Toby Shapshak

Based: Johannesburg

Toby Shapshak writes and speaks about how innovation is better in Africa.

His TED talk on how Africa is solving real problems has had over 1,4-million views; and he has been featured in the New York Times.

Toby is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Stuff magazine; is a contributor to Forbes and writes a weekly column for the Financial Mail. He has been co-hosting a weekly TV show on CNBC Africa for the past three years.

He believes Africa is a mobile-driven continent, about which he has written for CNN, The Guardian in London and for Forbes. He is writing a book on innovation in Africa, looking at how the problems Africa is solving for itself will benefit the rest of the world.

Toby has spoken at the South by South West (SxSW) conference in Austin, Texas, (thrice) on hoe mobile is being used in Africa (2013) and how music is being consumed (2014); and The Guardian’s Activate: Johannesburg on innovation out necessity.

He has also spoken at Intel’s IDF conference in San Francisco, Germany’s Zukunftskongress (Future Congress), TEDxGateway in Mumbai, Pivot East in Nairobi, and Tech4Africa in Joburg.

Toby was named in GQ’s top 30 men in media and the Mail & Guardian newspaper’s 300 influential young South Africans list; and has won the ICT Journalist of the Year. GQ said he “has become the most high-profile technology journalist in the country” while the M&G wrote:: “Toby Shapshak is all things tech… he reigns supreme as the major talking head for everything and anything tech.”

As a news and political journalist, he ran Mail & Guardian newspaper’s 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 has interviewed a range of tech industry luminaries, including Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wonzniak.


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