Collaborative Innovation: A Personal Journey

Collaborative Innovation: A Personal Journey

I have lived and worked in eight countries, and, if I take them in sequence, it’s a sorry story. Born in England, my parents moved to Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) when I was thirteen, where I finished my schooling and served in the Kings African Rifles as a young army officer in the last vestiges of the British Empire in Nyasaland (Malawi) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).

Fast forward to today, living in the US, I am helping my friend, Peterson Moyo, from Malawi finish his PHD in mathematics at the University of New Mexico. He doesn’t want to go back to Malawi because of the corruption and mismanagement of the politicians. His wife Ruth, a retired schoolteacher, is still trying to get her retirement pension from the Malawi Government without success, because they don’t have the money.

In 2014 I visited Zambia. The country was being run by the Vice President due to the death of the President and everyone was gearing up for the elections. One of the issues was how to stop the Chinese having too much influence in the financial control of the country. Last year, Zambia ceded control to the Chinese of their state-owned Electric Utility, Radio Station and the two main airports.

I also visited Zimbabwe on the same trip where the people were anxious for the President, Robert Mugabwe, who was in his nineties, to step aside so there could be some reforms and bring back some financial stability that was ruining the lives of ordinary people, but not the politicians. He was finally ousted in a bloodless coup in 2018, but, the dire financial situation has only become worse.

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About the Author

Robert Noyes Smith

Robert Noyes SmithRobert Noyes Smith: Rob served as an army officer in the Kings African Rifles and SAS. He and his wife Maggie have lived in five countries and have three sons born on three different continents. As well as extensive corporate consulting experience he and Maggie have owned and operated four businesses in three different countries. He now concentrates on executive coaching and writing. From 1996 to 2000 Rob was a Vice President with Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group.

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