How we encourage innovators to apply

Through our work over the years we have seen innovative ideas from all sectors of society and from all over the globe. Much of the work we respect hails from organizations and people in places that are both near and far away from our own offices. 

We have also observed that ideas can be overlooked and for a variety of reasons. For example, some innovators may not know where to look for opportunities, while others may not proactively seek out attention for their ideas. The newest technologies (as many of us tend to rely on) to learn about the latest and greatest ideas may have a limiting affect on the community of actors that the ideas come from.  Lastly, we have witnessed (not surprisingly!) ideas bubbling to the surface much quicker in their original localities than to the international scene where we might be privy to see or hear about them. 

In light of our observations, we are partnering with individuals who work within innovative communities (and who may operate in geographically disparate areas of the world), to encourage innovation in T&A and direct ideas towards our Innovation Fund.  We have dubbed them the TESTING 1 2 3 “Connectors”. Take a look at their bios below. If you happen to run into them, or feel like reaching out to them for more information, please do so. We want to thank them for all their help!


Tobias Eigen

Tobias is a nonprofit technology consultant with a particular interest in helping grassroots organizations take charge of their presence on the Internet using open source software and open data. He is the founder and executive director of Kabissa – Space for Change in Africa, a nonprofit organization run by a global team of volunteers that supports the networking, information sharing and tech capacity building needs of African civil society. Tobias also leads SlashOpen, an initiative to help make Open Data easier to find and to help organizations orient themselves in the Open Data community. In the same way you have a /contact or /about page on your website so people can find and learn about you quickly, you should also have a /open page.

Tobias is a German/USA dual national and lives on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. That is too many time zones from Africa for his comfort but thanks to the wonders of the Internet he has been able to maintain a close affinity with the continent.  

Tobias is reachable on twitter @tobiaseigen and via his personal blog at


 Hernan Charosky

Hernan is a consultant for Transparency International for local and international strategies. Professor at Universidad de Palermo (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Executive Director of Poder Ciudadano, 2010 to 2012 (Argentina TI Chapter). Policy Advisor at the Inter American Development Bank (2007-2010). Fulbright Fellow (2005-2007). Investigator and Policy Advisor at the Anti Corruption Office of Argentina (2000-2005).George Washington University, Master in Public Policy.Universidad de Buenos Aires, Licenciado en Sociología.

Hernan is on twitter – reach him @charosky.


Renata Avila

Renata Avila @avilarenata is a Guatemalan lawyer working in human rights who is an active advocate for freedom of expression, privacy, digital rights, access to knowledge and respect for indigenous rights. She is the Country Lead of Creative Commons Guatemala and also co-heads the Technology for Transparency Initiative. She is a contributing writer for Global Voices on Line, for the Open Net Initiative and other publications. 

She actively promotes the involvement of girls and women in technology and is interested in the improvement of societies through access to knowledge, the sharing of differences and acceptance of plural visions.

Dondon Parafina


Redempto Santander Parafina or "Dondon" is currently the Knowledge Leader of the Ateneo School of Government's Social Accountability Program and Project Coordinator for the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). His work on social accountability is advancing ideas and practices in various fields, particularly procurement, ICT, youth involvement, and across key sectors including education, health and public works. His work has spanned Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia and the Philippines. 

Prior to his regional work, he was Coordinator for five years of Government Watch, G-Watch, an anti-corruption program of the Ateneo School of Government in the Philippines. While at G-Watch, he led citizen participation initiatives in education, including "Textbook Count” - nationwide monitoring of textbook procurement and delivery, and "Bayanihang Eskwela" - monitoring of school building construction projects.  He also managed action-oriented research in public works, medicines procurement, and disaster relief. 

Dondon is currently spearheading an education initiative called "Check My School,” a blended online and offline platform for information access and citizens' feedback. He is also a student of philosophy, a boy scout and a dragonboat paddler.


‘Bosun Tijani

‘Bosun Tijani is an innovation expert with keen interest in knowledge application for economic and enterprise competitiveness. He is the co-founder and leader of the Co-creation Hub Nigeria, a social enterprise committed to bringing together stakeholders from different walks of life to work collaboratively on solutions to social challenges faced by the average Nigerian. ‘Bosun and his team run Nigeria’s first living lab for social technology ventures, investors, technologists, hackers and tech companies in and around Lagos.

‘Bosun was formerly the Manager of VALOR, a European Commission funded project aimed at developing a Pan-European standard for knowledge commercialization. As a management consultant with International Trade Centre, Hewlett Packard and Pera Innovation Network, he led a variety of innovation and business support initiatives for small businesses and public agencies in more than 12 countries across Europe and Africa. He also advised European Universities on Research and Development funding.

An avid believer in knowledge sharing and collaboration, ‘Bosun enjoys developing learning programs such as the European Research Network Commercialization and Funding Guide, ITC (International Trade Centre) Technology and Export Marketing Capacity Building Programme, British Council Corporate Governance Training for SMEs (Nigeria).

‘Bosun holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Information System and Management from Warwick Business School, UK. He plays football and enjoys music in his free time.

He can be contacted by email at

Fahad Desmukh

Fahad Desmukh is a freelance journalist based in Karachi, Pakistan. He is a regular contributor to PRI's 'The World' radio show where he has reported on stories ranging from urban violence in Karachi, to Baloch separatist music, to poetry on vehicles. He has previously been a reporter for Pakistani TV news channels Express 24/7 and Geo.

Fahad is also a founding member of research and activist group Bahrain Watch, which monitors the difference between the words and actions of the government of Bahrain, in light of the post-Arab Spring political conflict there.