Today I attended the Growth Summit with two of USB’s Thought Leaders, Pieter Geldenhuys and Rapelang Rabana. The conference focused on Innovation and Reinventing the Known.

Seated in a beautiful venue, Bryanston Country Club, I found myself surrounded by entrepreneurs who run their own start- ups and SME’s. Whilst chatting to a lady next to me, (Jenny) she expressed her frustrations as a “digital dinosaur’ and how hard it is to jump onto the social media wagon and really engage to boost her company’s online presence. Not knowing where to start- if only there was a company that could help these baby boomers to jump right in and not feel so overwhelmed.

Much like a daily computer class- something that got me thinking, not everyone wants to outsource but rather upskill themselves. At that moment Pieter Geldenhuys stood up to present on Innovation- A tour guide to the future- a mind blowing presentation.

The 3 main trends that are going to have an impact on our future within the next 3-4 decades are: experiencing an abundance of energy, becoming masters of our own evolution and defining our destiny. Who would have thought?

Well did you know you can do a DNA test to discover possible hereditary diseases, defects and of course the good signs not to mention your ancestral descent. This is done through a test called DNA 23&me- this goes for roughly R2000. However, this test could flag medical insurance and incur additional charges now that they have full proof of the risks involved in your health. But don’t be dismayed as Pieter says, there’s a place you can go to that will do it for you anonymously. You won’t receive the results but they will provide you with a health and fitness plan to help you avoid these issues later on in life. Smart, right?

When it comes to true innovation it’s important to acknowledge that businesses need to change their mindset, for instance not all companies need to sell a product. They could also lease products, that way entrepreneurs don’t have to spend huge amounts on tools to set themselves up they can lease them.

Hilti is a company that is doing extremely well in providing this service. Literally flipping the business model upside down.

To understand this Pieter cleverly used this example: If you could replace a milkshake what would you use? Some of the audience said yogurt or ice cream. Naturally we think of similar products when in fact it boils down to this “why do you hire a milkshake?”

People buy milkshakes to fill them up to last till lunch or as a rewarding mechanism for children. Now that’s smart thinking!

It’s all about the acts of consumption vs the acts of production. I love listening to Pieter Geldenhuys as he triggers the interest in a individual to find out how they can implement exaptation in order to survive in the future that’s coming extremely fast towards us!

The day isn’t over yet…. this audience is in for a treat; next up is Rapelang Rabana! Featured on the cover of Forbes Africa magazine before the age of 30 and named ‘Entrepreneur for the World 2014’. Recognised as an internationally lauded technology entrepreneur, Rapelang founded Rekindle Learning a company that provides educational and performance management tools that improve learning efficiency and reduce time to competency.

As Rapelang stepped on stage she immediately held the audience’s attention as she began to delve into her journey to share her views on the importance of remaining self-aware of one’s true capabilities.

A clever video clip used in her presentation portrays Keanu Reeves in The Matrix being offered the red pill or the blue pill.

You can choose to believe that the world is what we have been taught and continue to conform to society or you can look within yourself, ask the right questions, have honest conversations and question everything in order to discover new and better ways of doing things.

By listening to Rapelang’s presentation you are reminded that “everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use”. Yes – The Great Steve Jobs said this 😉

With that Rapelang closed on this quote by Confucius which I found extremely profound and left me with shivers- He says “you were born with 2 lives- the second one begins the day you realise you have only one life”.Written by Brooke Rabe, Client Relations and Communications Specialist in Marketing and Events.

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