Photo loren at summit 2016 open data institute

Dr Loren Treisman

Journalist, Consultant, Executive Director

Location icon United Kingdom

Loren has worked at Executive level in a range of organisations in the charity sector. She is now CEO of L'Arche. She is also a senior consultant and journalist. She has extensive expertise in international development, transparency and accountability, entrepreneurship/innovation, health and well-being and the use of new technologies to stimulate social change.

She holds a PhD from Cambridge University and completed the Executive Programme for Not for Profit Leaders at Stanford University’s business school. She was recognised as one of 2014’s Powerful Women to Watch in the Huffington Post and regularly writes in the international Press including Al Jazeera, the Guardian, Huffington Post and CNN.

She was a non-executive director at Praekelt Foundation, which develops open source, scalable social tech solutions for emerging economies. She independently consults (or has consulted) for a range of organisations including Comic Relief, OpenOwnership, Yoti, John Brown Media and the ONE Campaign.

Loren was Executive of Indigo Trust for 8 years, a foundation specialising in supporting tech innovation for social change across sub-Saharan Africa. Before her role at Indigo Trust, Loren held various senior positions in the third sector including a role as a research associate at Demos, managing a £2.6 million health and well-being programme for the Foyer Federation and working as both a consultant and employee on a range of international development programmes across sub-Saharan Africa.

She is also an internationally renowned public speaker, facilitates sessions at international conferences, provides training and coaching and has worked and travelled extensively in sub-Saharan Africa. She works internationally, having resided in the UK, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania.

She is passionate about social justice, cycling, hiking, well-being, innovative and collaborative ways to address social issues, travel and parenting (she is a mother of twin boys). She enjoys writing about these issues and actively participating in projects and activities involving them.

Portfolio
Open Government Partnership
06/20/2019
Who Owns our Companies: Why Privacy isn't Always in the Public Interest - Open Government...

At the opening ceremony of the OGP Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted some of the challenges involved in regulating social media giants like Facebook and Google. Scandals from Cambridge Analytica and beyond have raised genuine concerns around privacy and data protection that are spilling over into the transparency movement.

BBC News
08/10/2012
Do Africa's start-ups need charity?

At times people may wonder why charitable foundations would consider funding projects within the information technology and communications (ICT) sector in Africa, when there is already significant private sector investment.

HuffPost UK
07/04/2016
They Work for You: Monitoring Parliament and Why It's Worth It

It's hard to trust our leaders. Across the globe, the gap between rich and poor is widening while seldom a week passes without a political figure or big brand being exposed for avoiding tax, involvement in corrupt practices or making decisions that blatantly work against the public good.

HuffPost UK
09/22/2015
Home-grown Innovation: We Ask the Experts

Technology innovation hubs have sprung up across Africa. These spaces provide tailored support to their communities and create a collaborative environment which can spark innovation, stimulate economic growth and help them tackle societal challenges in novel ways. Despite their potential, many hubs are struggling to become financially sustainable and it's taking time for their members to create social impact or build profitable businesses.

The M&G Online
05/12/2014
Hand-held tech can help hold government to account

This year has seen a record number of protests across South Africa. People are taking to the streets to vent their frustrations with corruption, poor service delivery and broken promises. But in the digital age, are there better ways for citizens to get their voices heard?

CNN
Kenyans use tech to stop election fraud

The country is hailed as Africa's Silicon Savannah and when citizens head to the polls again on August 8, they will be using technology to make sure these elections are free and credible. A game-changing court ruling recently declared that results announced by constituency tallying centers must be regarded as final and a transparent system to transmit results has been created to prevent rigging.

the Guardian
05/01/2014
Beyond the ballot box: can technology help South African citizens be heard?

On May 7 in South Africa the "born frees" - those born after the apartheid era - will be voting for the first time. Twenty years since the start of democracy, the country has transformed beyond recognition. But the sun has set on Mandela's golden era and progress since has been patchy.

the Guardian
11/25/2013
Open Government Partnership: what it means for Africa

At the recent Open Government Partnership summit in London, Sierra Leone applied for membership and participating governments made fresh announcements, such as Tanzania's President Kikwete committing to enact a freedom of information law.

CNN
Can mobiles help stop Kenya election violence?

On December 30 2007, incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was announced the winner of Kenya's highly contested presidential elections. Against a backdrop of decades of economic frustration and simmering ethnic tensions, the violence that ensued, largely along ethnic lines, shocked both the nation and the world, threatening to set progress of the development community's golden child back by decades.

Aljazeera
02/24/2015
Tech-savvy Nigerian NGOs forcing politicians to act

The stakes are high in Nigeria's presidential election on March 28. Ethnic tensions, Boko Haram's violent attacks, and the "north-south divide" have spurred speculation about a post-election crisis. Citizens are watching closely and they want to be heard. Simple new technologies are giving them a chance to scrutinise their candidates and parliament more closely and to have their say.

the Guardian
07/09/2014
How to open up citizen journalism in Africa beyond the smartphone minority

Open journalism has turned all of us into experts, each with our own unique experience, skills and perspective that contribute to the global story. Guardian Activate Johannesburg was the first of its kind in Africa, focusing specifically on how innovations in technology can enhance journalism, increase transparency and make activism more effective.

Innovatemedtec
02/17/2015
The Indigo Trust

With a focus on innovation, transparency and citizen empowerment, The Indigo Trust also supports development outcomes in health, education and other arenas. Established in 1999, The Indigo Trust is a UK-based grant-making foundation that funds technology-driven projects to bring about social change in Africa.

HuffPost UK
04/18/2016
You Pay Your Tax, I'll Pay Mine

For many, the Panama Papers merely confirmed what they'd long since suspected. A large industry has flourished to help the rich and powerful exploit tax havens to avoid paying legitimate taxes on the bulk of their profits. Over 11 million leaked files also reminded us how very intertwined the worlds of business and politics have become.

HuffPost UK
09/02/2015
The Long Road to Stimulating Tech Innovation in Africa

In recent years, innovation, entrepreneurship and private sector involvement has emerged as a favoured route out of poverty for many development organisations and funders. Its potential to reduce unemployment, tackle societal challenges and stimulate economic growth has sparked significant interest and investment. The tech sector is amenable to this approach.

HuffPost UK
07/10/2015
Voices From the Ground: How Tech Can Help Services Respond to Citizens

There's been a lot of hype around digital citizen feedback platforms. The lure of using mobile phones to receive reports from citizens anywhere across the globe, neatly documented on a digital map has led to a flurry of applications. The Kenyan mapping platform Ushahidi has over 10,000 implementations.

HuffPost UK
03/18/2016
Video Killed the Radio Star? Not even close.

They say video killed the radio star but this is far from the truth. According to the UN, around 44,000 radio stations broadcast to at least five billion people-that's 70 percent of the population worldwide.

the Guardian
05/01/2014
Beyond the ballot box: can technology help South African citizens be heard?

On May 7 in South Africa the "born frees" - those born after the apartheid era - will be voting for the first time. Twenty years since the start of democracy, the country has transformed beyond recognition. But the sun has set on Mandela's golden era and progress since has been patchy.

CNN
Mistrust elections? In Ghana there's an app for that

Digital technology is enabling them to access, share and create information at a lower cost, greater speed and scale than ever before. If citizens harness this power effectively, they can monitor and track election results and irregularities, make informed choices and mobilise young people to vote and vet their leaders.

HuffPost UK
12/15/2017
Tech Hubs: Sparking Tech Innovation in Africa

Technology innovation hubs have been celebrated for their potential to spark innovation, stimulate economic growth and tackle societal challenges in novel ways. These hubs vary dramatically according to their objectives and country context, but all help to build, galvanise and upskill tech communities in-country.

HuffPost UK
12/06/2017
How Independent Journalists In Africa Are Flourishing

It's almost indisputable that a free, independent and professional media plays a crucial role in democratic societies. The media holds governments accountable to the electorate as well as investigating important issues, fostering active debate and enabling people to express different points of view.

HuffPost UK
09/02/2016
Citizen Tech Combats Corruption In Uganda

Corruption isn't the exclusive preserve of governments and multinational corporations. It affects all of us. Transparency International estimates that 75 million Africans paid a bribe last year. And most surveyed believed corruption is on the rise. The poor are worst affected, as those who rely on public services are twice as likely to have paid a bribe.

HuffPost UK
07/04/2016
They Work for You: Monitoring Parliament and Why It's Worth It

It's hard to trust our leaders. Across the globe, the gap between rich and poor is widening while seldom a week passes without a political figure or big brand being exposed for avoiding tax, involvement in corrupt practices or making decisions that blatantly work against the public good.

HuffPost UK
09/22/2015
Home-grown Innovation: We Ask the Experts

Technology innovation hubs have sprung up across Africa. These spaces provide tailored support to their communities and create a collaborative environment which can spark innovation, stimulate economic growth and help them tackle societal challenges in novel ways. Despite their potential, many hubs are struggling to become financially sustainable and it's taking time for their members to create social impact or build profitable businesses.

HuffPost UK
10/13/2014
Where Did Our Money Go? Let Twitter Find Out!

You may wonder how social media could possibly be used to improve access to critical services like healthcare in Africa, a continent where only 8.6% of the population are online. Activists in Nigeria are doing just that. They're utilising its power to amplify the voices of the marginalised and ensure government responds to their needs.

Insideoutpaper
Risky Business Sense

Risk is an important part of my job. I'm the executive of Indigo Trust, a UK based grant-making foundation that provides small grants (usually £10 000 to £15 000) to organisations using web- and mobile-based technologies in innovative ways to bring about social change in Africa.

HuffPost UK
05/09/2014
Citizen Empowerment: New Technology Gives a Voice to the Voiceless

Corruption is rife in Africa, costing the continent $148 billion each year - money that could be better spent on improving education, health services or infrastructure. Citizens are demanding better. Last year, mobile penetration rose above 80% in Africa and an increasingly tech savvy citizenry are beginning to utilise this technology to hold their governments to account.

CNN
We are watching you! Tech helps Africans hold governments to account

With hundreds of millions of Africans owning mobile phones, citizens are becoming increasingly well connected. This is providing a powerful opportunity for citizens to access critical information about their parliaments and to report on human rights violations, corruption and poor service delivery.

Indigo Trust
05/06/2014
New ACF Article from Indigo

Here's a copy of the latest article written by Fran Perrin and Loren Treisman. It appears in the latest edition of Trust and Foundation News, the publication of the Association of Charitable Foundations. It's reproduced here with their kind permission.

Aljazeera
12/06/2012
On the line: Africa connects to citizen media

As Ghanaians head to the polls in presidential elections, the debate over the country's leadership has been going on for at least a year. Helping to frame that debate is Kinna Likimani. She heads Ghana Decides, a group of Ghanaian bloggers using social media to discuss the elections.

the Guardian
10/15/2013
Technology could empower Africans to hold their governments to account

Next year, South African citizens will take part in their fifth democratic election. While the African National Congress will undoubtedly triumph, it can no longer rest on its laurels. In a country with a long history of civil action, people are getting tired of waiting for the improved living conditions they've long been promised.

Insideoutpaper
#PeoplePower: Using tech to promote activism

By Loren Treisman All across Africa, social entrepreneurs are using mobile and web-based technology to hold government to account and demand the changes they need. It's a powerful medium with a lot of potential to contribute towards social change. However, there is much to be done to ensure local ownership and maximise impact.

the Guardian
01/24/2014
Access to information: bridging the digital divide in Africa

With all the excitement about the role of technology in contributing to social change and improved development outcomes across Africa, it is easy to forget that only 7% of the continent's inhabitants are online. While mobile phone usage is widespread at 72%, this masks regional differences.

CNN
We are watching you! Tech helps Africans hold governments to account

With hundreds of millions of Africans owning mobile phones, citizens are becoming increasingly well connected. This is providing a powerful opportunity for citizens to access critical information about their parliaments and to report on human rights violations, corruption and poor service delivery.

the Guardian
12/02/2013
Power to the people: how open data is improving health service delivery

Following the recent Open Government Partnership Summit in London, there's a lot of excitement about opening up government data. What's really interesting is how this data can be utilised by citizens to enable them to make more informed choices and demand improved services in sectors such as health.

Openhealthnews
Encouraging UK Foundations To Publish What They Fund | Open Health News

Last week, on 20th June 2013, The Indigo Trust hosted a working lunch which brought together data experts and civil society representatives to explore the how we could encourage UK Foundations to publish their data in an open format in order to make grant giving more effective.

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