Notes from Harvard

I returned to school on Monday. I’d been hinting at returning to school for a while, joking that I’d soon run out of knowledge if I didn’t refill 🙂 Thanks to the Interntional Telecommunications Union, I joined the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education Program on Science and Technology Innovation Policy earlier in the week. I had stopped over for a few days in the UK to add value to another area of my life (more details shortly — or should I tell the story now, Temilade?) and can’t forget the feeling of actually having power for my laptop right on my seat onboard (does North West deserve a mention for that)?

The program has been quite intensive but the discussions are worth the time and tuition. With about fifty experts (mostly from government departments) from various countries across the world and a dynamic faculty, the discussions have touched on innovation, development, case studies (you can bet one was on Singapore) and more. Its only the second day and I’m already feeling the impact the program will have on my work. Outside class, the network is unbelievable! There are three other Nigerians here — a state government’s IT adviser, a government energy consultant and a former speaker of a state house of assembly. Plus, I met a former (young) minister of information this afternoon.

We’re presently taking a tour of the Harvard campus (phew, a deserved break, OMG!) and even though the sun is high up, the cold breeze keeps reminding my hands (everywhere else is covered in layers) that Lagos is quite some distance. I’ve been discussing Nigeria with my “ogas” here, in the light of the class discussions that never fail to remind one of the fact that Nigeria has no business being poor! Each morning, I put my green-white-green muffler (made from local fabric) across my shoulder and walk into class with the hope that I would pick one more lesson that can help sharpen the efficiency of my work as a social entrepreneur with a bias for the role of ICTs in developing economies.

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