The Nairobi Ideas Podcast

Giving a public platform to the BIG ideas that are changing our world

Launched in 2018, the Nairobi Ideas Podcast gives a public platform to the Africans who are making an impact with their Big Ideas. Hosted by Dr. Rose M. Mutiso, CEO of Mawazo, in its first five episodes, the podcast interviewed exceptional Kenyan scientists behind the Faces of Kenyan Science campaign. Including an astronomer, a serial innovator, and a university lecturer writing science fiction Kiswahili novellas for children. In 2019, Nairobi Ideas Podcast returns with new episodes under the theme of Climate and Conservation - and as always, interviews with Africa’s thinkers, makers, and doers.


Image courtesy of James Wakibia

Image courtesy of James Wakibia

meet james wakibia

Kenya has one of the harshest plastic bag bans in the world, with fines of up to $40,000 for individuals found in violation. But has the country’s ban made any real change? Nairobi Ideas Podcast is joined by James Wakibia, an environmental activist and photographer who was instrumental in the campaign that yielded Kenya’s 2017 single-use plastic bag ban. James discusses how anger can help fuel change, what difference the ban is making, and what the future of plastics looks like in Kenya. Plus find out one simple act we can all take to decrease the use of plastics in our lives.

Further Reading Links: 

James Waikibia Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

“Meet James Wakibia, the campaigner behind Kenya's plastic bag ban” UN Environment 2018.

“FAQs on the Plastic Ban” National Environmental Management Authority (Kenya). 2017. 

“Plastic bag bans are spreading. But are they truly effective?” National Geographic 2018. 

“Single Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability.” UN Environment. 2018 Report. 

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Season 2: ‘CLIMATE & CONSERVATION’ Trailer

Global warming, the biodiversity crisis, and environmental degradation are changing life on earth drastically, and the effects on Africa are bound to be drastic. Join us on Season 2 of the Nairobi Ideas Podcast as our host, Dr. Rose M. Mutiso, finds out how experts on the continent are responding to these climate and conservation challenges. We will explore how Kenya is tackling plastic pollution with activists and researchers, hear from leading conservancies in Kenya on how they are protecting local ecosystems, and find out how Africans across the continent are working to build sustainable futures.

special episodes

Image Courtesy of TED

Image Courtesy of TED

meet our host

Meet Dr. Rose Mutiso: She is Co-founder and CEO of the Mawazo Institute, Research Director at the Energy for Growth Hub, current Next Einstein Forum Ambassador representing Kenya, and voice of the podcast. Rose is a Materials Scientist by training with research experience in the fields of nanotechnology and polymer physics. Her current work is focused on power sector issues in Africa. Rose believes that, “We need to fuse creative and inspired thinking with research and evidence,” and that scientists like her are bridges to these two worlds.

Image courtesy of Young Scientists Kenya

Image courtesy of Young Scientists Kenya

meet michael waiyaki & young scientists Kenya

Meet Young Scientists Kenya (YSK): Michael is Co-founder and CEO of Miti Alliance, and a Board Member of Young Scientists Kenya, a platform for young people to demonstrate their innovation and showcase their scientific talents. YSK is based on the premise that a wealth of talent and potential for innovation exists in Kenya. They are one of the organizers of the 8th National Science and Technology Exhibition Week, opening August 3rd. Take a listen as Michael shares stories from the road as YSK uncovers the best in innovation, technology, and research that Kenya’s youth has to offer.




meet kago kagichiri

Meet Kago: Co-founder and former CEO of one of Africa’s leading mobile learning platforms, Eneza Education, which provides high quality educational material to students in Kenya, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire, with plans to spread across Africa. Kago is a tech-enthusiast on a journey to tackle the shortcomings of the continent’s education systems using technology.


meet dr. hamisi babusa

Meet Dr. Hamisi: An accomplished novelist, lecturer and senior administrator at Kenyatta University who is pioneering the use of Kiswahili science fiction novellas to educate children on science. He is the author of five Kiswahili novellas and believes that, “Science can get married to literature.”


meet dr. stella bosire

Meet Dr. Bosire: Founder and Executive Director of the Stellah Bosire Fund and Co-Executive Director
UHAI EASHRI, Stella is a medical physician looking beyond the stethoscope to use science for good, and who advocates for health as a human right. Raised in Nairobi’s Kibera slums, Stella has risen to become one of Kenya’s youngest and most successful public health champions.



Meet Susan: A trained economist turned astronomer who has traveled the world looking at the skies and believes that “traditional sky knowledge” can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with astronomy. Susan is bringing the stars closer to Kenyan children by taking a portable telescope and mobile planetarium to schools and sites around the country, offering free stargazing. She dreams of creating the region’s first public Observatory and Planetarium.


meet anthony muthungu

Meet Anthony: Founder of TotoSci Academy, AlexKyan, and Jenga Citi, Anthony is a trained computer engineer, ‘student-preneur,’ and self taught inventor with an impressively long list of inventions drawn from the practical necessities of his home life. He is an inventor and educator who is always looking for “the loopholes in life” and finding ways to bridge them.