Dr Eric Schmidt is undoubtedly one of the most powerful men on the planet. He took time from his busy schedule to speak to Strathmore University students about Technology and Innovation.

“Innovation is that which is able to solve problems” he said while speaking to 600 people on Monday 14 January.

In today’s day and age, we are all looking for answers to common problems. Technology is, according to Dr Schmidt, the answer we all seek. Sectors such as health and education have been revolutionised by the advent of technology and the ball is still rolling. He said that we need to stop being content with solving problems on a small scale and broaden our horizons. Schmidt gave an example while answering a question from a student: “Think of the development of Amazon.com – the largest online library.” Something like this was previously unthinkable.

This was a great day for the pioneer class of the Strathmore Law School and its Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT), who hosted Schmidt. As lawyers, we need to expand our field of vision and think of solving problems on a large scale. Think big.

“I see a lot of talent in Kenya, also kindness and an unusual interest for education,” Schmidt said. “This is amazing. Education will change this country and innovative technology is there to help this change come faster, cheaper and deeper.”

When asked to share his thoughts on the Internet as a whole and its future, Dr Schmidt said, I see a time when the Internet will become like water or electricity. People will be so accustomed to it that they can’t imagine life without it. Utopic? Perhaps. Revolutionary? Definitely.

Dr Eric Schmidt was Google’s CEO in 2001-2011, where he oversaw the growth of the company into a tech giant that has been consistently growing on average USD 50 million per day since its incorporation in 1997. Google has without doubt revolutionised access to information and propelled the internet age to a new level.

Eric Schmidt is now the Executive Chairman and dedicates most of his energies to building partnerships and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership, as well as advising the CEO and senior leadership on business and policy issues.

Schmidt graduated as an Electrical Engineer from Princeton University and then proceeded to theUniversity of California, Berkeley, where he earned an MS for designing and implementing a network linking the campus computer center with the CS and EECS departments. There, he also earned a PhD in 1982 in EECS, with a dissertation about the problems of managing distributed software development, and tools for solving these problems. He has taught strategic management at Stanford Graduate School of Business in the 2000s.