Adam Talsma

Regional Director for Africa

Adam founded and directs Reboot’s Africa practice. Based in Abuja, he oversees Reboot’s portfolio of work, strategic partnerships, and business operations on the continent. Adam has experience designing and implementing innovative programs in 14 countries globally, with deep experience in some of the most challenging development contexts.

Adam is an expert in building local organizational capacity in research and design, and directing the implementation of effective programs with leading international partners. He applies a deep, multidisciplinary understanding of design and innovation processes to the the development of strategies, programs, and services that get at the roots of development issues in challenging governance contexts. He has led teams that have informed the investments of leading organizations such as the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, and the Omidyar Network and supported the growth of innovative local organizations such as the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism, Connected Development, NigeriaInfo, and The Institute for Social Accountability.

Prior to Reboot, Adam was a design consultant for social businesses in India and the USA, fostering sustainable, community-driven approaches to organizational and product design. At Waste Ventures, he designed a complete product ecosystem, including a new fleet of household waste collection carts, to facilitate waste management service delivery in urban slums. With SELCO, he established India’s first prototyping lab focused on co-creation and fabrication for low-income urban communities.

Earlier, Adam co-founded People’s Action for Clean Hands, a non-profit organization in Agra, India that designs and manufactures affordable hygienic products. He also led Escuchen, a two-year participatory media project documenting feedback communication systems between relief organizations and disaster-affected communities in post-earthquake Peru.

Adam is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he focused on civil and environmental engineering, urban planning, and international affairs. His interest in global development can be traced back to growing up in Nigeria and Guatemala. He speaks Spanish and conversational Hindi. If you’re nice to him, he might even sing you an Ekajuk song or two.

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