Besides “science” and “technology,” “innovation” has become the new buzzword in the economic policy, academia, industry, and business worlds. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, innovation or tech hubs, apps, start-ups, and digital platforms are but a few of the keywords marking Africa’s arrival on the cyber-stage. Amidst this tech-talk, it is very easy to reduce innovation to technology, the commercial, the digital, and to inbound artifacts, spaces, knowledges, and those skilled in them. Africa becomes just a platform where the drama of technologies from outside play out, as opposed to being a space generative of and driving a synthesis between inbound and endogenous modes of innovation. The purpose of this workshop, therefore, is to blow the concept of innovation wide open through an appeal to history, linguistic anthropology, and STS (science, technology and society). Hence the appeal to languages of innovation.
9.00-9.15 Welcome and introductory remarks
9.15-9.45 “Everyday Languages of Innovation in Southern Africa: A Historical Survey,” Shadreck Chirikure, University of Cape Town
9.45-10-15 “Language (of) Innovation and Muslim Youths in Coastal Kenya,” Sarah Hillewaert, University of Toronto
10.15-10.45 "Platform, Tech Hub, and Start-Up: The New Language of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa,” Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, IKKM and MIT