At the heart of global disruption in technology and innovation are young people who are changing the narrative. Notable of such pacesetters, is 21-year-old tech genius, Idris Sandu.
For young Sandu, technology is not a far-off complexity, he desires to make it accessible and relevant by rooting it in trendiness and contemporary culture. Born by Ghanaian parents, his strides in innovation started as young as 13, when he got an internship to work at Google.
That was before he taught himself to learn "every single programming language" in the space of two years in the abandoned corners of a public library. After working on some of Google's most successful products including the commencing faces of Blogger and Google Plus, Idris wanted to directly impact his community by creating technology he believed could effect change immediately. With such relentlessness of will, he became the only high school student in California at the time, to write a complete application which would assist his peers in navigating their way to classes, an achievement that would lead him to meeting President Obama and receive a presidential award
In his typical unorthodox fashion, Idris worked on building ground breaking codes for Instagram, Uber and SnapChat before 19, from algorithms to help connect relevant content to users per their geographical location to self-driving technology.
The self-proclaimed "architect" is passionate about the power of information especially in the hands of people in black communities who could leverage knowledge to grow and create at astronomical levels but have been disadvantaged by lack of access. He is working on bridging this gap by collaborating with communities to establish STEM programs for disadvantaged children and plans to extend his reach to Africa this year in Nigeria and Ghana.
Idris credits his resilience and pursuit of ingenuity to notable African figures like Ghana's Nkrumah and Kofi Annan and Fela Kuti, who is recognized globally as a pioneering force in the now commercially viable afro-beat sound. Bent on carving his own path, Idris has also reportedly declined MIT twice.
In collaboration with famous hip hop artist Nipsey Hussle, the duo has collaborated to implement the world's "first smart store", The Marathon Clothing, which is an intersection of the young genius' brilliance and the influence of the rapper to creating an immersive technological experience to fashion.
Idris is undoubtedly a cultural icon using his influence to motivate the growing generation to tap into their wokeness and create change without having to give up the coolness of youthfulness. He is currently working as technical lead consultant for Kanye West amongst other popular names in hip hop to influence the consumption of information through the excitement of augmented reality and other technologies.