They say that necessity is the mother of invention. This saying is particularly true in Nairobi as most startups are born out of the need to make life easier.

Being a leader in innovation in the continent hasn’t been a walk in the park but Nairobi has proven its worth by creating some of the most amazing startups. Some of the most notable life changing startups include Ma3route, which helps people move around the city and Mfarm which ensures Kenyan farmers get the most out of their produce.

So what lessons can we learn from Nairobi and replicate in other African cities?

The Social innovation Exchange and Amani Institute invite you to a forum like no other dubbed ‘what makes a city a hub for social innovation: lessons from Nairobi’. The event is to be held right here at Nairobi Garage in the end of May.

Part of the discussion is based on the fact that African startups are set up in the midst of all sorts of challenges that other western countries don’t go through. Some of these include; insecurity, poor governance, lack of proper infrastructure among others.

To grow in the midst of these is a hassle. However these challenges actually provide more opportunities for other startups to thrive. For instance if Nairobi didn’t have monster traffic jams, Ma3route would not have been born. These challenges have similarly allowed emerging market cities from Sao Paulo, Cairo to Bangalore to become forces to reckon with in the innovation landscape.

This interactive forum will involve hearing from global players, site visits and engaging workshops, with a view to replicate these supportive ecosystems of Nairobi across the world.

So if you are an academic, development practitioner, social innovation thinker, creative, startup founder or just a great thinker you are invited to attend and share your story, successes, challenges and what you think the future holds.

To kick off the conference days, there will be a fail fair at iHub on 27th from 5pm. This will be to hear stories of how entrepreneurs make mistakes. This will be done over drinks and snacks which iHub is providing. However, the actual conference will be held over two days on the 28th and 29th of May, 2015 at our space.

The conference has a number of bursaries for those willing to attend but would find it hard due to financial constraints. If interested in this please email [email protected]

For further details regarding the event or to purchase your tickets, click here.