Design2Transform – Creating the Next Silicon Valley, in Kenya

This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: Design2Transform – Creating the Next Silicon Valley, in Kenya
Speaker: Nelson James Kwaje, Founder of Design2Transform
Meeting for the week of January 16, 2017 to January 22, 2017

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page. 

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Message from President Mitty

Nominations now open for club officers!

Are you a new visitor? Then I want to welcome you to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s online meeting! Every week we curate inspiring and educational content in an online format like the one you’re seeing here. As you continue reading, watching, and scrolling, our hope is that you’ll leave feeling a little bit more inspired. As an online Rotary club, we have these asynchronous meetings online, but we also meet in-person in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco bay area for service projects and for social events. Keep reading on, and feel free to also join us for one of our in-person events if you can make it!

Members and returning guests, welcome back! It’s my honor to announce that nominations for club officer and board positions are now officially open! Members, please see the member update segment for more details. Any paid member in good standing can be nominated for vacant positions. Members may also nominate themselves.

A huge thank you goes out to all of our members who participated in our Rotary area’s joint service project this past weekend at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino. It was great to work alongside over 40 Rotarians to package over 10,000 meals in collaboration with Stop Hunger Now! With the meals, we’re able to impact over 60,000 hungry people. In addition, we were able to make a strong contact with the local Stop Hunger Now team that oversees their efforts here on the west coast of the USA. Photos and details in the events segment of this meeting.

Thank you also goes out to Tzviatko for organizing the coffee with a Rotarian, and for introducing to us our program speaker this week!

Enjoy the meeting this week everyone!

Yours in service,
Mitty Chang, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

Photo of the Week

We know a good photo is worth a thousand words. We also think that photos can have the power to inspire and to awe. Every week we try to bring to you a photo that we think will do just that.

A man dressed as a tree takes part in ‘La Vijanera’, a winter masquerade at the beginning of carnival season in Europe, in Silio, northern Spain, on January 8, 2017. (Photo taken by Vincent West of Reuters)

Awesome costume! What’s the best costume you’ve seen? It’s never too early to have your next costume ready!

Weekly Inspiration: The Extreme Bike Brothers

Every week we bring you videos of innovation, inspiration, and entrepreneurship. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story about two extreme bike brothers.

Sam and Joe Flanagan absolutely send it on their mountain bikes. The Yorkshire-born pair aren’t interested in well-worn paths or typical trails. Instead, they climb up, bike down, and sometimes wipe-out hard on some of the highest, snowiest and most challenging mountains in Scotland.

Check out this short video below about some of their extreme bike rides, and what they do to prepare for one.

Amazing and risky! Do you have an extreme experience story to share with us in the comments? Let us know!

Laughing Out Loud (L.O.L.) with our Lady of LOLs

yvonnebubbleWe believe that laughing a little every day keeps you healthier. Every week we try to share with you something that will make you smile! This section is curated by Rotarian Yvonne Kwan, our club’s “Lady of LOLs.”

January 19 is National Popcorn Day! Just when you thought my jokes couldn’t get any cornier…
What music gets popcorn to dance?
Hip pop.
Why shouldn’t you tell a secret on a farm?
Because the corn has ears!
Want to hear one more popcorn joke?
Nah, it’s too corny. Oops! That popped out of nowhere.

Coffee with a Rotarian: Brett & Rushton

This new segment of our meeting is dedicated to featuring stories from members about other members! We pair our club members with other club members for one-on-one coffee sessions either digitally or online. It’s an opportunity to get to know your fellow Rotarians better. After the coffee session, each of our members records a short video message about what they learned about their fellow Rotarian, and we feature those videos here.

This week’s featured “Coffee with a Rotarian” videos come from members Brett Sham and Rushton Hurley, who had an opportunity to digitally meet each other. In their videos, they introduce each other.

This is what Brett had to say about Rushton:

And here’s what Rushton had to say about Brett:

The Coffee with a Rotarian project is chaired by member Tzviatko Chiderov. Thanks Tzviatko!


This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Members, Club Board Election Nominations are officially OPENED!

Nominations for vacant positions on the club board of directors are now open! Members, please submit your nominations using the nomination form here. Any paid member may nominate themself or nominate any other club member for any open position. Nominations will close on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. After nominations are closed, elections will begin and will be open for one week until February 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Below is a list of open positions for nominations:

  • President-nominee (1 vacancy)
  • Secretary (1 vacancy)
  • Treasurer (1 vacancy)
  • Director (1 vacancy)

Nomination form is available here. Remember, only members in good standing can nominate other members in good standing. You may nominate yourself!

Reminders – Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Monthly photo challenge is ongoing!
  • Coffee with a Rotarian is still ongoing! New month, new pairs!

Service Blotter for January on-going below:

Members, want to get your service update into the next service blotter? Please share what you’ve been up to, as it allows us to get to know each other better in the process! Just click on the link below to let us know!

For Members Only: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
101 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Next Meetup

Hiking at Castle Rock

Sunday, Jan 29, 2017, 10:00 AM
6 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Recap of Recent Events:

Last Saturday We Packaged 10,000 Meals!

Last Saturday, January 14th our club gathered at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California with over 40 other Rotarians to package 10,000 meal packages in collaboration with non-profit organization Stop Hunger Now. Each meal package serves 6 adults, allowing the meals we contributed to help feed some 60,000 people. The meals are being sent to parts of Asia where they are needed. Our club helped to contribute money for the meals. Members Mitty Chang, Nicole Pham, and Felmer Lenida attended the service event and helped out. Guests Kim from Meetup and Interactors Priya and Tim also joined us, along with over 40 Rotarians from 7 other Rotary clubs. Below are some of the photos from the service project. Come join us for one of our future events!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Rotary Wilderness Expedition to Castle Rock State Park, Sun. Jan. 29, 2016 from 10 AM to 2 PM

Location: Castle Rock State Park, 15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA! Join us for a short and relaxing 5-mile hike at Castle Rock State Park. There will be fairly low elevation gains but great views of small cliffs, waterfalls, and lush foliage. Bring your own bagged lunch, friends and family and we’ll take some time enjoying the spoils of our recent rain. Please remember to dress in long pants and sleeves as there are some poison oak and moisture tends to make them a bit more potent. For Bay Area Residents coming from north of the park, please meet at Starbucks on 14410 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070 by no later than 9:30 AM to make it easier for us to find each other. For those of us coming from the Santa Cruz area, just take Hwy 9-North and turn right on CA-35 and look for the Castle Rock State Park sign. Please remember to bring $8 in cash for parking.

Sign up on our Meetup page here:

Event chair: Andrew Taw

Rotary Area 8 Talent Show (Cupertino), Sat. Feb. 4, 2016

Join Rotarians from through Cupertino and Sunnyvale for an area-wide social featuring talent from every club! Details to be announced.

Happy Dollars

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards funding club projects! Here are messages from last week’s happy dollars:

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his $15 donation, to be donated to Rotary’s PolioPlus! Rory had this to say:
“Houston had its share of winter this weekend. We had two nights that went below freezing, which is uncommon for us. Please apply my donation to Polio Plus!”

Thank you all for your donations last week! The money from the donations last week went towards funding club projects. Thank you!

This week’s donations will go towards the general club fund to power club projects!

So what are you happy about? Share with us below!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting about “A Path to Product Design”:

Member Richard Knaggs (South Africa) had this to say:
“Hello Everyone. I am thankful for everything that I have, my family, my friends and that I am privileged enough to be able to help others. My goal is to take the time to listen to people more carefully, to be successful in the planning of the new school wing we are opening in 2020 and to launch our Makerspace successfully. Catherine Liu I would love to chat to you about the coding incubator we have at our school. Oh my goodness Seth, this is exactly what we are trying to do at our school. I agree with you school that should not just be about information – ” If you need information just browse the Internet”. We want to inspire invention and inventors at our school. We want our students to make things and we are especially successful with doing this through our Robotics programme. We have learner teams who have designed: the following:
1. Team Infinity’s solution is a fully autonomous boat, the size of a small oil rig, that, given a set of coordinates to set boundaries via GPS, will patrol an area as within those boundaries, scooping up litter on the surface of the water. Returning to a collection point to empty its container as soon as it has reached capacity. They have created a small prototype that is simple yet works amazingly well.
2. Team HyperionBots designed a horse bit that massively reduces the damage to horses’ nerve, bone and cranial structure caused by the use of horse bits by jockeys, whilst still retaining its effectiveness.
Would you be able to speak to our students some time? It would be a real privilege. This is what I love about this Rotary club – the people that we can meet.”

Member Brett Sham (Sydney, Australia) had this to say:
“Seth, great to hear about your journey and learning a bit about the design process.”


Member Nathan Gildart (Tokyo, Japan) had this to say:
“Seth, that was an interesting and laid back presentation. You’ve touched on a number of lessons we all need to learn, particularly finding our passions and making them work for our own happiness, and even better when it benefits others. Great stuff! Love the video of Dennis Ogbe. What a strong mind.”

Guest Juan Carlos Young had this to say:
“Thanks a lot to Seth, Kristi and Mitty and the whole Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley for the presentation! I think Seth nailed it when he said that for him going to work every day is like playing when he was a kid. The value of achieving that in our lives is priceless and hopefully is something we can all achieve or have achieved in our lives.”

Member Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne (California, USA) had this to say:
“Seth, really entertaining and interesting program, thank you! Happy 2nd Anniversary – I’m proud to be a club member.”


Guest Roger Plested (Canada) had this to say:
“Thank you Seth for an interesting presentation. Coffee with a Rotarian is an innovative idea which allows club members to get to know someone else in the club.”

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Creating the next Silicon Valley, in Kenya

Every week we bring to you a program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest speaker is Nelson James Kwaje, founder of Design2Transform.

Nelson James Kwaje is the founder of Web4All, a web design firm based in Kenya. As a web designer, Nelson realized that there is a great need for websites and technology apps in Kenya. This led Nelson to found Design2Transform.

Design2Transform is a Kenya-based group that is training young programmers throughout Kenya through workshops, hackathons, and bootcamps. Design2Transform’s mission is to train participants to support their local community through the use of technology. In this program, Nelson will share with us the story of Design2Transform.

Members and guests, please join me in welcoming Nelson James!

Special thanks to member Tzviatko Chiderov for introducing Nelson and Design2Transform to us!

Related Links for Design2Transform:

Want to Connect with Nelson?

We have asked Nelson to periodically check back on this meeting page during the week of this program, January 16, 2017 through January 22, 2017, and respond to comments as necessary. Feel free to leave a comment and direct it to Nelson. If you are reading this after the meeting week, please reach out to Nelson via the official Design2Transform website.

Meeting Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice. (Sometimes speakers cancel on us!)

Upcoming Recordings:

  • Week of January 16 – upcoming recording TBA
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 7:15 PM PT – Recording of Crystal Huang, Founder of xPollinators
  • Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 12 PM PT – Recording of Thuy Nguyen, President of Foothill College

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA time.

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Nelson, thanks again for taking the time to speak to our club. I really like how you put such great focus on involving communities and learning what the real issues are before proposing solutions. This is so critical for long term success and ensuring the sustainability of your work. I also like how you shared some success stories from your attendees beyond their participation in Design2Transform. Great work! Keep it up!

  • Rory Olsen

    Nelson, thank you for a great program.

  • Jayprakash Deshpande

    Nelson a great initiative ! I was in Kenya working for insurance in 1999-2000.
    Mitty , this is my 14 thmeeting since September 2016 and I have found very interesting topics presented . Kudos to you !

  • Keith Marsh

    Thanks to Nelson for the program. I have a new photo challenge for the club that will be a fundraiser. In the February issue of the Rotarian magazine, these is a photo of mine. For every member who finds it and reports the page number in this forum, I will donate $5.00 to the club. The offer expires at the end of January 2017.

    • Yvonne Kwan

      I was just flipping through the magazine earlier today (before I even read this comment), found your picture, and thought hey, we know that cool guy who took this photo!

      • Keith Marsh

        Thanks Yvonne. I’m glad you are reading the magazine. I actually didn’t see it at first because I was looking for information on the new photo contest. My wife had to show me.

    • Raquel D. Juncal

      Keith, didn’t know it was your picture. Congrats! I’m considering participating this year. Any tip will be well received! 😉

      • Keith Marsh

        Raquel: It would be great if you submit some photos to the contest. The best photos are simple compositions. If you have some with Rotarians working on a project that would be good. For people photos, be sure to get up close and get good reactions on their faces. Good luck.

    • Fun, I saw it on p27, as did others, and hopefully more will go there to check it out (before mentioning that’s where they found it!). 8^)

    • Tzviatko Chiderov

      Excellent photo Keith! You have a way with capturing perfect moments.

  • BDL

    Thank you, Nelson! This is great work that you are doing!

  • Nelson, great presentation. I enjoy how you approach it in an individual basis so people don’t get overwhelmed and discouraged!

  • ShagsCA

    Wonderful program, Nelson! Keep up the great service to the community.

  • Raquel D. Juncal

    Great presentation, Nelson! Thanks for sharing your work!

  • Great! Thank you

  • Andrew Taw

    Wow Nelson! That’s so cool! Thanks for the great work!

  • Felmer Lenida

    Wonderful meeting! If anyone has the opportunity to work with Stop Hunger Now, I would take it! It was a great organization to work with. Working with them was a blast! Plus if gives you a great workout if you’re loading the truck.

    Nelson, thank you for sharing the work you do. This hits close to home. Growing up in a lower income home, we didn’t have the tools to learn the stuff you were teaching. Luckily my apartment complex offered an after school and summer course that taught us the basic skills of web development and how to build a PC.

    • Hey Felmer – good thoughts! I hope you’ll be at the Big Basin gig next Sunday. (You’re one of the few members of the club I haven’t met yet!)

    • Nelson Kwaje

      Waw @felmerlenida:disqus ,
      I like how you are still remembering the experience with such vividness. This exactly what we are trying to achieve , impact the future generation by giving people a chance to experience things for the first time.

      I am really touched by your story.

  • Ferheen Abbasi

    Nelson, wow. What a wonderful story! The service you are providing your community is absolutely phenomenal and I affirm your struggles. Funding is always difficult but the fact that you pursue forward is inspiring. I wish you all the best!

  • Roger Plested

    Nelson thank you for a wonderful presentation.

  • mahmood khan

    I love the Pop corn jokes. Specially the last one. Great stuff.

    Awesome presentation Nelson. Perfect to get the community healthy and informed.

  • Great meeting , Mitty! Well, the video about the bikers certainly made an impression. Is it just me, or do you get the impression that there has to be a profound lack of hope for other possibilities to put yourself in that kind of danger willingly and regularly? Brett, thanks for the nice message – it was great meeting you, too! Richard, it’s great to hear about the projects of the Parklands students. The one about the robot boat that picks up litter is something that needs to be a video story!

    Nelson, I enjoyed your presentation, and am impressed with the range of detail your team has explored to make things happen. I sent a tweet your way (I’m @rushtonh), and would be happy to stay in touch.

    For the photo challenge, here’s a picture I took of a lively ocean after attending the meeting of the Rotary Club of Laguna Beach last week. The rain was on and off all day, and when on, it was really on – perhaps you can see it in the waves! I also like that in the upper right (hardly a speck in the picture), there’s a bird that seems to be thumbing its nose to the strong winds that were happening. I posted this on Instagram, which is a really fun way to share the things you see. Let’s get some good pictures out there at Sunday’s Castle Rock shindig!

    • Nelson Kwaje

      Hi @rushtonh:disqus,
      Thanks for reaching out. I just followed you on twitter.
      I can see you have some experience in education , we can explore some opportunities together.

  • Kristi Govertsen

    Thank you, Nelson, for this great program!

  • Brett Sham

    Rushton, was great to e-meet you; hopefully I’ll be able to come by SF / Silicon Valley after RICON this year and meet you in person.

    Looks like you guys had a great time packing the meals.

    Nelson, great presentation, lots of rich detail and great to see how’re your bringing it to life and making the program so successful.

  • Nicole Pham

    Thank you for being an inspiration to your community and beyond, Nelson!

  • Paul Mosso

    Nelson, thank you for sharing; I enjoyed the program.

  • Nathan Gildart

    Nelson, thank you for the presentation. That you’re bringing learning and skill development to people for the sake of aiding independence is excellent and helping young people to grow.

    Love the mountain bike video! I love my mountain bike, though Tokyo isn’t exactly “extreme biking”.

  • john lozano

    Nelson, thank you for the presentation. I always enjoying hearing stories of people doing amazing programs around the world.

  • Nelson, Thank you for sharing about Design2Learn. I feel your focus on youth and working with technology to improve their local communities is one of the most powerful methods for real and relevant learning. I work with a method known as Challenge Based Learning and it is very similar.

    LOVE the crazy Scots and their mountain bikes! Funny thing about perspective. I have no hesitations to go down a mountain road at 50-60mph. But to go down the side of a mountain in the snow at 40mph? That’s crazy!

  • Catherine Liu

    Nelson — thank you for sharing your amazing story.

  • Nelson Kwaje

    Dear Friends,
    I ma really happy to get such a positive feedback from the other side of the globe. I can see many people identifying with the challenges we face while doing this work.
    When in such service sometimes the only “fuel” that keeps you going is the understating and love you get from like-minded people and the great satisfaction of knowing that you impacted someone’s life.
    @tzviatkochiderov:disqus epitomizes the true spirit of Rotary Clubs with his kind heart and spirit of service. He helped us develop our first event guide (a 12 page document on how to run a Hackathon ), he also visited one of the Orgs we worked with and bought some nice things for the kids (not the perfect destination for foreigners during their thierd week in Nairobi ).

    I look forward to collaborating with you in the future.

    Thanks for the opportunity and hope to keep in touch.
    Read more about me and D2T on the links below


We'd love to hear from you! You can use this form or send us an email directly at [email protected]

Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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