#Planning Week 34

My favourite thing about time is its application towards self-evolution. Time, in my opinion, is one of humanity’s favourite tools.

I haven’t made much use of it. Mainly because my life flows through it. Time almost seems irrelevant. This aimlessness lets me keep my options open. I could settle for this ride, drift through the days with just enough impact in the (global) to feel like I’ve made a difference. I crave better results though.

Flying into week 34 of 2017, my mind connects the dots from the past week. The past that decides my week ahead.

Goal Setting

Achievements drive me. The rewarding feeling of having accomplished something gives me life. It swells within me and expands outward in the form of confidence and certainty. Amongst other qualities.

But are there achievements that bring more pleasure than others? Before I delve into the meaning of existence, I’ll whittle this question down to a short answer. The highest good is achieving a collective goal…right?

More accurately, contributing towards achieving a collective goal.

How? By fulfilling individual goals…

Therefore, the task is to align individualistic goals with the collective goals. What are the collective goals? They’re easy to find, aren’t they? They carry the morals that our species have contrived over the thousands of years that we’ve been conscious on this planet.

In this epoch, I would have to go with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Goals
Global Sustainable Development Goals

They seem like worthy goals to include in career development, right? My experience with the communities that I’ve worked with makes me wonder otherwise. I do feel like I’m naive to even think that the majority of the people that I serve even know what the SDGs are.

Maybe I should focus on something more local?

The National Development Plan perhaps?

The link goes to Brandsouthafrica because I’ve had to listen to people talk about the credibility of the South African government. Maybe this organisation has more agency? I don’t know.

The point is to understand the context of larger goals that our system is working towards.

Aligning personal goals with these goals should, in theory, speed up the process of achieving the collective goals. By that logic, my daily activities (the ones that further my career) should be informed by goals and strategies that already exist.

Correct?

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Weekend brief #Week30

Another cycle comes to an end. The 30th week of 2017 has brought insight and surprise into my life. Digesting the events this weekend will be fun. Imaginations are getting ready for take off!

I’ve logged some hours with the communities that I’m working with and I’m doing my best not to pick a favourite but alas, this was decided long before I even began, featured picture).

govt avenue table mnt
A central garden with charm

I’ve decided to the deem the rest of the communities as peripheral communities. These peripheral communities are built on the community that I have grown to love and appreciate. The vibrant ecosystem that gives Cape Town its world class beauty.

This week, I’ve noticed this beauty fold into different dimensions. Emerging in the people that have made their homes here. Of course, in the harsh terrain that most of the communities have cultivated for themselves, the rarity of human beauty is a little saddening.

Thankfully, the revolution is well underway. Cultures are mixing and mingling. Mindsets are changing as their owners feel the impact of their choices. Political leaders dig their own graves and push individuals into radical states. Communities tying events together in increasingly autonomous ways.

golden acre clock
Complexity in each community

I’m intrigued by the sheer force that this city (Cape Town) has. The individuals that trigger the mechanisms may or may not be oblivious to their contribution but the physical structures make it plain for any African to see. Especially if they’re from a small town, like me.

So this weekend, as I think about learning styles, I’ll also be thinking about the rate of integration in local communities.

The golden miles in #GoldenArrow

I was making my way to the Cape Flats, passing faces, work bound. Staring into the vivid abyss, wondering if anyone had a phone charger. The crowd was silent.

I needed to charge my phone. Badly. I'd missed the opportunity earlier, that was a blunder. My mood was dropping as I gazed at the sky. I considered using airplane mode to pass the time.

What I would do for some electricity! You never miss the spark until its gone, they say.

Everything just felt off, could I manage without my music? Maybe sing along from my memory?

Then this happened, just when I needed you.

Photo Jul 25, 10 36 53 A seat usbM

Inception Connection

The transit system being a marvel on its own, I was blown away by the added level off connectivity that the Golden Arrow buses were getting. Being able to stay connected to my work and family with free electricity meant the world to me.

2 usb ports

 

 

From then, my day went as smoothly as electricity from an eel. I gazed upon slightly imposing wonders of nature. Sat with leaders of the future and discussed their way forward. Pondered the strategies applied by economists of yesteryear, guffawed. Discussed solutions to the education system with parents, their miniatures in tow. Rummaged through book donations to find an anthropology textbook beckoning from the chaos.

Travelled great distances through flat communities.

Cape Town's development signals its ability to handle the pressure of African politics. A little too well, in fact. The Cape Flats residents my tout a lack of consideration from the city but with this view, adjustments to that argument must be made.

table mountain 25 jul

 

Sure, the reminders of the city's rulers hover over the daily (and nightly) activities but hey, at least the buses are connected. That's something, right #Zille?

kind edward 7

 

To-do list

Organising my life seems like a reasonable request to make if I plan on creating the impact I would like to.

Since I plan on spending more time alone, I need to make sure that the outside is balanced enough to thrive. I feel that the external environment needs to thrive so that my own environment (of my own creation) can be sustained with greater integrity.

I want a secure system throughout.

In the meantime, these are the things that I’d like to do with my short little life:

  1. Upgrade my tie collection
  2. Engage my body to its fullest…
  3. Recreating this experience virtually
  4. Ignore the naysayers constantly plaguing me with their diseased imaginations
  5. Fully integrate my body with this planets information logs (my ‘junk’ DNA’ and its secrets await)
  6. Fully engage my excitement more often, despite being told to shut up about my dreams
  7. Be beautiful
  8. Be me

I keep meaning to write ‘How to’ articles about becoming an entrepreneur. Becoming an entrepreneur should help me achieve some of my many goals at a faster pace.

I have realised that the world is changing at a faster pace and I guess I’m taking this added lift to increase the rate of innovation within my own self..

I am an artist, after all.

I’m gathering material for a masterpiece that lives within my self. A constantly living artwork that feeds off my experiences and perspectives.

This mosaic in my mind is my world view.

It is the being that I am, here on Earth.

It is beautiful.

 

@FineMusicRadio talks Business Trends

I enjoy listening to Fine Music Radio, the station plays quality music that keeps me coming back for more. The gem though, is the accessible business discourse hosted daily (week) by Lindsey Williams from 6pm-7pm…

Improving my vocabulary and giving me a window into the investment world, Fine Business Radio connects the South African business world to local entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to get their feet wet.

Today’s (Wednesday 28 June) episode brought these business trends from the station to my understanding. Doris Viljoen, a Futurist here in Cape Town was on air with Lindsey, engagingly sharing her take on the following developments.

Niche Tourism

Culinary, Scenery, Cultural and other types of individualized tourism gigs are explorative business opportunities for Cape Town’s more outgoing/inviting entrepreneurs. Being willing and able to share fragments of your life with researchers/explorers/artists from different countries involves trust and a certain kind of pride in ones identity. Niche tourism might just bring out the best in the ones who are willing to perform.

The conversation moved to Cape Town’s commendable coffee culture, which has been a lovely perk from the city 🙂

New Customer

Customers expecting personalised services from their suppliers is becoming normal. The tedium of form-filling, long-winded descriptions of their needs are becoming a thing of past. I wonder if local businesses are equipped to deal with big data analysis (corporate intuition)…

Communication preferences are worth paying attention to if suppliers want to retain/grow their market share.

Workation

Being a resort city, one would expect to have vacationing professionals make the most of their holiday time by squeezing in some productivity as well. Lindsey mentioned the development of support structures for professionals in the city, like fast, reliable Wi-Fi.

I think that the city is open for business. Incredibly well resourced libraries and hot-spots in strategic locations can be found and made use of…if you’re willing to put up with excessive public contact.

Sustainability

Referring to the entire supply chain and the design process, this trend focuses on making the most of every available resource. An example of this is sharing empty offices and other kinds of infrastructure/equipment while they’re not being used by the primary user.

Waste-not, want-not might be an old adage but it definitely has a new age chime to it. This trend has been around for a while and as Southern Africa becomes accustomed to efficient resource management, I’m curious to uncover the different innovative processes that communities build into their daily management.

Hailing Heroes

Putting the customer in the spotlight is a growing advertising trend. Using real, everyday people instead of the usual run-of-the-mill model, suppliers are imprinting their products in the hearts of their consumers. Snaring that elusive brand loyalty and on the other side, increasing accountability.

Hopefully.

As consumers become more environmentally, culturally and financially conscious, they might take the necessary steps to make sure that their favourite brands behave according to a recognised moral code.

Create Your Stories

In line with a more personalised customer service, suppliers are opening up their design process to their customers. This trend seems to have a lot of promise, especially with decentralized manufacturing becoming a norm.

3D printing, niche tourism, access to personal information all contribute to the suppliers ability to virtually come into your home, (with your invite, of course) and mould their product to suit your unique personality.

I hope you tune into the daily discussion and share your views on twitter or here.

Happy businessing!

Fine Business Radio

Week 26 #Transformation

We’re into the 26th week of 2017 and it feels like its just beginning, even though we’re flying through the year.

Have I accomplished anything that I set out to at the beginning of the year? It’s hard to say. I have gained a considerable amount of experience and knowledge in different sectors of the South African economy.

I’ve gravitated towards the Educational side of society. Why? I believe that this sector holds the key to the transformation that everyone (including me) expects from 2017.

Transforming…what?

Personally, I’m transforming my approach.

I’ve been extremely haphazard with my methodologies when it comes to change management. Expending copious amounts of energy/resources on activities that seem so necessary at the time but the results just fade away, against the backdrop of all that still needs to be done.

In essence, this week I will be using the lens of #transforming to understand the world around me. The society that i depend on to live and let live.

#Transformation

Human-centered moments in Cape communities @CapeCraftDesign

Africans adopting global cultures to solve local problems always inspires me. Across sectors, people are taking responsibility, driving development and creatively making a difference.

June’s #FirstThursday began with a brief and engaging creative exchange hosted at the Cape Craft and Design Institute’s (CCDI) Barrack Street event space. Founder of True Story, a design studio, Danielle Ehrlich shared some of her experiences with the attendees as evening fell.

Contextualizing

Cape Town’s infamous economic inequality has ripened the city for implementing a range of sustainability initiatives. Organisations like True Story are tapping into this movement energetically.

Danielle’s design challenges have given her the opportunity to innovate in award winning ways, from permaculture and eco-village design in rural environments to conference participation in developed communities. The different settings highlight the cultural awareness that designers have to embrace in this increasingly globalized, urban world we live in. Workshops, marketing campaigns, collaborative activities and other experience based strategies are some of the ways True Story contributes to Cape Town’s sustainable development.

Bridging the social divide

As much as diversity of culture is to be celebrated, the differences result in captivating challenges when it comes to sharing (and creating) innovation between communities. The key lies in identifying the mortar that binds the individuals that represent these communities. Primary ingredients for solutions are: A shared understanding, clear communication and trust.

“Find what holds us together then create spaces that amplify the act of connecting”, Danielle pointed out, before elaborating on three design tools (below) that True Story uses to develop satisfying intercultural experiences.

1. Active listening

Necessary for effective communication, this tool relies on the communicator’s self-expression and the recipient’s willingness to perceive new meaning, however its presented. This type of engagement allows the participants (community stakeholders) to develop long-term solutions to shared problems. True Story ran a workshop that was part of a larger program, dissecting and clearing the barriers that perpetuate some of Cape Town’s social divisions.

“Using low cost, low key materials, we were able to help stakeholders share their message. Wire avatars made this process less personal but the personal needs became clearer” – Danielle Ehrlich

Danielle recounted the experience of creating a safe environment for stakeholders to share grievances and build relationships that mitigate conflict. Business owners, community leaders, residents, government departments are just a few of the beneficiaries of workshops like these. Workshops that share knowledge between organisations and communities.

2. Public participation

Cape Town’s CBD has a lot of scantly used public spaces. Alleys, public squares and side-streets have fallen victim to passionless use, allowing the spaces to slowly degrade. Adopting Australian and German street culture, The Cape Town Laneway Project basically re-branded Barrack Lane. “We had yoga to the sounds of the morning bustle and street parties with local food and music”, said Danielle, expanding on the activities that helped Barrack Lane win the Design Indaba Your Street challenge back in 2013.

“This is a small scale example of what could happen on a much larger scale. It starts with a conversation and takes a lot of time to build public spaces in an organic, bottom-up way” – Steven Harris

For initiatives like this to gain traction, property/business owners have to recognise the value that their communities hold and these communities have to drive the daily practices that recreate the underutilised spaces. A sense of ownership (and the responsibility that comes with it) ties great ideas to real, lasting change.

3. Conscious moments

The present, brimming with opportunity, is an event in itself. Danielle describes how True Story teamed up with an organisation called Embrace (focused on social justice) to design a series of moments for 1000 kids. Brought from all corners of the city to the Company’s Garden, the kids connected to each other through various interactive games and working together on arts and crafts. The project leveraged those priceless moments to share equality.

Designing with emotional awareness has helped True Story create moving campaigns. “Surprise is an emotion that generates a neutrality that creates an opportunity for something new“, added Danielle, flipping through slides that showed snippets of #GoodSharkKarma (a campaign aimed at demystifying sharks’ murderous motives) and a giant shoe that spurred conversations about up-cycling. Stepping up to the task of environment awareness doesn’t have to be a humdrum routine!

My point

At the end of the talk, True Story invited all the guests to participate in a worldwide phenomenon that draws smiles from ear to ear with an extra set of eyes.

Known as #Eyebombing, this is a way of putting a more human face on our inanimate world. Humanizing the city’s streets, invoking a more empathetic response to our surroundings, googly eyes can be attached almost anywhere.

Try it out.

Design your world, one emotion at a time 🙂

For more information:

Save our Seas #GoodSharkKarma (twitter)

Cape Craft and Design Institute