I had the enormous privilege last week of stepping in to lecture at UCT, in Dave Duarte’s place (which is VERY daunting I must tell you! He has people sitting in the aisles). The sheer size of the class is staggering, some fiercely bright Commerce students sparkling between those that aren’t there for anything other than obligation, this course being part of the core curriculum. There’s a saying that when 1 teaches, 2 learn, and never more so than this experience for me.
I tend to hang out, real.world & virtually with pioneers who operate actively in the participation economy and I had some assumptions crashed mercilessly. For example: when I asked one of the classes who uploads videos to share on Youtube, NOT ONE hand went up 8-*
I was floored!
With the ease with which we can shoot video on mobile phones?! I was speaking to a born.digital crowd for goodness sake. Or maybe not. Thanks to Telkom bottlenecking our bandwidth and charging like an enraged bull for communications, we don’t have the freedom to connect and share that we could. This has stunted our growth horribly, and leaving South Africa trailing behind, holding onto some tatty old has.been echo from the 80′s/90′s of economic empowerment of the elite.
Isolation creates mutants (think Galapagos) which may be good in part, in that we have to be more resourceful & creative about making a plan. Or we could lose our brightest minds who choose the path of least resistance, and head for a culture where greed of the few doesn’t impede the productivity and potential of a whole nation. Developing nations are the ones who can benefit MOST from the emergence of freely shared tools, global distribution, online commerce and opensource everything. What will it take to get the vampires from draining the life from this country?
Someone needs to point out how ubuntu is counter.intuitively one of the most progressive, enlightened and profitable economic models humans have experimented with. Like the resurgence of yoga, many global thought leaders (even Clinton LOL!) are vaunting the sexiness of this ancient African philosophy: where doing good & doing good business aren’t mutually exclusive.
It isn’t a communist delusion, but healthily democratic, and shares the best aspects of the ‘net – transparency, collective problem-solving, opensource sharing and co.creating culture serve the individual as well as the whole. Realising and amplifying the possibilities that tech.enabled innovation coupled with the natural ubuntu-like culture it engenders may be our last hope, not just in SA, but as a species.
- Huffington Post recognises SA’s Ubuntu
- Malizole “Banks” Gwaxula ROCKS!
- Made in Africa
- Cool tool to check your dinner’s eco-credentials
- South Africans are big innovators
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