Missive from Namibia: Climbing sand dunes and talking seed accelerators | Weatherhead

Missive from Namibia: Climbing sand dunes and talking seed accelerators

Posted 6.1.2015

Michael GoldbergMichael Goldberg, visiting assistant professor of design and innovation at Weatherhead, is currently on a Fulbight Senior Specialist fellowship in Namibia. He provides this update on his work:

Since early May, I have been based at the Polytechnic of Namibia, working with students and faculty on entrepreneurship on a Fulbright Senior Specialist fellowship. Located in Southwest Africa, Namibia is one of the least dense countries in the world. Namibians earn $2,000 per year on average. The majority of its 2.3 million residents are dependent on agriculture and herding, but not everyone farms. In my ramblings around Windhoek (the capital), my nine-year-old son and I have noticed thousands of entrepreneurial residents working in their shops and restaurants. We tasted traditional foods such as cow intestines (tasty but chewy), zebra steak (delicious), and mopane worms (crunchy and earthy). We had haircuts at a barbershop where we paid a bit of a premium to the local price because of the texture of our hair. Tourism is another big part of Namibia's economy (and for good reason--I recommend visiting Namibia's amazing Etosha National Park and climbing the magnificent sand dunes of Sossusvlei).

Climbing Sossusvlei's Famous Dune 45
Goldberg climbing Sossusvlei's Famous Dune 45 with his son, Matthew

In the Polytechnic's Innovation Village, I discovered FABlab Namibia. Any Namibian with a new idea can come to this bright green, yellow and red cluster of container buildings to build a prototype, find a business mentor, or access a global network of businesspeople. FABlab opened just over a year ago and is quickly becoming a center for entrepreneurship, engineering and design.

Read more about Goldberg's work in Namibia.

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