Muhammad Muwakil of Freetown Collective on What it Means to Be Free

‘I think that one of the greatest tragedies of the systematic stance is that it robs all of us of our imagination. So I find it particularly unimaginative when someone tells me that things are the way they are. Before there were airplanes people couldn’t fly, before there were lightbulbs there was no light … before there was there wasn’t … there only was because somebody dreamed it … so the power of our imagination is what takes us to where we want to go and we’ve used it for so many other things. We’ve used it to break the hold of gravity and go into space. You telling me that we can’t balance inequality on the earth…’

Muhammad Muwakil

This episode of A Correction was really special for me, as I chat with Muhammad Muwakil from Freetown Collective my favorite contemporary band, who just happens to also be from Trinidad and Tobago, the place I’ll always call home. I hope this will be the start of a series of episodes focusing on the arts as technology and that you draw some hope, courage and wisdom from this conversation.

Bob Marley sang … “when music hits you, you feel no pain”. The Caribbean has a new timeless musical sound, musical medicine, for our generation, coming from Freetown Collective in Trinidad and Tobago which resonates with the greats that came before. In this episode, I speak to Muhammad Muwakil, lead singer of Freetown Collective. The motto of Freetown Collective is ‘till everywhere is free’ and Muhammad is not afraid to tell the story of our times and encourage imagination, hope, love and justice through the poetry, science and technology of music in his own very unique and authentic way. Freetown Collective launched its first studio album Born in Darkness to critical acclaim in 2018. Their beautiful second studio album YAGO was released in 2020. He also starred in the 2013 film God Loves the Fighter. For the show, Muhammad brings his guitar along to grace us with two beautiful songs to start and end the show called Amen and Oshun.

Listen to the podcast on the A Correction website, Spotify, Apple Podcast and all other podcast platforms. Enjoy!

Sometimes I Forget Myself

There’s a mirror in the room.
Twice a day at it I zoom.
In the morning when I rise, and when I tell the day goodbye;
Reversing what is me, myself and I.

Sometimes I forget myself.

A miniaturised mirror in my pocket;
Beckons every minute.
Mirror mirror. I ask it. Who is fairest?
With no syllables and only mere awareness.

Sometimes I forget myself.

I create a luminous picture,
Perfected with sound conjecture.
Within which lurks ghosts reflecting upon me,
Wanting to break free.

Sometimes I forget myself.

Invisible, brushless, kaleidoscopes, linger in the mind of mine.
Different from the portrait of posts, art suspended in time.
With likes and commendations 🙂
Shock and condemnation 😦

Sometimes I forget myself.

Nothing I remembered;
Got lost in a train dismembered,
As memories popped in the absence
Of compiling, compelling evidence.

Sometimes I forget myself.

Left the contacts at home,
Then suffered from some strange syndrome.
Knew not where were friends and co.
So I went to and fro.

Sometimes I forget myself.

Is this knowing it, or is this knowing they?
Is this knowing just a maze from which I never truly stray?

Dr. George Tilesch on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work

In this interview I speak to Dr. George A. Tilesch about his new book BetweenBrains: Taking Back Our Future in the AI Age and his work on developing responsible AI. We discuss why citizens should be educated about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and have a say in its development. He explains how AI now affects our lives and will become entrenched in law and policy, even while we need more legal safeguards today. The importance of moving beyond narrow definitions of algorithmic bias to consider human influence at all stages of its development is also discussed. He explains how AI could rewire our brains and not just influence but dictate our behaviour. While there is not just an economic but a military race for AI development, New Zealand is one country that is applying Māori principles in the development of their AI. He also compares the Chinese, US and EU approach to AI, talks about AI and the environment and AI’s influence on the future of work.

Listen to the podcast on:

The A Correction Website


Apple Podcast

BetweenBrains: Taking Back Our Future in the AI Age
Dr. George A Tilesch

DR. GEORGE A. TILESCH is a senior global innovation and AI expert who is a conduit and trusted advisor between the US and EU ecosystems, specializing in AI Strategy, Ethics, Impact, Policy, and Governance. Most recently, he was Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer for Global Affairs at Ipsos, a global Top 3 research firm, where he led the Digital Impact & Governance research and advisory practice and coordinated AI thought leadership. His global senior executive and strategy consulting leadership track record span decades with government leaders worldwide; Microsoft and Fortune 50 Tech corporations; international organizations and global think tanks; startups/scaleups; and global social innovation leaders. A senior consultant and frequent keynote speaker at major innovation conferences and a guest lecturer at US and EU universities, George is leading an AI Policy Working Group for Club De Madrid-World Leadership Alliance on AI, Trust & Democracy and is involved in multiple World Economic Forum Experts Groups, designing AI government strategy, and AI regulatory frameworks.

Dr. Logan D. A. Williams on Innovation By and For Marginalized People

‘It has to start with a belief in yourself … ‘in terms of structural support I really think that we should start moving away from the deficit model of understanding marginalised groups ability to innovate … instead we start from the understanding that everyone is an innovator and then provide them the resources to make their innovations come to fruition’

Dr. Logan D. A. Williams – A Correction. A Podcast

In this episode of A Correction podcast I spoke to Dr. Logan Williams about her research explaining how India and Nepal leads in providing eye surgery for cataracts which if left untreated causes blindness. She explains the way organisations are leading through ‘innovation from below’ and are helping marginalised people and in rural areas to have this important surgery. This research and innovation has spread around the world, including in the USA, Mexico, South East Asia, Africa, Finland and North Korea, and they now train medical practitioners in these countries to perform the surgery in their own countries too. The importance of women in the development of this eye surgery innovation is also discussed. Williams also speaks about her work helping companies and researchers to design inclusive technology and deal with what Ruha Benjamin calls ‘default discrimination’. She also explains how the arts and science connect and discusses Afrofuturism. Listen to the podcast on the A Correction website or on Apple podcast. It’s also available on Spotify and all the usual podcast platforms.

Dr. Logan D. A. Williams

About Dr. Logan D. A. Williams

Logan D. A. Williams teaches the capstone course for the Science, Technology and Society Scholars Program and a course on engineering ethics for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland. Previously, at Michigan State University, she taught “Introduction to History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science” in Lyman Briggs College (also a living–learning community) and a graduate course, “Qualitative Field Methods,” in the Department of Sociology. In the classroom, Williams uses evidence-based techniques that enhance students’ ability to communicate professionally, conduct research and analyze findings.

Topically, Williams studies health and information technology; however, her broad research interests are: responsible research, inclusive design, gendered innovation, innovation from below, technology transfer, technology users/non-users, and technology governance. She organizes the knowledge from the margins scholarly network and, in 2015, organized a conference by the same name, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her doctorate in science and technology studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute involved multi-sited research in North America, Africa and Asia funded by NSF, Council of American Overseas Research Centers, Rensselaer, and Council of Women World Leaders.


Eradicating Blindness

Dr. Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu on Indigenous Knowledge, Education, Innovation and Community in Africa

‘When we talk about indigenous knowledge it is not just about Africans trying to feel important in the world, it is just about humanity. No civilisation is an island and once one civilisation is being short-changed or put down then the resources within that civilisation will be lost and not just lost by that civilisation … the whole world will lose as a result of it’

Dr. Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu – A Correction. A Podcast

In this episode of A Correction, I interview Dr. Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu about some of the many types of indigenous knowledge, innovations and inventions that exist in countries throughout Africa, such as in medicine and agriculture. We also talk about gradually changing mind-sets on the continent as local knowledge and innovations become more valued as in the past. We discuss why it is important for countries dependent on resources from overseas to use local resources instead of depending on international aid. For example, she gives the example of the overwhelming success of an irrigation method for agriculture using indigenous methods in Niger Republic, when compared to a World Bank funded project. Indigenous knowledge and education, she explains, can revolutionalise African innovation and forward African progress, but also for the world. She also gives her insight on the importance of indigenous education and language as technologies that can support innovation and community on the continent. The importance of moving from economic determinism, and moving towards human connection, mutual respect, compassion and communal practices is also emphasised.

Listen to this episode on the A Correction podcast website or on Apple Podcasts. It’s also available on Spotify and all the usual podcast platforms.

An interconnected historical side note – It is worth noting that the first inoculation (the act of introducing a vaccine (pathogen or antigen) into a living organism to stimulate the production of antibodies) was brought to the attention of the Western world in 1721 by an enslaved African in Boston by the name of Onesimus, probably from West Africa, who taught the vaccination principle and procedure to a very reluctant and suspicious master, who at first had a difficult time convincing others to use it.

Smallpox is estimated to have been the cause of 10% of all deaths in the 20th century (an estimated 300-500 million deaths). (Read: Disease Eradication: What Does It Take to Wipe out a Disease?)

Onesimus‘ principle and procedure was eventually used to vaccinate everyone saving generations from smallpox.

In 1980 Smallpox became the first of only two infectious diseases so far (the second is  rinderpest) to be completely wiped out because of international immunisation.

This underlies the development of modern vaccinations, which have protected over 1 billion people today.

Africans that were enslaved throughout the Americas brought with them African medical practices and knowledge (Read African American Slave Medicine of the 19th Century).

About Dr. Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu

Dr. Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu is the author of Indigenous Knowledge and Education in Africa (An open access publication). A researcher, teacher, non-fiction and fiction writer, and a public intellectual, Chika holds a Ph.D. in African Development and Policy Studies from Howard University in Washington D.C. Chika has worked as a consultant for the World Bank on education and sustainable land management in Africa. Among her other research works include an International Development Research Center (IDRC) Canada commissioned project on utilizing indigenous technology to create employment for women in rural areas in Rwanda. Chika has conducted research for such organizations as the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). Dr. Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu is presently a managing partner with African Child Press in addition to her role as a visiting faculty of the University of Rwanda, College of Business and Economics.

Interview with Prof. Ron Eglash: African Fractals, Indigenous Knowledge, Modern Computing, AI, Generative Justice

‘It is not far-fetched to see a historical path for base 2 calculations that begins with African divination, runs through the geomancy of European alchemists and is finally translated into binary calculation, where it is now applied into every digital circuit from alarm clocks to super computers’

Prof. Ron Eglash

African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design (1999)

Ron Eglash
Professor Ron Eglash

I am so excited to let you know about the first in a series of podcasts focusing on interdisciplinary Science and Technology that I am doing for A Correction, as a new co-host. In this first podcast, I interview Professor Ron Eglash on African Fractals and the African origins of modern computing, the importance of education that is multicultural and goes beyond disciplinary boundaries, moving from an economy based on extraction to one based on generative principles, indigenous informed Artificial Intelligence and understanding consciousness through African influenced music and other fascinating areas of research.

For those of you who have been following my writing, his book African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design influenced one of my poems/prose: Simulation: Welcome to our World. It was great to be able to speak to him about his very important, informative, exciting, and groundbreaking research. You can listen to the podcast on the A Correction website or on Apple Podcasts: Ron Eglash on African Fractals and Generative Justice. It’s also available on Spotify and all the usual podcast platforms.

Professor Ron Eglash’s groundbreaking research on African Fractals revealed the African roots of modern computing, which was otherwise largely hidden. His TED Talk on the subject has had more than 1.7 million views and has inspired innovations in architecture, arts, literature, and education. He created a new discipline called ethnocomputing and today supports a suite of online simulations called Culturally Situated Design Tools, which have been used in American schools and internationally to allow students to learn math and computing through what he calls “heritage algorithms”. His most recent work on “Generative Justice,” develops an alternative economic theory based on indigenous principles. His educational background includes a BS in cybernetics, MS in Systems Engineering, and a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness. He is currently a Professor with appointments in both the School of Information and in the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.

Image courtesy Luanne Cadd

Co-hosting A Correction: A Podcast & Interview on Digital Platforms and Entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago

I recently joined as Co-host for A Correction, a podcast I have been listening to since the very first episode aired in 2016! On the podcast a range of individuals with expert knowledge on subjects related to the political economy are interviewed giving new insight on links between current events and economics. It does so in a way that is accessible and encourages deeper, critical thinking on the way our local and global economy is organised.

I will be discussing topics linking science and technology and the political economy and indigenous and global south perspectives. To kick things off I was interviewed on how digital platforms have influenced entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago. You can listen here. Do subscribe, listen, and review. It is also available on Apple podcast, Spotify and all the usual podcast platforms.

Digital Platforms and Entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago: Examining the Complexities of Technology Affordances and Constraints

This is a report on my Web Science PhD thesis ‘Digital Platforms and Entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago: An examination of their Relationships using Technology Affordances and Constraints’. It summarises the findings and provides recommendations to entrepreneurs and policymakers supporting entrepreneurs. I adopted an interdisciplinary approach by integrating computer science, and social science (including business, and economic geography) concepts. I also developed a methodology to help reveal how complex technological, socio-cultural, historical, political, economic, and infrastructure factors connect to influence our interconnected societies. The executive summary from the report is provided below, and the full report can be accessed here: The Influence of Digital Platforms on Entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago: Examining the Complexities of Technology Affordances and Constraints

network diagram 2

The Influence of Digital Platforms on Entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago: Examining the Complexities of Technology Affordances and Constraints –  Report: Findings and Recommendations


Digital platforms which are used by entrepreneurs globally have changed the way many Trinidad and Tobago entrepreneurs interact. However, while it is commonly accepted that digital platforms change the processes and practices of entrepreneurs, their influence on entrepreneurship is insufficiently examined and understood. At the time of this research, the COVID-19 global pandemic was not yet a reality and the prospect of living and working in a physically distanced world was not on our radar. With an anticipated rise in unemployment, and higher dependence on digital technology, and e-commerce, understanding the best way to develop and use digital platforms for entrepreneurship locally is now critical. This research is timely as it asks questions about the influence of digital platforms on entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago and provides insights that can inform the development of frameworks to support and grow e-commerce ecosystems and initiatives. The problem is that existing research tends to focus on developed countries and high-growth entrepreneurship, and this leaves a gap in our understanding of low-growth entrepreneurship, which represents most entrepreneurial activity. Trinidad and Tobago is classified as a high-income country by the World Bank, ranked above average on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), a measure of human development using indicators such as life expectancy, health, knowledge, and standard of living, yet is continuously categorised as a developing state by the United Nations. Notably, the country is attempting to diversify its oil and gas economy through supporting entrepreneurship.

The study began with a pilot study followed by interviews and focus groups with entrepreneurs and entrepreneur stakeholders and the use of secondary data. Platforms used by entrepreneurs in the study are diverse and include multifaceted social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube), messaging platforms (such as WhatsApp) e-commerce platforms (such as Amazon, Shopify), gig-economy platforms (such as Uber), payment platforms (such as PayPal) and e-learning platforms (such as FutureLearn). Locally created platforms are also studied. The research provides insight into a country with low levels of high-growth entrepreneurship but high levels of opportunity-driven entrepreneurship, and relatively good levels of internet access, and telecommunications infrastructure. It sheds light on entrepreneurship in a twin-island state, and a multi-cultural society, with a distinctive creative sector and an informal, fragmented entrepreneurial ecosystem. Its major findings highlight the extent to which historical socio-economic, and cultural forces comprise both drivers and barriers to entrepreneurial activities and outcomes in Trinidad and Tobago.  It concludes that increased visibility on digital platforms and online collaboration are helpful but insufficient because offline social interaction and networks are essential for entrepreneurs. Importantly, as well, the research examines the merits and limits of digital communication and online learning, and unpacks the potential for the development of locally created digital platforms and services when entrepreneurs tap into deep-seated local culture and historical knowledge about the environment within which they operate and make the best use of resources available.

The study also examines why online payment has had limited success for local entrepreneurs, while a billion dollars of goods are bought overseas online annually in Trinidad and Tobago. It explores the difficulties entrepreneurs face with copying, distraction and manipulation even though benefiting from the visibility, ease and speed that come with digital platform use. It found that when entrepreneurs use digital platforms, the benefits gained are in tension with platform rules that continuously change creating uncertainty, unpredictability and risk. Technology affordances and constraints, vary by degree, coexist and intertwine with culture, social norms and historically situated economic structures to both support and limit the potential for entrepreneurs to use digital platforms and capitalise on their benefits.  This report summarises the research and provides recommendations to the Trinidad and Tobago government which should help them to understand the influence and limits of digital platforms as they seek to support and grow entrepreneurship in general and e-commerce in particular. For entrepreneurs, it provides recommendations that allow for a deeper understanding of how they may use and create digital platforms successfully.


Alone, To Dance We Must Still Dare

A deafening silence is filling our well of discontent.

Desperate, newsfeeds languish without laughter

‘Cause the ground has been grasped from beneath our feet,

So we yield and to Mercy, we beg

As furious, speedy spirals dizzy us,

Yet limbs, fingers and toes invisibly tangle to show what we share.

We isolate under the phones on our heads

And so still we meet.

Our musical tongue confesses

The volume in our homes we pump.


To dance, we must still dare.


In these uncertain times here are some songs from all around the world to consciously inform, inspire, and uplift as we wait for the world’s storm to end. I pray we awaken from the wreckage, spirited to new meaning and inner sunshine, for one and most importantly for all. 

Spotify Playlist – Consciously Uplifting in Quarantine

YouTube Playlist – Consciously Uplifting in Quarantine