TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Jonathan Gosier

Jonathan Gosier

African tech entrepreneur

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Jonathan Gosier

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Founder, CEO, Director

Current Organizations:

metaLayer, Appfrica, Hive Colab, Apps4Africa


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Strata 2012: Jonathan Gosier, "Democratization of Data Platforms"

Strata 2012: Jonathan Gosier, "Democratization of Data Platforms"

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Jon Gosier: Radical Collaboration: Trading on Social Currency

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The Promise of Youth - European Zeitgeist 2011

60 percent of the world's population is now aged under 30, making youth the world's largest demographic. What impact is this having on society? In this session, young change-makers will converse with business leaders and opinion formers to share their experiences and discuss solutions to the challenges of tomorrow.

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04/01/2011 – present
metaLayer Inc. is making the world's information easier to understand, visualize and share. They do this with products that enable drag and drop data analysis, visual summary, and content discovery. An overwhelming amount of data is being created daily. This data is created through the collective actions of all web users, yet only a select few of them have the ability to draw meaningful conclusions. metaLayer makes it possible for anyone to draw insight from unstructured or real-time data sets. Users can then share these discoveries and the compelling visualizations they’ve created, within our community or with their own audience. metaLayer was founded in 2011 by two software developers who previously developed data validation tools during crisis events with Ushahidi as the developers of their SwiftRiver project.
Project Website »

12/01/2009 – 04/01/2011
SwiftRiver is an open source product that helps to verify the accuracy of information shared during crises events.
Project Website »

08/01/2008 – present
Appfrica helps NGOs and multinational firms get projects done using African talent.
Project Website »

02/01/2010 – present
Apps4Africa is a pan-African Annual Competition that rewards African technologists solving problems affecting local society. Winners are rewarded with cash prizes of up to $15,000 each to support their nascent companies or projects.
Project Website »


Jonathan Gosier is a software developer, designer and inventor working in various areas of data science. He is the Founder and Director of Product at MetaLayer.com which aims to make the world's information easier to understand, visualize, and share by making big data technologies simple through a drag and drop interface.

From 2009 to 2011 Jon served as Director of SwiftRiver at Ushahidi working on their open-source platform for drawing insight from real-time communication during crisis events. The SwiftRiver project was awarded the 2011 Knight News Challenge award for its potential to improve the data journalism and news gathering process.

In 2009 Jon spoke at TED in Oxford, UK about his company Appfrica and one of their projects which connected rural African villages with the internet through a call center and light infrastructure. The service, in collaboration with non-profit OpenMind, was called QuestionBox and allowed people with no access to the internet to ask questions and get timely, vetted answers.

Jon is also the organizer of the annual Apps4Africa competition which encourages African software developers to develop solutions to local problems. Apps4Africa invites middle school children to help solve the mobile challenges of the world's biggest companies, such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. While the companies own the IP, the children get gifts such as iPads, Nexus and Surface tablets. One workshop is somewhat less popular

In addition to TED, Jon has been invited to present at Strata, Tech@State, the Economist's Ideas Economy, Google Zeitgeist, Personal Democracy Forum and many other events. Links to his essays, articles about his work, presentation slides and videos can be found at his blog GosDot.com

Fun facts

Favorite meal:
I love all sea food, but my favorite tends to come from the raw bar. Oysters on the half shell, Lobster tail, shrimp cocktails....these are a few of my favorite things.

A funny story about me:
I have a horrible sense of direction and rely on my iPhone 100% to tell me the basic things...like how to cross the street.

Vital Stats

Fellows Class
TEDGlobal 2009
2010 TED Senior Fellow
Living in
Philadelphia, United States
Working in
Philadelphia, United States
Born in
Reston, United States


gosdot.com appfricalabs.com metalayer.com apps4africa.org

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