" INNOVATION DOESN’T COME JUST FROM GIVING PEOPLE INCENTIVES; IT COMES FROM CREATING ENVIRONMENTS WHERE THEIR IDEAS CAN CONNECT."- ANA CARRAPICHANO, CEO & FOUNDER, MEDIOLOGY
MY PASSION FOR AFRICA
The streets of South Africa have something about them… a unique rhythm that is the heartbeat of our rainbow nation. With great natural beauty, cultural diversity, incredible resilience – South Africa is a land filled with vitality, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit.
I work and live in two extremes now: in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. It gives me exposure to the vastness of the world, making me realise that South Africa – one of the most innovative countries in Africa – has exceptional potential to accelerate transformation.
However, South Africa faces the harsh reality of high unemployment and poverty rates despite having an abundance of goods and natural resources.
INNOVATION TO ACCELERATE TRANSFORMATION
Innovation is a key driver of economic and social development, but should be more effectively harnessed to address poverty and inequality. Innovative ideas can help a struggling community and transform it into an abundant and healthy environment.
INNOVATING SOUTH AFRICA OUT OF POVERTY
Innovation is already being harnessed to address poverty and inequality. It’s already happening with many wonderful and inspirational concepts and programmes. For example, ThinkWIFI, who offers free uncapped internet connectivity to communities is driven by the goal of empowering people. Not only do they work with local people to find employment solutions, but also work with organisations to bring digital skills education to each community they serve.
South African universities are engaging with the informal sector in marginalised communities to improve livelihoods through inclusive innovation. Through this, higher education, science, technology and economic development insights are gathered – and shared.
ENSURING EQUITABLE DIGITAL FUTURES FOR EVERYONE
Innovation and technology go hand in hand. The digital revolution is here to stay and offers humanity wonderful progressive opportunities like never before.
A South African Digital Strategy is imperative to help create a world in which digitisation is an empowering force for the people and the planet as a whole.
Digital technologies are driving new ways of working and thinking while opening-up unimaginable opportunities. For instance, digital finance facilitates cash transfers in underprivileged communities. Additionally, educational programmes are being offered to previously disadvantaged people to create a more equal future, as a direct result of digital technology.
Uplifting our Youth is critical. We need to inspire them and give them opportunities which will create future leaders of innovation.
OUR INFLUENCE AS THE COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY
To make a giant contribution to growth, industries need to collaborate and innovate together.
The agile communications industry can ignite the right conversations with the right brands. Investment from the private sector is key in order to uplift our nation from its devastating economic climate.
It is essential to empower our people to become the catalysts for change, effectively sustaining a culture of innovation.