2023: Year In Review
Equitech Futures was founded with a simple mission: identify the most promising innovators around the world at the early stages of their careers and support them with the skills, resources, and networks they need to thrive. To date, we’ve supported 200+ innovators from 50 countries.
2023 was a transformative year for us. In October, we launched a new partnership with the Rhodes Trust at the University of Oxford. Through this partnership, we will bring together Equitech Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, Schmidt Science Fellows, and Atlantic Fellows annually for the Rhodes Forum on Technology and Society. I hope that this Forum, held at Rhodes House in Oxford, will catalyze new global networks of technologists working for the public good. This partnership was made possible with renewed generous support from the Kevin Xu Initiative.
Equitech alumni have continued to demonstrate extraordinary ambition and success in using technology to tackle societal challenges. Alumni Raunaq Jain (Germany/India) and Mitchell Odili (Kenya) launched a new climate tech startup, Measuring Carbon, that allows public monitoring of carbon emissions globally using satellite data. Another group of alumni - Andrew Kimani (Kenya), Apollinaire Abi (Togo), and Clinton Manoti (Kenya) - founded NawiriTech, an ed-tech platform that supports data education for young African professionals in all disciplines.
This was a banner year for alumni interested in applied research. Kexin Xu (UK/China) won the prestigious Clarendon Scholarship to attend a doctorate at the University of Oxford. Apollinaire Abi (Togo) won the Kabir Banerjee Pre-doctoral Fellowship to pursue research at the University of Chicago, Fanisi Mbozi (Malawi) was selected to pursue a PhD at MIT, and Baraa Al Jorf (Palestine/Saudi Arabia) won a Global PhD Student Fellowship at NYU.
While our community starts online, we continue to invest in our scholars through in-person gatherings and conferences. In 2023, we hosted three "IRL" (in-real-life) conferences in Oxford, Chicago, and Nairobi, fostering new connections between alumni from various cohorts and connecting them with leaders in industry and academia.
This year, our work felt more relevant with the popular adoption of generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, the calls for AI regulation from tech leaders in Europe and the US, and the OpenAI drama that thrust the question of AI governance into the spotlight. These conversations are becoming increasingly nuanced, and it’s our mission to ensure emerging technologists everywhere have a seat at the table to build the future.
2024 is likely to be an equally exciting year, and I look forward to sharing new milestones over the coming months. Thank you for being a part of our journey.