Connecting Communities


Leah Hacker
Head of Research - Accomplice

For Ikechi Nwabuisi, technology is all about efficiency and amplification. It is more than social media, technology creates opportunity. As technology evolves with more connectivity, we have the opportunity to discover new ways to connect.

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For Ikechi Nwabuisi, technology is all about efficiency and amplification. Nwabuisi, 27, is a venture associate at Capital Factories, a founder of Silicon Jungle Labs. Nwabuisi’s diverse life experience, growing up in a niche Nigerian community in Houston, Texas, playing college football at Northwestern, working in banking and now settling into Austin as a tech entrepreneur, gives him a wide spectrum of perspective and a diverse audience.

Nwabuisi dreams of leveraging his diverse background and technology to amplify underrepresented voices. “I [want to] use tech to address the problems I see in diverse communities,” says Nwabuisi, “it’s always about solving a problem and experiences determine the problems we are looking to solve.”

He’s working on a product that may one day allow him to solve those problems in diverse communities. He envisions a group messaging platform that allows immigrants and their children to connect with people like them. “The idea is that everyone has a tribe, or multiple tribes that they are a part of…the way that you make connections with people is through shared experiences that create conversation.”

According to Nwabuisi, the increase of the global economy has threatened the sense of the local community. When people migrate, they don’t have a hometown, high school or college network to build from as they work to create new lives from the ground up. Technology can fix this problem through innovation on existing products, careful consumer research, and strategic design. It is more than social media, technology creates opportunity. As technology evolves with more connectivity, we have the opportunity to discover new ways to connect.

“The right entrepreneur can leverage technology to connect these communities back to their roots and other communities that are similar and pattern match them around the world,” says Nwabuisi. And that human connection matters. During his childhood, Nwabuisi’s community was at the center of everything. Friends were treated as family and he jokes that the phrase, “it takes a village” was applied literally to his upbringing that combined Nigerian values and American opportunity.

Personally, Nwabuisi uses technology to make his life easier and his work more effective. Efficiency and usefulness is priority in keeping his attention. However, it isn’t always the addition of technology that makes his life better.  Subtracting technology that is getting in the way also has its purpose. Nwabuisi deleted Instagram off his phone for the last two months.“I got some hours back…” he comments.

Nwabuisi believes this tension between whether it is less or more tech that actually improves the quality of our lives is a gut check for future technological development. Placing usefulness as a high priority.

On topics such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, Nwabuisi sticks to his sentiments about what should be the purpose behind the technology we build,“Technology’s purpose is to make humans more efficient. Tech should be implemented to maximize humans and the spread of human capital. That should be the goal.”

That being said, the responsibility of what tech to adopt falls on the individual to determine what works best for them and their goals. “All tech can be good and all tech can be bad,” he says.

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Human Factor is a series focused on highlighting how individuals use technology in their everyday life. Sometimes unique, sometimes revolutionary, sometimes ordinary. Always human. Read more of the series, here.