of the University’s Innovation Centre, an Incubator under conceptualization.

I played a key role in planning and organizing the Impact Week in Kenya, Nairobi, in 2015 and 2016. Considering Impact Week 2015, the first event of its kind in Design Thinking at Africa Nazarene University, it took me quite some time to explain to the potential participants on what Design Thinking entails and its need. I wasn’t a Design Thinking expert back then! The success of the one-week event attracted an overwhelming number of interested participants in 2016. The entire Design Thinking process for both events was amazing: understanding, observation, synthesis, ideation, prototyping, testing, business modeling and finally pitching. It was great to learn the process of mind mapping for problem identification and use the business model canvas for business modeling. On the other hand, Impact Week 2016 was a different case in my life since I got a chance to be trained as a Design Thinking trainer and was even given an opportunity to coach a team. Since then, I advocate and even coach IT students on how to apply the Design Thinking process in choosing their final year project ideas.

I look forward to the Impact Week Rwanda, Kigali. This time round coming in as a trained trainer. It will be wonderful to interact with participants from a different country, understand existing problems in Rwanda, help to coach, and guide Rwandese on how to model solutions through Design Thinking. Furthermore, to interact, share and learn new ideas in Design Thinking from German experts.

Junior Coach Caleb Aringa

Coach Caleb
Coach Caleb

I am Caleb Aringa born and raised in Kibera slums Nairobi Kenya. I am a soccer coach and an entrepreneur and attended the Impact Week in Nairobi which lead to a life changing experience: Design Thinking helped to change my life and enabled me to improve the circumstances in my community. Design Thinking allows even the simplest of ideas to develop into a business. Thanks to the Impact Week in Kenya I am now running a community project, and are constantly exchanging my learnings with other former participants who managed to also start their own business.

I am joining the Impact Week again to be able to further improve my skills – not just for me but also for my community.