This is the first in a series of short articles about the Future of Marrakech, the window to Africa, inspired by my interview with Moroccan visionary and CEO of the Emerging Business Factory, Taoufik Aboudia.
Taoufik is one of the most inspiring innovators I’ve ever spoken to, having immersed himself for several years in the study of philosophy and literature before moving into business and the digital world, his ideas come from a passionate belief in the power of creativity in combination with the possibilities presented by digital age to create and shape social and environmental change.
I will speak more about the Emerging Business Factory, and the future thinking emerging from this hothouse which have been driven by Taoufik in future articles (there is too much rich content to cover in one post). Suffice to say I believe that what emerges from this organisation and it’s collaborators will change the way the world sees Marrakech and create new possibilities for the people of Morocco and the country as a whole.
Today I will focus on the ‘Hack the City’ concept at EBF. Having spoken to a few movers and shakers in Marrakech the feeling is that COP22 hosted in the city last year has created a positive momentum. One of the things the summit highlighted to local people was that Marrakech is the second most polluted city in the country, and according to Taoufik the major contributor to this is the iconic Marrakech bike.
Bikes are integral to life here, they are more affordable than cars, and a faster if hectic way to navigate the narrow streets of the medieval city. The government has outlined it will back a shift to electric bikes – with this in mind, the first ‘Hack the City’ on the 24 November sets out to bring diverse interested parties together to shape a way forward with a new business model and ecosystem. The focus on this Hackathon versus others is measurable action and results, this isn’t just about ideas – it’s about making stuff happen.
Watch this excerpt from my interview with Taoufik to learn more.