Dr. Abraham Rotich
KCA University was established in 1989 to support the training of accountants in Kenya. Since then, innovation has grown steadily in importance. Whether it is declining birthrates and ageing populations, energy and environmental problems, weakening international competitiveness, or problems such as the rising cost of social safety nets or the widening gap between rich and poor, our societies are facing multiple challenges. Finding fundamental solutions to these problems seems beyond our grasp if we merely continue with our traditional approach. Contemporary society demands innovation from a variety of perspectives, including technologies, organizations, institutional systems, and social systems.
Innovation is a mantra that cannot be wished away. In the academia, we are told “Publish or Perish” but accelerating economic development in this 21st Century, we must “Innovate or Perish” as a country. Therefore, Innovation is not only a way to go but a way of life for those who must keep up with the present world. Innovation has profound impact on societies, institutions, businesses and on individual interactions. It allows organizations to stay relevant in this dynamic and competitive world. It plays important role in the economic growth of any country and is the core of modern existence. It has the ability to solve critical societal problems and enhance society’s capacity to act through technology to produce products and services.
This directorate aims to create a robust innovation ecosystem that would enhance the innovation potential of the KCA community. For one to understand the concept behind “an innovation ecosystem”, we must draw from the biological ecosystem analogy as observed in nature. The biological ecosystem is a system that includes all living organisms in an area as well as its physical environments functioning together as a unit. Similarly in our case, the innovation ecosystem we have in mind is different and yet functioning on the same concept.
As a developing nation, how do we make Innovation a reality and as part of our lives? I would like to go the way Stephen John (2011), who once looked at history and observed and said:
“Innovation does not come just from giving people incentives, it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect”
This means, Innovation requires friendly ecosystem where all people, employees or entrepreneurs etc are supported and provided with right tools. Innovation can only thrive in an environment where it is encouraged, interaction and exchange of ideas are welcome and where brainstorming and breakdown of information take place.
Dr. Abraham Rotich,
Director, Innovation, Incubation and Linkages.