KIENO KAMMIES

CO-FOUNDER, INNOVATION CITY

THOUGHT

Leader

AN INNOVATOR OF INDUSTRY
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INNOVATE South Africa

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I’m a capitalist with a social conscience. We should be trying to make a difference in other people’s lives so that they can also see the path ahead.

Your future can only happen once you start living what you want to be. It is especially true in business as well. Build a team of people with the right attitude, the right aptitude to do it, and the company will progress from there. Steve Jobs said that to know where you are going is only possible by connecting the dots: You can’t connect the dots by looking forward, but only by looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will connect in the future.

My passion for entrepreneurship – and its social power – has been there forever. I love dealing with people, changing the way they relate to each other, putting the right processes in place, and helping to take their businesses further. It is about networking with people, building genuine relationships, and making the circle bigger. Once again, it’s also about connecting those dots later in life.

I look at my experience to see how I can be a positive influence on people’s lives. How can I use my skills, platforms, and network to change people, give them a paradigm shift in the way they look at things or assist them. If we listen and experience, we can use that to our own benefit and help other people improve themselves.

I have been in the media industry for 30 years. A lot of my talk radio discussions revolved around entrepreneurship and the economy. Here is where those dots are connecting: I’ve pivoted to building a platform with Stephan Ekbergh (founder and CEO of Travelstart), focusing on innovation and disruption to fast-track Cape Town’s digital ambitions of becoming Africa’s Silicon Valley.

We can solve South Africa – and African – problems through collaboration and community with innovative tech. Innovation City Cape Town is an ecosystem of thought leaders and leading-edge ideas to make Cape Town a more innovative destination with increased digitalisation. It is an environment that fosters funders, start-ups, scale-ups, and corporates to create jobs and spread economic prosperity.

The priority is creating collaboration and building community; it underpins innovation. A combined purpose to solve a particular challenge through collaboration leads to innovation and disruption.

What is needed to drive change in people and societies? Open-mindedness and a willingness to collaborate. At Innovation City Cape Town, we look to embrace technologies such as blockchain and AI to drive this change with a focus on the needs of people.

A quote from Mizuta Masahide (17th-century Japanese Samurai and poet) goes: “My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.” This quote speaks about perspective: The difference between remaining on the ground or standing up each day to innovate. I choose to stand up.

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