About Moving Windmills Project

Inspired by the work of William Kamkwamba, Moving Windmills Project was founded in 2008 to pursue rural economic development and education projects in Malawi, Africa.

Our motto is, “African Solutions to African Problems.” Rather than invest in top-down, externally imposed agendas, Moving Windmills works with local leaders to determine, organize and implement the appropriate solutions. Areas of focus include: food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, health, education, clean water and community building.

Tom Rielly

Founder, Executive Director and Board Member

Email: tom [at] movingwindmills.org

In addition to his work at Moving Windmills, Tom’s day job as TED’s Community Director includes managing the international TED Fellows program, which he created.

For his true vocation at TED, however, Tom hijacks the final session of the TED Conference for a whip-smart satire of all that year’s speakers. Tom skewers the egos, mocks the flights of fancy, and imagines a world where Al Gore tells him, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” Fearless and unfailingly funny, Tom’s lightning performances bring a flash of brilliance to the closing session and draw a standing ovation every time.

A lifelong performer, Tom found a second love in personal computing. Recognizing early the incredible power of Macs and the Web, Tom co-founded Yale’s Macintosh User Group in 1984, and later worked for SuperMac, Farallon and Voyager.

At TEDGlobal, Tom met our youngest TED Fellow, William Kamkwamba, whom he has mentored for the past two years. Rielly produced the Moving Windmills short film, with director/editors Ari Kushnir and Scott Thrift of m ss g p eces. Moving Windmills won Participant Media’s North American Filmmaker’s Award at the Pangea Day worldwide film festival. Currently, Tom is working to create a feature-length version of Moving Windmills.

Emeka Okafor

Board Member

Emeka Okafor is an entrepreneur and blogger. He served as Director of the TED Global Conference in 2007, titled Africa: The Next Chapter.

Emeka is passionately committed to the issues and ideas surrounding Africa’s future. As the founder and author of the publicly acclaimed blog Timbuktu Chronicles, Emeka shares stories of entrepreneurship, science and technology in Africa, by Africans. An additional blog, Africa Unchained, examines issues including governance, policy, education and institution-building on the Continent.

Emeka sits on the global advisory board for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE), an organization that seeks to advance youth entrepreneurship and community service around the world. SAGE emphasizes ethical business practices, social responsibility, civic engagement and environmental awareness.

Emeka also serves as Director of Research for the Direct Expatriate Nationals Investment initiative, a poverty-reduction and external resource mobilization program for countries that have received massive debt cancellation.

He is a founding member of the IPEGroup, a volunteer group that promotes the role of private enterprise and capital markets with the goal of catalyzing economic development and collaboration among international projects.

Emeka is a partner in Caranda Fine Foods, a line of gourmet, naturally harvested fair trade beverages developed and produced in several African countries and distributed globally.

Born in the Stoke-on-Trent, U.K., Emeka grew up in Canada and Nigeria. In 1987, he earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Nigeria. He lives and works in New York City.

Ben Nabors

Documentary Film Director and Producer

Email: ben [at] group-theory.net

Ben Nabors, founder of New York-based production company {group theory}, is a producer / director focused on documentaries, short narratives, and commercial storytelling.

In 2005, Ben served as Executive Producer to the Semi-Permanent Conference at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. This international, two-day creativity conference hosted thousands of designers and artists.

For two years, as Director of LVHRD, “a fight club for creatives” (Fast Company Magazine), Ben focused on live events and secret performances geared towards creative professionals in New York City. In addition to coordinating all live productions, Nabors oversaw the club’s media initiatives, including a weekly video series and quarterly magazine.

In 2007, Ben shifted to focus on film production. Since then, he has produced more than 50 short films and documentaries, including collaborations with entertainment leaders the TED Conferences, The Sundance Channel, music producer Chris Blackwell, Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister.

In late 2007, Ben produced the short film Moving Windmills, winner of the North American Filmmaker award at the Pangea Day film festival, and has contributed to the feature documentary project since then.

Non-profit status

Moving Windmills Project is a New York-based 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Copies of the IRS determination letter and/or certificate of incorporation are available upon request at info@movingwindmills.org. The Moving Windmills Project U.S. executive director and board members are volunteers. The participants in the documentary project are paid at non-profit rates, with the exception of the director, who is a volunteer. The country manager is a paid position. In Malawi, Moving Windmills Project may engage services of local individuals, companies and NGOs to execute projects.