Hear from Ryan Sturgill, the former director of Gaza Sky Geeks, on the realities of running a tech hub in an occupied territory and the power of learning not to take 'no' for an answer.
Palestine is a country too often associated with conflict. Home to the world’s longest-running occupation, headlines from the region tell a story of poverty, unemployment and violence. But one organisation wants to change the narrative.
Gaza Sky Geeks is a startup incubator and accelerator that also houses Palestine's first full stack coding academy. Founded in 2011 by Mercy Corps, with seed funding from Google, Gaza Sky Geeks hopes to seed a digital economy that can sidestep trade and border restrictions and unlock new opportunities for Gazan youth.
Ryan Sturgill joined Gaza Sky Geeks as director in 2015, before leaving in May 2021. In this episode, he looks back over six years of running a tech startup in an occupied territory, sharing the lessons he's learned, the power of Palestinian hustle, and the challenges that lie ahead for his successor.
For more on Gaza Sky Geeks visit their website, or follow them at @GazaSkyGeeks.
Note: this interview was recorded in April 2021, before the conflict in June which killed more than 250 people in Gaza and over a dozen in Israel, and destroyed thousands of homes.
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