Toby Shapshak writes and speaks about innovation, and how it differs in Africa. He believes Africa is a
mobile-driven continent, about which he has written for CNN and The Guardian in London; and been
interviewed by The Huffington Post.
His TED talk showcased how Africa is solving real problems for the rest of the world and has had over 1.2
-million views so far! Toby was named in GQ's top 30 men in media and the Mail & Guardian newspaper's
300 influential young South Africans list in 2009; and was the ICT Journalist of the Year in 2002. He has
been the Mail & Guardian's technology and sports editor, ran the M&G website when it was the first news
site in Africa, shadowed Nelson Mandela when he was president, and covered the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission. He is writing a book on innovation in Africa, and writes on this subject for a
variety of publications, including CNN, The Guardian in London, the Sunday Times and The Times (South
Africa) and others. He has spoken on this topic at numerous conferences, including TED Global in
Edinburgh, SxSW in Austin (thrice), The Guardian's Activate: Johannesburg, Germany's Zukunftskongress
(Future Congress), Pivot East in Nairobi, Flux Trends Review, TEDxJohannesburg, and Tech4Africa.
He's been writing about innovation, telecommunications and the Internet — and the impact they have on
people's lives — for more than 15 years. He's now working on a book about a passionately held belief:
that in Africa, necessity is the mother of innovation.
He is the editor and publisher of Stuff magazine. He co-hosts a live weekly TV show on CNBC Africa and
writes a weekly column for the Financial Mail.