Clay Shirky to deliver keynote at Tech4Africa in August

Clay Shirky – one of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies – will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Tech4Africa Conference in August this year. Shirky’s participation in the event underlines its status as the top African conference about the Web and other emerging technologies.

The event, organised by Technovated, will bring international experience and perspective to the African continent and provide a rare opportunity to learn first hand from local and international speakers about the role that emerging and Web technologies have to play in African business and development.

Shirky is one of the world’s most sought-after speakers on topics related to the Web, social media and the Internet. He has spoken at events such as TED Global, SXSW, the Web 2.0 expo in New York and San Francisco, SES San Jose, the Adobe Learning Summit, New York Tech Meetup and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

He currently divides his time between teaching, consulting and writing. He teaches New Media as an associate teacher at New York University’s (NYU) graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

His consulting practice focuses on the rise of decentralised technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterises the Web. Shirky consults for clients such as Nokia, the Library of Congress and the BBC.

He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet and his columns and writings have appeared in Business 2.0, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and Wired. Shirky is also the author of Here Comes Everybody, which explores the effects of open networks, collaboration and user created and disseminated content on organisations and industries. He is especially well known for using the phrase “the Internet runs on love” and for his advocacy of crowdsourcing and collaborative efforts online.

Says Gareth Knight, MD of Technovated: “We’re excited to have drawn a speaker of Clay Shirky’s calibre to this event. By attracting such a strong line-up of African and international speakers to this conference, we hope to inspire a generation of Africans to go and do extraordinary things with the Web and other emerging technologies.

It is an excellent learning opportunity for any person or organisation with an interest in the African Web – whether as an end-user of the technology, as a technologist working with the technology, or as an entrepreneur or investor active in the African market.”

Shirky joins a stellar line-up of international speakers – including leaders from organisations such as Twitter, Mozilla, WordPress and Yahoo! – and African technologists from companies such as PesaPal, Ushahidi, Obami and many more.

The event runs from 12-13 August 2010 at The Forum in Bryanston. Workshops will be held on 10-11 August. The event is targeted at business professionals and technologists from businesses of all sizes, from entrepreneurs and start-up owners through to professionals working at large organisations.

Registration for the event is open and there are 300 early bird tickets available.

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Clay Shirky to deliver keynote at Tech4Africa in August