There’s a Time for Nationalism

All and sundry know that I describe myself as a Pan-African Globalist. I am from Johannesburg, have a calling to the future of African leadership and have a love for understanding global cultural contexts, its accompanying beauty and pain and with a deep love for Ireland and Brazil. But today I am South African!Hub Johannesburg …

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Portfolio Career…. err, what do you do?!

I’ve been ruined by my first job. Well, technically it was the only “real” job I’ve ever had. This lasted from the ages of 22 – 25 before I went part-time at said job then freelancing. I did an undergrad of B.Com (Industrial Psychology) but never went on to become an Industrial Psychologist. It was …

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Community approach to raising finance – going beyond institutions

A few years ago I first stumbled on the idea of the everyday man investing in a production for Tim Greene’s movie Boy called Twist set in the Western Cape. This was in 2004 and the sophisticated term “crowdfunding was not used then. For R1000 (about €100) you could have your name credited as an associate producer. It’s not your ordinary donation as it has a reward and I thought cool, even I could do that!

I was also excited because I saw an opportunity for the public to vote for the content they would like to see at their local cinema. Not to simply accept the international exports that we are fed. Above all, it symbolized the strength of the community for contributing in something that we believe in. Something tangible, with feedback on results that’s often more reliable than our questionable X that we mark every four years.

I was equally impressed last year by my friend Rosie Motene and her crew for crowdfunding the movie Man on Ground, a high quality production that raises awareness around xenophobia.

But the story of crowdfunding is not limited to the movies. People have crowdfunded for surgical operations, building a house, inventions, you name it! At the heart of it is people contributing to changing the status quo of something that they are passionate about. This is what I call active citizenship.

What differentiates it from charity for me is the fact that these projects will have longer viability beyond the contribution or the once-off need would have been met and hey, you may even get a reward!

As an entrepreneur working in the space of building resilient and cohesive communities, this is a clear signal on where local (and international) energy resides. Money may be one form of energy, but people generally spend where their priority lies. You will then know how viable or relevant your offering is right now.

So perhaps this is the new way of financing our collective dreams; each one giving a little and culminating into momentous possibility.

See Hub Johanneburg’s website for more information on crowdfunding and keep an eye out for the campaign soon to be launched to relocate the community. 

The Paradigm Shift

I woke up after 4am this morning with these words booming in my head… It’s not about maintaining the status quo. It’s not about smoothing things over. It’s not about ticking boxes of compliance and patting yourself on the back. To create large-scale change, some systems may need to be disrupted. It means going to …

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Going West: US & Holland

Stepping out allows one to gain perspective; that is why it is good to travel. I spent 6 weeks of this year traveling across the United States and The Netherlands. Experiencing the different sights, smells, textures of cultures and approach of doing business. By the time I departed from the USA I felt like my …

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Stories from the Land: Lesotho

Someone once told me that once you’ve heard someone’s story then you become part of it. Once you’re part of someone’s story, you cannot go to war with him or her. This past week brought with it the emersion of a few people’s stories. The stories of people, the stories of African land. My story …

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Spreading the bubble: urban regeneration

The topic of urban regeneration has fascinated me for a long time. I have been taking groups to Johannesburg’s inner city for a few years now to explore all sorts of themes ranging from social innovation, entrepreneurship, low-tech solutions, culture, the second economy etc. Being an unofficial self-proclaimed urban ambassador for the city, I decided …

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Rembering Purpose

This morning I came across the 1907 George Bernard Shaw quote ‘The greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty’. While I have read it on numerous occasions, this coupled with reflections of resent occurrences has struck a particular chord with me. South Africa this year has hosted a highly successful 2010 Football …

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