I was fortunate enough to be part of the Connect ZA Creative Futures which brought 16 of the hottest digital, design, music, performance and visual arts creatives from across the globe gathering in the heart of Johannesburg (various venues and spaces around Braamfontein) for 3 days of creative exchanges, collaborations, talks, performances and parties.
We were given a visual experience tour of Johannesburg led by Future Sounds of Mzansi filmmaker Lebogang Rasethaba (@LebooRabaji). It was a great opportunity to engage in dialogue around the geography of Johannesburg and the way its people move through and interact with it as a space. For example, the Maboneng Precinct and the Drill Hall to mention a few.
Took part in industry and open public events …
There was discussion on ‘Business in the digital age’ touching on how digital has changed the way business is done today, digital marketing strategies, how creative entrepreneurs are adapting to the migration to digital, digital solutions to business challenges, and the importance of branding in the digital age.
There was also a discussion on the ‘Business of Fashion’. We explored and debated on what the essence of ZA fashion is, definitions and the reality of being a fashion entrepreneur, distribution of ZA fashion labels, the similarities and differences in the fashion industry across the globe – namely UK, Nigeria and ZA, and finally how fashion designers can accelerate efficient business practice.
On music we discussed new marketing strategies for music, music entrepreneurship, opportunities and threats of digital, and emerging DIY business models.
We even brainstormed in groups to solve common business challenges by sharing our experiences, ideas and worldviews about the marketplace.
We also took part in a fun Food Jam, a concept was started by Jade de Waal as an excuse to bring a group of friends together in her favourite place, the kitchen. Food Jams are social gatherings in which eating food is only half the fun! We, the participants, were paired up, and each team was given a portion of the meal to prepare and invited to follow the recipe and if ingredients ran out we were encouraged to improvise.
This obviously doesn’t capture the entire experience but at least it gives you a sneak peek into what I found to be a life changing experience with amazing people.