What Prevents Tunisia From Generating IT Succes Stories ?
This is the question Tunisian event organizer agency MAZAM, and American organization, Middle East Program Initiative, want to answer with their un-conference STARTECH taking place on Novembre 15. But, what is an un-conference?
An un-conference is not your typical conference, as the name suggests; it’s a reunion of people who want to discuss a specific theme. Because it aims to be about sharing, and collaboration, there’s no MC, or program; participants set their own agenda, and lead the workshops and sessions.
By selecting this innovative format, the event organizers sent a clear message: they want to find concrete solutions, the kind that will work in real life, instead of talking in vain, or letting high-placed people take unrealistic, or inefficient decisions.
This desire also shows through the targeted audience, since they want to have a mix of tech entrepreneurs, professionals, public institutions, NGOs, and students, and throughout the day.
Indeed the event will be built around an almost scholarly three-steps methodology:
1- Identifying obstacles: What is missing in Tunisian innovation? What prevents Tunisian youth from generating more innovative ideas?
2- Proposing of possible improvements: Is there a pattern to success that we can apply to Tunisia? Can we build our own technological sector from the existing players?
3- Exploing opportunities for collaboration.
To do so, four workshops will be organized, by the participants of course.
Idea generation: This workshop will allow participants to set the agenda of the day, and will discuss, and try to improve, the process of generating ideas from creation to implementation mostly within NGOs and university clubs.
IT Innovations: Participants will be asked to identify the IT trends of the moment, and discuss local development and new initiatives, and explore collaboration opportunities.
Entrepreneurship culture: Here, the goal is to find solutions to consolidate the entrepreneurial culture that will enable tech innovation, and entrepreneurship in Tunisia, through the mapping of the local IT ecosystem.
Infrastructure and funding: This workshop aims at strengthening the links between the different actors and public institutions. Participants will find solutions to ensure entrepreneurs with innovative and potentially risky projects, can easily access funds, and improve infrastructure.
Tunisia has many advantages that could let it become a major tech hub: highly skilled scientific minds, great managers, a well-rooted entrepreneurial culture, and the desire to see things change; the only thing missing is a better structured tech scene, and better infrastructure. If proven successful, this event will prove that Tunisians are ready to take control, and switch gears.
More information and registration on Startech’s website.