I'm Gavin Chait, an economist, engineer, data scientist, sometime-traveller, and author.
Wherever I've gone, whether it be consulting with a township entrepreneur in a home assembled from corrugated iron sheets, rain dripping through holes in the roof, or training a roomful of young Nigerian men and women on using open data as a noisy generator keeps our computers running, I collect stories.
Sometimes those stories help me understand how better to improve opportunities for others, sometimes they end up in articles or new projects, and sometimes – when sufficient stories have filled my imagination – they become novels. The novels you will find on this site.
I have spent more than twenty years in economic development initiatives in Africa and Europe, and have led open- and research-data projects in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Europe, amongst other projects around the world.
Out of my economic development experience, I developed Pikhaya.com, a market intelligence web service to help entrepreneurs find new business opportunities in commercial properties all across England and Wales. I also produce a free-to-view weekly video blog called the Coffee Conspiracies where I use Pikhaya to identify business opportunities in different places in England and Wales. I travel to those places, film them, then come back and produce a 5 to 10 minute YouTube video of what I found there. Sometimes I find coffee shops.
Out of my travels, I've written two science fiction novels, “Lament for the fallen” which was published in July 2016, and “Our memory like dust” which comes out in July 2017, and I've produced thousands of feature articles.
Along the way, I've also interviewed very knowledgeable people, including CK Prahalad of "Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid", Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, Nobel Prize-winner Dr David Baltimore of California Institute of Technology, and Sir Chris Bonington, one of the world's most accomplished climbers.
I also drink a great deal of coffee. For preference, Ethiopian Harrar, but I’m happy with any well-balanced, medium-roasted single origin. I have both a Rancilio Silvia espresso machine and an Aeropress.
Now, let's go find some coffee.