I can barely describe the thrum of emotion and inspiration running through my body after spending almost every waking moment for the past 7 days dedicating my time entirely to the logistics, creation and direction of photographic, video and audio content that would attempt to properly portray what The African Shared Value Summit, and it's creator Tiekie Barnard, live and breathe for.
Before reading the rest of this article check out our on-the-day edit below for context - this post is best enjoyed by watching each video as you see it:
In that 7 days I also spent a ridiculously low amount of time sleeping, which might provide an alternative explanation for that thrumming.
Nonetheless, I find myself inspired. Dreaming of what might come to be as a result of the event over the course of the next year.
I find myself sparked with the passion to write this post about the summit and the work myself and the team have produced in an attempt to do it's noble cause justice, much like I do after shooting a wedding between two beautiful people.
It’s worth noting that I only feel that sort of spark when I have been emotionally stimulated by variables such as love, care, compassion and goodness, through empathy and effectively the study and capturing of the heightened and touching emotions that the union inspires. More on when compassion and work meet later in this article.
Being involved in the delivery of something with so much purpose with, such a strong driving force, has left me totally in awe of the possibilities that this summit, only in its second year, has created.
If you’re still wondering what they’re all about, I’ll explain it briefly. It is the proposal that business and private individuals should merge and link financial and business growth goals and strategies with the very humanitarian 17 Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the UN, among them: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, etc.
I’m in complete awe of the possibility that human beings who’s existence we might not even be able to contemplate right now, people who’s lives we can barely imagine, may come to experience improvements that provide them with the dignity and respect that many privileged people in this world have come to expect, even demand, from this life.
And, to digress a bit, I also find myself thinking that It might also be really cool for the summit to become more interactive next year.
A few less speakers, and more focus groups\rapid team work projects, possibly in smaller groups led by thought leaders or interactive experts, then back in for for another inspiring talk. I guess kind of like a summer camp vibe. Fresh, fun, and stimulating with a shared goal in mind, action and play.
Learn and use. Repeat.
So that attendees are not only exposed to concepts, but also get to be immersed in the creation of new shared value concepts, a habit and skill best learned and practiced before they even leave the summit!
All those beautiful, alike minds in one place could push out so much together!
It would be possibly the most woke think-tank that has ever been assembled and with such an incredible mix of young and old, and it could be sold as exactly that.
Taking business and personal life to the next level. Let the things people care about at home (compassion for others) mix with the things they do at work (make money).
Despite what we have come to accept as normal, the two worlds can, and if you take Jay Naidoo’s word on the matter - must, meet in an emotional/financial dance of sorts, and the result will be not only a more rewarding life for the practitioners of shared value, but also a better life for others that so badly need it and will so greatly benefit from it, fulfilling everybody’s human needs, while catering for more than food and luxury in many areas of our lives. Providing and inspiring a genuine sense of good purpose all around, while making the money that we must make in order to live a life we are comfortable in.
Doing good, while doing good business.
Photography by Anele Khoza, on the day edits by Mandy Goldstone Cohen - my beautiful wife.
So please, if this sparks any thing beautiful in you, I encourage you to foster that spark. Share it with your friends, colleagues, peers and partners and spark in them the rich wealth of possibility that Shared Value is.
Allow that spark to burn so bright that it illuminates the lives of human beings that we may not even know exist right now.
Human beings who’s lives YOU, and the people we inspire together, can change.
Human beings that you might see tomorrow for the first, or five hundredth time.
It’s time to connect that cause you’re sharing compassionately on Facebook, while driving towards addressing it in the workplace, bringing together two beautiful elements of the human life force. The need to produce and the desire to care, love, help and nurture others.
Switch on your empathy, and take it to work. Then put it to work. Change our World.
And make sure to watch out for their newly launched partner in goodness: The Africa Shared Value Initiative.
And a big shout out to the incredible team responsible for putting it together, some of them Tiekie's own daughters, friends and family, some of whom worked for free, likely because Tiekie has so perfectly shared with them her infectious enthusiasm for making our world a better place. And the others that may or may not have been a permanent fixture in the team, as well as those that played a massively influential role in the starting of the initiative, before moving onto new ventures, those that have funded and invested in the vision, and those that will come to invest of their time, minds, bodies and soul.
The value, outreach and excellency is certainly shared amongst a large group of individuals lucky enough to use their 9-5 super powers for this cause.
Yours in doing only good.
Oh, and it seems like we now offer the full content creation spectrum (audio, video, photo) for high quality, carefully directed content for your epic events. Contact us if you'd like your event covered!
All content in this post was created and edited on site, during the event and released before the last guests had left the building.
All videos in this article shot and directed by me (Alon Chaim Cohen), edited by the incredibly talented Wilmari Van Biljon.
Motion graphics also by me.
All photography by Anele Khoza.
All photographs edited by Mandy Goldstone Cohen - my beautiful wife.
And shout out to Alexander Higgins for recording and turning out audio of the top speakers for guests to stream on their phones, and our assistant Kamogelo Moako for helping us make the magic happen.