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Jonathan Kalan
Jonathan Kalan, Founder of The (BoP) Project, is an award-winning photographer and journalist specializing in innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, he has traveled to over 50 countries and collaborated with NGO’s, social enterprises, technology start ups, and media companies.

His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC, Al Jazeera The Financial Times, The Boston Globe,, The Toronto Star, The Huffington Post, Think Africa Press, Global Post,, The Christian Science Monitor,, and others.

He is a columnist for BBC Future 'Matter of Life & Tech', a contributor to Wamda, Sanbox Network's Nairobi co-ambassador, a Staff Writer for, and a Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards 2011 Finalist. Before moving to Africa in 2010, Jonathan was managing the Mobile Fundraising and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives for Causecast, where he launched the Cause Integration blog. He has presented at conferences across the U.S. from Yale University to NTen, and taught a seminar on strategic visual communications for social entrepreneurship for Columbia University in Amman, Jordan.

Jonathan is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. He can be reached here.

Blog Entries by Jonathan Kalan

7 Tips for Aspiring Young Freelancers

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 11:53 AM

Every week I receive emails from young aspiring journalists or photographers in the U.S., asking me to offer tips and advice on "how I made it" in Africa.

First of all, I definitely wouldn't say I've "made it." Yes, perhaps I'm slowly on my way -- I write a column...

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A Photo Journey Through Malawi: Stumbling Toward The Millennium Development Goals

(4) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 9:00 AM

As Malawi -- a devastatingly poor and donor-driven country of 15 million tucked into the eastern coast of Africa -- stumbles its way towards the Millennium Development Goals, at least one thing is certain: Malawi has made significant strides in the last decade toward meeting many of its MDG goals...

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The Jumping Point -- An African Social Enterprise Safari

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 4:07 PM

Wildebeests aren't the only things migrating across the plains of the Serengeti this season.

Summer's arrived in America, Kenya's long rainy season has finally come to an end, and as predictable as the seasons the annual migration of young American expatriates into and out of Africa is well under way....

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Don't Fear the Unknown -- Seek the Reality Behind It!

(5) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 9:00 AM

"Aren't you scared?" people often ask me. Or, more bluntly, "Are you f*cking nuts?"

By many people's standards, I travel to so-called dangerous places by seemingly "unsafe" means. Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by bus, boat, and motorcycle. Or 14,000 kilometers across east Africa by public transportation, typically...

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Why the 'Hipster' Generation-Y Africa Movement Must Evolve

(10) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 10:00 AM

We are getting old. We, the college youth of the mid-to-late-noughties who rallied with, camped out for, and through our collective voice and energy built Invisible Children into the explosive movement it became.

We, who at the height of our youthful idealism, energetically trailed nonprofits...

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Under 30, Inspired, and Kicking Ass

(4) Comments | Posted January 20, 2012 | 2:00 PM

They move across the globe, tethered to nothing but the glow of a MacBook Pro, a weathered smart phone, a steaming latte (or the local equivalent of), a dozen SIM cards lost in a leather-strapped shoulder bag, a loaded passport, and a hunger for change in their eyes.


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Africa Not Fit For Print; The 'Light' Side Of The 'Dark' Continent

(19) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 8:00 AM

A Chinese, Latin American, and North American student are sitting in a classroom. The teacher pulls out a map of Africa, and asks 'tell me what you see". The Chinese student speaks of opportunity and business; South African steel, Congolese minerals, and Angolan oil to power his country's growth, and...

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Potential, Poverty, Politics & Parties: Why Kenya Attracts America's Best & Brightest Young Social Entrepreneurs

(12) Comments | Posted September 20, 2011 | 12:01 PM

They flock from America's top universities, grad programs and consulting firms to the pulsing heart of a new Africa. From glass towers and Ivied halls to cramped garages, cooperative work hubs, and overflowing makeshift live/workspaces, these young, talented and driven entrepreneurs are riding a new wave of social enterprises, crash...

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Wasted Food in a Famine: the Real Tragedy

(4) Comments | Posted August 10, 2011 | 3:01 PM

East Africa is facing a massive tragedy. And here's the thing; severe drought is only the half of it.

While severely malnourished Somalis are fleeing across the Kenyan boarder to escape famine (and persecution), an estimated 3.7 million Kenyans in the northern regions of the country are starving and in...

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Empowerment Trade in Rwanda

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 4:21 PM

How three young, ex-corporate lawyers from the U.S. are giving women artisans in Rwanda new opportunities through fair trade partnerships.

Lawyers, especially those from the corporate finance world, are typically not known for being bleeding heart humanitarians. Yet, what happens when they decide they want to change the world?...

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