Tree of Humanity awarded to African Game Changers once againHere, we celebrate what Africans are achieving for the future. It’s a celebration of Afro centric and human centred innovations, by and for Africans.
20 January 2050
The annual African Game Changer Awards took place last night. For the tenth year, we’ve seen that Africa never ceases to surprise and amaze. In the hot summer air across the continent, you couldn’t hear much as people were holding their breath in anticipation: Who would walk away with a coveted Tree of Humanity of their own?
The first award went to Oluwaseun Adepoju and his co-founder Nancy Muigei for their solution, Level Up. The motivation behind Level Up was to create a way for Africans to connect in a deep and meaningful way—especially as the continent has experienced a massive influx of returning migrants over the last decade. The superficial connection that the world saw with the first wave of social media in the 2010s, lead to a myriad of problems: loneliness, depression, and weak social bonds. Level Up works to change that. By offering different levels of engagement, Africans can choose the extent to which they want to opt-in or out. The cautious can connect through VR to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. Enthusiasts can connect via a mind meld network where participants can tap into one another’s brains directly. You cannot just tap into the good parts of the brain though… one individual’s unresolved trauma can reverberate across the mind-meld network as we saw when large pockets of melancholia flared up in Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Ghana. Similarly, those with more violent inclinations can take advantage of the network: this is what General Toutou did when he tried to destabilize the African government last year.
Essentially, Level Up allows you to select the intensity that you feel comfortable with. If you’re old school, you can just choose a normal conversation, as 75% of African dialects can be translated in real-time through the Level Up technology that runs on the African splinternet. At first, we thought the only gender would be fluid, but with the help of Level Up, it turns out that identity, belonging, and citizenship has become fluid as well: Africans have been able to find their unique tribes, based on ideas, motivations, and goals instead of being inhibited by location, language, and culture. In his acceptance speech, Adepoju said that Level Up takes its responsibility very seriously. While Level Up has led to more inclusive humanity in many instances, there are still sexists, racists, and other ‘ists’ who seek each other out and planning abhorrent deeds. Unfortunately, as they say, the rain beats the leopard’s skin, but it does not wash out the spots. Adepoju continued: “We will launch a new version of Level Up that immediately shuts down when the system realises that it’s being used to convene for anti-humanitarian purposes. We cannot leave the technology up for anyone to use. We saw what happened with General Toutou. It was a mistake on our side.”
Mutsa Samuel walked away with the second award. Samuel’s company Merge has found a way to create new business and non-profit organisations by match-making based on data that Level Up users have made available. Users who were not destined to cross paths are introduced based on Merge’s algorithm. Merge’s motto sums it up: “The big game often appears when the hunter has given up the hunt for the day. With Merge, you never have to stop hunting.” New intersectional organisations that have come about as a result of Merge include, bio-finance, heart politics, and chemical mobility.
The third award went to Rahma Ben Lazreg who pioneered the Impact Quotient Measure (IQM), which every individual can use to determine the difference they are making in the world. Now that the concept of nation-states is mostly irrelevant and GDP is no longer the metric of success it once was, Ben Lazreg’s IQM perfectly epitomises the African spirit of collective caring and ubuntu. There’s a continent-wide IQM dashboard where participants can see where they stand in creating prosperity for posterity. Ben Lazreg sky wrote the adage after the ceremony ended: “‘We desire to bequeath two things to our children. The first one is roots; the other one is wings.’ Join IQM and be part of a data revolution for good.”
The continent seems to be coming into its own. Can you hear it? Listen…The ancestors are rejoicing from North to South, East to West. They’re cackling with laughter, crying tears of joy, and clapping their hands in admiration. Africa’s time has finally come.Download story as PDF