11Nov

Hungry to Learn

Education. The drive to change the economy with education is everywhere. It is a bit overwhelming and exhilarating. I’ll admit that I am a bit bias since I work at Qatar Computing Research Institute, part of Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation. These institutions were set up to inspire high level research and new science. Today is my one year anniversary of working within this huge organization and my 10th month of living in Doha. Time Flies.

Next week I will be co-hosting a number of technical workshops as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with Qatar Science & Technology Park. These were sold out over a week ago. As I have a small room for the class, I can’t expand it. Plus, delivering heavy topics in a room larger than 40 is not really productive for the teachers and students.

GEW2015

Free ideas, go build them

In the past months, I have observed such a hunger to learn in many of the residents of Qatar. Building a strong local entrepreneur ecosystem needs a step ladder and a hand. My mandate is Social Innovation with a personal goal to get people involved in technology to help humanitarian response. There are only so many hours in the week and focus means delivery.

If I had one million dollars and large facilities/networks to focus on the entrepreneurship community, I would hire someone to build these free ideas. Though, with all the super smart people around, I am sure these might already be on the roadmap:

  • More Free Technical classes (all levels) Every day, every night: The classes for GEW filled up in no time at all and with low advertising effort. The entrepreneurs keep telling me that there is a local technical gap. If the economy needs more technical entrepreneurship and people have a hunger to learn, then it follows that this type of programme will help seed the future.
  • QNCC for large technical event: If Qatar can bring universities here, what about making Doha a tech destination for a large technical event? The ideal event would have many hands-on workshops, a trade fair, and large company demos (Docker I am looking at you). Most years I attend OCSCON with 5000 of my tribe. There is nothing like an influx of talent to learn and inspire.
  • Tech Hubs, Labs and Coworking spaces: Everywhere I have traveled these casual spaces make for interchange of ideas and brillant outcomes. Truly, I have no place that I can go on a Saturday, geek out with other geeks and flop on a couch debating the latest tech thing. While it might sound fluffy, it works. Just make sure there is excellent coffee and snacks.

Now, I’m going back to work on my proposal for encouraging Humanitarian Technology in MENA. We all have our passions. And, I can only hope that our thirst to learn and create helps a people build something useful for their community and neighours.

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