I am a hands-on Kenyan entrepreneur with vast interests in the dairy and horticultural industry; a researcher and policy advisor with over 15 years’ experience in science, technology and innovation. With a PhD in Innovation and Development Policy, I am an International Consultant with clients ranging from governments, UN agencies, private companies, the World Bank amongst other international development organizations. I have authored books, book chapters and journal articles on technology, innovation and development. I am a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Policy and Practice (DPP) of the Open University (UK) and a Research Associate at the Innogen Institute (Edinburgh, Scotland).
Walking through Fire is a detailed account of my journey through innovation and entrepreneurship, what I learnt and how it applies to you. I have drawn on personal and professional experiences over the last 40 years – from early childhood, education, employment, social life, business ventures and interactions with mentors and associates – to distil lessons on innovation and entrepreneurship to share with you. The book is more than a collection of stories about my life. I have used the personal stories and experiences to breathe life to the broader themes of development, career, education, policy and the culture and practice of innovation, entrepreneurship and development. It is therefore a unique blend of the personal with the technical. I use the stories help you connect the threads of personal life to our daily aspirations of overcoming our fears, creating more wealth for ourselves and for future generations as well as enhancing our own influence and self-worth.
The book benefits from my diverse background and experience. I draw on my initial training in the bio-physical sciences at the undergraduate level before crossing over to the social sciences for postgraduate studies in innovation and development policy. This formal training is augmented with several years’ work experience as a researcher and policy advisor in science, technology and innovation. My experiences in salaried employment is balanced with over 15 years in entrepreneurship in business, consultancies and private practice. In effect, I have had a feel of both the technical and social sciences, been in employment and private businesses and practice. I have known the comfort of salaries and wages as well as the uncertainty of relying on contracts, profits and dividends. I have interacted with public officials in government, worked with those in the civil society and operated in the private sector. The experiences and lessons I share with you are therefore not only real but balanced.