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Ken Banks, Technologist, anthropologist Tech Awards Laureate 2009

National Geographic 2010 Emerging Explorer, Founder of and FrontlineSMS, Ken Banks, Founder of and FrontlineSMS. Ken Banks has over 26 years experience working in the IT industry and was named one of the Emerging Explorers of 2010 by National Geographic. Recently, his research resulted in the development of FrontlineSMS, an award-winning text messaging-based field communication system designed to empower grassroots non-profit organisations.

Ken graduated from Sussex University with honours in Social Anthropology with Development Studies, and was awarded a Stanford University Reuters Digital Vision Fellowship in 2006, and named a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow in 2008. In 2009 he was named a Laureate of the Tech Awards, an international awards program which honours innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity. He was also named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in May 2010. Ken’s work was initially supported by the MacArthur Foundation, and he is the current recipient of grants from the Open Society Institute, Rockefeller Foundation, HIVOS, the Omidyar Network and the Hewlett Foundation.

"If I was in Nairobi in Kenya, I could leave the building and pay for a cab with my mobile. I couldn’t do that in London” Ken Banks

“Many people now in Africa, their first experience of the internet will be through thei mobile phone, not a computer.” Ken Banks