Meet the team: Harrison
Our “meet the team” series captures the stories and experiences of some of our wonderful colleagues at GDI Hub. We will be covering what led them into the disability innovation sector, their expertise and current projects, and any tips they can share for others wanting to pursue a career in a similar field.
In this second edition we spoke with Harrison, GDI Hub’s communication officer, based in Nairobi. Harrison joined the team in August 2022.
He has a bachelors in Media Communication from Daystar University and a Masters in International Public Relations and Communications Management from Cardiff University. Prior to GDI Hub, Harrison worked in communications in the humanitarian sector.
We spoke to Harrison about his career to date, what he enjoys about his current work at GDI Hub and tips he has for others wanting to get into this field:
Tell us about the current projects you are working on:
Our projects are diverse in GDI Hub's comms team! A lot of my focus is around content creation and photography across GDI Hub, helping to increase our portfolio and the range of imagery and videos we have that helps to highlight our work and communicate the GDI Hub story and vision.
Currently I am working on communications around Innovate Now (Africas first Assistive Tech Accelerator) helping to create content that captures the history of how Innovate Now started, the stories of the innovators that have grown from it and the impact the programme is now having.
I also deliver the weekly innovation spotlights across our social media channels which highlights the innovations that are currently happening and have happened across GDI Hub portfolio. One exciting upcoming plan is to diversify who we highlight on these spotlights, to be not just GDI Hub led but also from others working in the AT industry across the world.
So, if you want to be starred in our innovation spotlight, please do fill in this form and we will be in touch! Research and Innovation spotlight form.
Whats your particular interest within communications?
I really love photography. It was my first year in university when I first interacted with a DSLR camera, and I loved it. I would say that I love storytelling through the camera. There is a huge sense of fulfilment knowing that I am capturing moments in time. Also, the process of conceptualisation before going on a mission and the process to get footage and turn it into a final product is very fulfilling.
Communications gives the opportunity to give people a platform to talk about issues that are important to them and the society and environment around them. Because stories don’t write themselves and the photos are usually accompanied by a story and these stories are usually pulled and narrated by the people themselves - the users of AT in this case.
I am also really enjoying engaging with diverse stakeholders in different capacities. I love the creative process of finding the best way to communicate to have the most desirable impact. For example, I am reading more policy work than I would have a few years back. It's interesting to see the kind of language used and I think to myself, is it really accessible to people who have not gone to school and things like that? I find that an interesting angle.
What do you enjoy about your work?
I have been incredibly lucky to be able to travel with GDI Hub and have absolutely loved meeting AT users. It really gives me so much joy that I can see the impact that AT is having and what is happening beyond the publications. I am really enjoying meeting new people and attending meetings that are happening here in Kenya. AT is a wide ecosystem that people don’t know about- but should know about!
And what's it like working for GDI Hub?
What I have loved about GDI Hub as an organisation is the freedom to bring in knowledge, it's not closed off. Knowledge flows through the organisation, it doesn’t just sit with those most senior. We have been allowed to try as much as possible to find what works – and it's cool. There is a mentality of let’s try it, and if it doesn’t work, we will change. For me that is the mindset of growth. And that is what GDI Hub offers as an organisation. And of course, the chance to meet amazing people! I have incredibly talented workmates and it is enjoyable working with them. There is always something to learn from them.
Being such a closely knit organisation you can easily get to one person regardless of where they are – even when working remotely and that is fantastic – as long as I have internet, I can reach a colleague and work remotely with people around the globe. Even with a huge time difference – we can still get work done. It shows us how global the world really is. I like that about GDI Hub.
Do you have any tips for others wanting to get into this field?
I would say, try. Try as much as possible before you find your footing. Do different things. You want to do photography or videography? Try it. Its only in trying that you will understand where your true strengths lie and don’t close yourself to one specific are or place to get knowledge. You always want to look for growth and places that enlarge your scope of knowledge.
Talk to people, engage. And you’ll find that you know much more than you will think of. So, baby steps, slowly slowly – you'll get there.
And in Harrison's free time, he uses his photography skills to capture images of animals in nature, these photographs below are captured from Masai Mara game reserve: