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Who we are

Ken Banks

Concept, design, project management, software development

Ken is the Founder of and devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. He has worked at the intersection of technology, anthropology, conservation and development for the past twenty years and, during that time, has lived and worked across the African continent. He is a PopTech Fellow, a Tech Awards Laureate, an Ashoka Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and has been internationally recognised for his technology-based work. Ken is also a published author, with his first edited book, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator”, released in late 2013. His latest project, Means of Exchange, looks at how everyday technologies can be used to democratise opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, rebuild local community and promote a return to local resource use.

Further details of Ken’s work are available on his website at

Sally Brammall
Project development, community engagement

sallySally leads on the development of Means of Exchange. Sally is interested in the way that the arts, enterprise and new technologies can be applied to create alternative economies, build communities and face up to societal problems. She previously worked as a journalist for the Big Issue magazine and the Guardian’s Social Enterprise Network, as well as publishing pieces in the New Statesman and Contributoria. Last year, Sally made a research trip across south-east Europe, visiting international streetpapers and NGOs taking action against a range of crises affecting twenty-first century Europe, including the rise of evictions and new party politics in Spain; the influx of asylum seekers and the newly homeless in Athens; and Roma integration projects in Austria and Macedonia. She is a non-executive director of adult education social enterprise Gap Learning CIC.

Contact: sally at or @SallyBrammall

Ellen Goodman
social media, research

Ellen web pic copyEllen is interested in the power of storytelling to engage and inspire community engagement and social change. Since graduating with a BA in Japanese from SOAS university in 2014, Ellen has worked for the Campaign to End Loneliness, which tackles issues of social isolation and loneliness in older age, and Educate for Life, an action-research sustainable development charity based in Rajasthan, India. As well as curating content for Means of Exchange’s social media pages, Ellen is part of the UK communications team for Ashoka, the worldwide network of leading social entrepreneurs. She is also currently researching how communities around the world can adapt and meet the needs of ageing populations, with a particular focus on ‘dementia friendliness’, at the University of Hertfordshire.


Previous contributors

Lilian Ricaud

Open collaboration expert, digital nomad and music lover, Lilian has worked and taught in France, the UK, India and Senegal and currently lives in France. Originally trained as a plant biologist, he worked in top research labs in France and the UK (INRA, CEA, University of Cambridge) and his work has been published in several scientific journals. In 2005, he left academia to study new open collaboration practices emerging online and in 2008 he started freelancing, teaching and advising organisations on the use of open collaboration practices, social media tools and user-centered design. Since 2009, Lilian has been interested in the role of money in shaping social architecture and has been studying complementary currencies as alternative means to promote exchange and co-operation. His current interests include stigmergic collaboration, open innovation, placemaking and he is working on building a co-creative events pattern language as a tool to help communities self-organise and cooperate.

Further details of Lilian’s work are available on his website at

Alice Brennan
Research and website content

Alice graduated from Oxford University with a BA in anthropology and archaeology in 2009, and currently lives in Tokyo. Before moving to Japan Alice worked as a consultant for London-based Techlightenment, a social media technology company that helps global companies create and implement innovative online campaigns. Alice briefly worked as a teacher in Japan until March 2011 when the country was struck by a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that devastated the coast and caused the Fukushima Nuclear disaster. Alice volunteered with Peace Boat’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) providing humanitarian aid in the affected region, after which she became the International Corporate Social Responsibility and Fundraising Coordinator at the PBV headquarters in Tokyo. In this role Alice has been responsible for rallying support for the ongoing crisis amongst the international business community in Japan and throughout the rest of the world. PBV’s work includes economic development projects, psychosocial care, hot meal distribution and mud clearance. The success of PBV has been documented in the book “奇跡の災害ボランティア石巻モデル” (“The Miracle Ishinomaki Disaster Volunteer Model”).

Further information about this ongoing work can be found on the PBV website at

Alicia Kidd
Local currency research

In 2010, Alicia graduated from The University of Manchester with a BSocSc in Social Anthropology. She then worked as a researcher for ‘Act the Facts’, an educational scriptwriting company, before undertaking an internship with the British Council in New Delhi. Since then she has been travelling the world alone, making it to twelve countries across Asia and the South Pacific, stopping in a few places to do voluntary work. Her volunteering has included disaster relief in Japan after the 2011 tsunami, working in Thailand with young lesbians whose sexuality is widely unaccepted, and interning with an Indian company which helps to provide education to children growing up in slums. She has been writing about some of her experiences around the world, which have gone on to be printed in various publications including the JET handbook, the Peaceboat website and South East Asia Backpacker Magazine. She is currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she is a volunteer in a women’s refuge and an intern with South East Asia Backpacker Magazine.

Alicia blogs her thoughts and “worldwide wanderings” at bitecreamandbandages


Means of Exchange was made possible thanks to the kind support of friends at Little Fish.

Means of Exchange Limited is a company registered in the United Kingdom, number 08087355.

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Community Tweets

Ethan Zuckerman
Ethan Zuckerman said: My friend Ken Banks (@kiwanja) is publishing a memoir on his work on FrontlineSMS a critical piece of infrastructu… Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 06 Jul
kiwanja said: I've done many podcasts but this rates among the best produced and most fun. If you're interested in #careers with… Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 31 Mar
kiwanja said: Remembering a little piece of software I started writing exactly 15 years ago this week - and all the amazing thing… Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 25 Aug
Josh Halliday
Josh Halliday said: Mary from Kent in today’s Times 👏 Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 15 Aug
MoE said: Tweeted on 20 Jun
kiwanja said: If you see a job advert in #ICT4D #globaldev or whatever you want to call it hiring for a role covering Africa As… Retweeted by Means of Exchange Tweeted on 17 Jun