Seek With New Eyes – Session #1: The Big Picture

OUR CrackerJack Speakers

THE BIG PICTURE

Discover what makes South Africa captivating – apart from its iconic wildlife!
Glimpse its unsurpassed natural beauty, diversity & engaging sociability, vibrant arts & culture, historical complexity, culinary creativity, unique archaeology.
Hear from luminaries doing things differently. Front runners making their mark.
And collaborative initiatives sparking hope.

TREVYN McGOWAN

Trevyn is the driving force behind Southern Guild – a pioneering gallery that commissions, produces and exhibits contemporary, collectible design by the most compelling local Southern African talent. Possessing an unerring eye, she propels her team to create original work that is distinctly African and globally relevant, to say nothing of beguiling.

For the past 32 years , this dynamic duo has been shaping the world’s perceptions of African design that have flown beneath the radar for too long, and forging a unique  – and authentic vernacular in the international arena. Because handmade pieces are what really contain meaning for society and for the people who own them.

In Africa craft is very old, but ‘’design’’ is very young.  In the established world of collectible design, South Africa has something very new to say. Part of the appeal of contemporary South African design is that it’s unfettered, imaginative and energetic. It invites you to think.

If your fingers are on the pulse of the wild and exuberant beast that is the international design scene, then you know that African design is on the rise.

At the forefront of this evolving design revolution is the South African couple Trevyn and Julian McGowan, co-founders of the design gallery and all-around African design tour-de-force, Southern Guild.

The husband and wife team recognise that they represent something new to the more established design world. “Our sense of form, our handmade manipulation of everyday materials, the way nature and landscape permeate everything we do, all stand in contrast to Europe’s more resolved, industrialized approach to design.”

Located in the über-hip Silo District in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, right next to the Thomas Heatherwick building housing the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), their chic showroom hosts limited-edition and one-off pieces that have garnered multiple awards and caught the attention of the world’s leading collectors, auction houses and museums.

It was the first African gallery to present at Christie’s London’s annual design auction (2015) and Design Miami (2011), where it  shows regularly (in both the US and Basel).

The gallery has also participated in fairs such as PAD London, The Salon Art & Design, Collective New York and Design Days Dubai. It has partnered with renowned New York City-based galleries R & Company, Friedman Benda and Todd Merrill, further exposing its artist-designers to the most important international audiences.

THEBE IKAFALENG

Thebe is arguably Africa’s foremost brand authority and recognised as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans. Having visited all 54 countries on the continent, he’s engaged in driving an Africa-focused agenda that positively shapes the continent’s image.

He’s an adventurer who’s summited Mount Kilimanjaro, sky-dived in Namibia – the only place in the world where the sand dunes meet the ocean; bunjy jumped off the tallest bridge in the world (which happens to be here in SA, Bloukrans).

Everything Thebe does is centred around Africa. He believes in the continent’s possibilities. 
In his search for what is unique about each country, he discovered that the one undeniable commonality among the over 1,2 billion Africans, is our humanity and hospitality. What he’s learnt is that no country is better than another. That each country is different, and that differences enrich.

Thebe has been featured in global media such as CNN, BBC and CNBC Africa.
He’s the founder of the award-winning Brand Leadership Group® and Brand Leadership Academy®, and the seminal Brand Africa™ and Public Sector Excellence™ initiatives.

Thebe’s distinguished career is highlighted by his leadership of NIKE (Africa), over 75 local and global awards – including the 10 Cannes Lions, the Institute of Marketing Management’s “Marketing Company of the Year” Roll of Honour and leading Brand Leadership, the FinWeek “Marketing Services Agency of the Year, 2008” (South Africa), and the 2011 REBRAND100 Global Award for Effective Brand Transformations (New York, USA).

He has received the Asia Brand Congress “Global Brand Leadership” award, and the Marquette University/American Marketing Association “Award for Marketing Excellence.”

He holds an MBA from Marquette University in the USA, has completed executive education at Wits Business School and Harvard Business School, and qualified as a Chartered Marketer (SA).

 

ALISTAIR DAYNES

Alistair is a co-founder of ReWild that shines a light on solutions to restore and transform our world by creating positive, large scale impact through film, education and experiences.

His entrepreneurial journey started after his science degree when he put his philosophy of “do what you love, do what you’re good at, and do what the world needs” into action with like-minded collaborators.

On assignment for Google Trekker to showcase South Africa’s top hiking trails, he walked his talk, all 900ks. He’s an interface between technology and wilderness.
They set out on a year-long journey to the wildest places in South Africa to map the country’s best hiking trails – including every National Park (19) and all eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

It was along the grass spurs above the Transkei coastline, where the idea to find solutions to the state of our planet began, as well as their desire to communicate these through film, experiences and education.

This they do. They are educating audiences to understand the problem of ecological loss, and showing us ways to be part of the solution and build a community of like-minded individuals. They play their part by being a voice for the wild and encouraging a shared humanity between people and the rest of nature, where each can thrive.

ReWild Africa has been called “One of the most inspiring, purpose-driven companies out there – where passion drives action, the quality is always raised‘’ by African Bush Camps.

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