BBC hackathon selects Kenyan teams for pilot stage

I am delighted that the first Africa-based BBC Connected Studio event, aimed at driving innovation using local expertise and knowledge, has produced such a high level of creative ideas.Dmitry Shishkin, BBC World Service Group Digita; Development Editor
Date: 20.02.2015     Last updated: 23.02.2015 at 07.55
Category: World Service
Two Kenyan teams have been selected to pilot their ideas to help BBC to reach young African audiences through social and digital platforms. The teams from Go-Sheng Services (pictured above) and Ongair (below) were chosen from a total of 13 at the BBC hackathon held in Nairobi earlier this month.

The hackathon in Nairobi was organised by BBC World Service and the BBC’s digital innovations team, Connected Studio, to generate ideas to help BBC World Service better connect with digital audiences across Africa. Thirteen teams from across Africa and the US took part. After two days of intense activity, teams presented their ideas on how to use technologies to enable users to access content at low cost. They also identified ways to ensure faster interaction with audiences and the best interactive platforms.

Dmitry Shishkin, BBC World Service Group Digital Development Editor and judging panellist, says: "I am delighted that the first Africa-based BBC Connected Studio event, aimed at driving innovation using local expertise and knowledge, has produced such a high level of creative ideas. The two teams selected to go into pilot preparation stage impressed us with the distinctiveness of their proposals. They both put the user at the centre of their propositions – an approach that we can build on. I am looking forward to seeing the pilots developed and offered to the public to be tried and used."

Go Sheng Services’ concept is built on the use of local languages as a means to connect with younger audiences. Euticus Mola, 24, Go Sheng team manager, says: “I am so proud to be going through and I am looking forward to working with the BBC. It has been a life dream to work with an organisation like the BBC, and I am so pleased that the team’s hard work has paid off.”

Ongair’s idea is to engage with younger African audiences in a way that recognises their needs and interests. Trevor Kimenye, 30, Ongair team leader, says: “We’re really surprised and excited to go through to the next stage. Working with a globally respected organisation like the BBC is an amazing opportunity. We cannot wait to get started.”

The six-month pilot stage will include creation of prototypes and user testing.

MF

Team Ongair