As we set sail on the transformative voyage of the AI for Changemakers Accelerator program, we’re thrilled to shine a spotlight on one of the pioneering companies that jumped on board early, offering pro bono support to exceptional nonprofits and social impact organizations through AI. Prescott Data stands tall as a beacon of innovation and leadership in Nairobi, Kenya, right at the heart of Africa. Their insights, drawn from a wealth of experience and expertise, underscore the profound impact of technology in steering positive change. 

 

Credits: Prescott Data, from left: Sangalo Mwenyinyo CTO & Co-Founder, Edel Mwende COO & Co-Founder, Muyukani Kizito CEO & Founder

 

What’s the expertise that you bring to the AI for Changemakers accelerator? 

Muyukani Kizito CEO & Founder of Prescott Data: Our company’s domain is artificial intelligence, machine learning solutions, data for value, and data systems—that’s our niche. Given our niche, we feel a strong responsibility because we are industry leaders, especially in the space we operate in, which is Africa. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to lead the way, influence change, create new paths, and show people that things can be done. We need to break long-held mentalities, address knowledge gaps in understanding new technologies, and dispel misbeliefs. It’s our duty to break those barriers and create new ways.

 

AI for Changemakers Accelerator program addresses social issues and is focused on building collaboration between companies and nonprofits and social impact organizations. [Find out more]

 

What inspired you to join AI for Changemakers Accelerator? 

Muyukani Kizito: For us, I think the main thing is that AI is a new, emerging technology that’s being applied now. As a company, we want to be leaders. As industry leaders, we feel a responsibility to lead in providing and building solutions, especially when it comes to technology like artificial intelligence. That’s one of the biggest motivations for joining the AI for Changemakers Accelerator program. We feel it’s our responsibility. As industry leaders, we need to be at the forefront of these emerging technologies to drive and influence change. This change can scale in the industry, influence organizations, and affect how people approach daily problems and opportunities, ultimately transforming how they change things around them.

 

How do you think AI can revolutionize social change and the social impact sector?

Muyukani Kizito: My response will be mostly based on my experience and interactions with people in this space. I’ll give you a close example. Currently, we are experiencing very unusual climate trends in Africa, specifically in Kenya and South Africa. We’re facing severe droughts that have never been experienced before, and there have been unprecedented floods in Nairobi and even in Burundi. Understanding these events requires identifying anomalies in the climate patterns we’ve seen over the years. This is where artificial intelligence and technology come in. AI provides the clarity to look back at these patterns, identify anomalies, understand the context behind them, and create and implement action plans. This is one way AI can significantly impact social change.

 

Are nonprofits lagging in AI adoption? 

Muyukani Kizito: The conversation around AI varies significantly depending on where you are in the world. Personally, operating in Africa, I’ve observed that AI penetration isn’t as extensive as it is in Europe and the Americas. In Africa, we’re not at the same level yet. This highlights the importance of being proactive and innovative. We need to be at the forefront, sparking interest and creativity. The next generation will depend on pioneers like us to believe in the potential of AI and to develop groundbreaking solutions. It’s about thinking outside the box and harnessing the power of this new technology to create tangible value for our continent.

 

How can AI boost the effectiveness of nonprofits and social impact organizations? Can you share some real-life examples?

Muyukani Kizito: One of the biggest challenges we’ve identified among nonprofit organizations is how they utilize their data throughout its lifecycle. Many nonprofits struggle with data collection, management, and utilization to derive value from it. To address these challenges, we’ve developed a solution called Insight Matrix. Within Insight Matrix, we offer self-serve analytics and interactive analytics tools. Self-serve analytics empower nonprofit users to access insights from their data without needing a dedicated team to build reports. They can simply use human-readable language to query their data, thanks to machine learning models under the hood. Additionally, our platform integrates interactive and intelligent analytics features, allowing users to interact with their data in real-time. By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, we’re enabling nonprofits to achieve actionable insights faster and more efficiently. This is just one example of how we’re working to solve critical problems for nonprofit organizations, with the aim of creating meaningful impact.

 

What words of encouragement would you tell a nonprofit organization?

Muyukani Kizito: One thing I’d like to address is the common misconception surrounding the affordability of technology, especially here in Africa. Many nonprofits still rely on legacy systems due to the assumption that advanced technologies like AI and cloud computing are prohibitively expensive. However, technology is more accessible and affordable now than ever before. It’s crucial for nonprofits to think outside the box and recognize that there are cost-effective solutions available to address their challenges. By identifying their problems and exploring how technology can assist, nonprofits can start small and gradually scale their initiatives. It’s about taking that first step, finding your problem, and working towards a solution, no matter how modest it may seem at first.

 

What advice would you give nonprofit and social impact organizations to start working with AI?

Muyukani Kizito: Nonprofits often lag behind in technology adoption, not because of any fault of their own, but because they prioritize social impact. However, there’s a misconception that technology doesn’t play a significant role in achieving social impact. My advice to them is to start where they are. What I mean by that is, as a company, we believe that time to value is critical when building solutions. It’s about achieving value in the shortest time possible. Technology moves fast, so if the time to value is too long, they’ll always be lagging behind. Nonprofits need to focus on immediate impact, identifying their pain points and opportunities, aligning them with their mission and goals. They should start small and scale from there. Additionally, they should seek partnerships within the tech industry. Technology is more accessible and affordable now than ever before. Nonprofits don’t have to navigate this journey alone when there are companies like ours willing to provide solutions and support. Technology isn’t as complex or costly as perceived. We’re here to break down those barriers and misconceptions.

 

Why should the IT sector not forget about social impact and why should nonprofits also be part of this conversation?

Muyukani Kizito: Most stakeholders in the IT industry are focused on building software to tackle various problems and make profits. However, we must not be blinded to the other issues in our environment, such as climate change and poverty. Nonprofit organizations are already working in these areas, so it makes sense for us to partner with them to make a collective impact. Ultimately, it’s a win-win situation whether you’re developing software for business or for nonprofit segments. The value you contribute will create impact and influence environmental operations, ultimately leading to the same goal as we all live on the same planet whose resources are not indefinite.  

 

Do you believe that while addressing these social issues, companies can also benefit on a business level?

Muyukani Kizito: Absolutely. From my perspective, it’s all about how we approach it, especially in the tech industry. The adoption of our solutions, regardless of the sector, hinges on people understanding the problems we’re addressing. Often, people aren’t even aware they have these problems until they see the solution in action. So, creating demand is crucial. By putting our solutions out there and allowing them to be used by as many people as possible, we generate that demand. Even those who didn’t realize they had a problem begin to see the solution’s value. This creates a ripple effect that extends beyond the nonprofit sector. Once our solutions are visible, people from various sectors start seeking them out. In the long run, engaging in initiatives like these not only adds to a company’s monetary value but also enhances outreach and brings about numerous other benefits that positively impact the bottom line.

 

 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT

As PrescottData blazes the trail, extending a hand to drive meaningful change through the AI for Changemakers Accelerator program, we invite tech companies and nonprofits alike to join forces in this pivotal movement. Whether you’re a tech company eager to support pro bono or a nonprofit seeking to amplify your impact, there’s a place for you in this collaborative endeavor. Let’s stand together at the forefront of innovation, leveraging the power of AI to tackle society’s most pressing challenges.

 

Learn more about the AI for Changemakers Program and register to build AI for impact!

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