In his Somalia speech, peace strategist Mohamad Ali discusses how to use innovation and entrepreneurship to combat issues like poverty, terrorism and piracy. The Mogadishu-born speaker discusses how innovation looks differently in the failed state compared to Silicon valley.
He is an advocate for frugal innovation and rediscovering old inventions like dry cleaning. Instead of funding research and development labs, Ali believes in investing in local entrepreneurs. A cappuccino machine reconfigured to run off of coal technology might not be innovation in the way we have come to think of it, but it changed the cafe landscape in Medina.
According to Ali, 68% of young Somalis are unemployed. Those attempting to deal with piracy and terrorism are not treating the root cause, so many feel no choice but to turn to corruption. Ali believes peace can be achieved through entrepreneurship and job creation.