The inaugural Fast Company Most Innovative Company Symposium was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre 2 (CTICC) on 5 March 2020. The event will bring together innovators, academics, tomorrow's pioneers and today's business leaders for a lively and interactive day of knowledge sharing and debate to address how technology and innovation can shape our connected future.
Heading the impressive lineup of speakers is Stafford Masie, the general manager of WeWork South Africa.
WeWork is a shared-space real estate organisation focused on providing working areas and services for technology startups and enterprises that are geared to the growing demand for collaborative and flexible work environments.
Wesley Diphoko, Fast Company’s new editor-in-chief, says that the programme will appeal to corporations in the country as well as startups, entrepreneurs and even university students considering how everyone needs to align to technological changes in terms of business processes, skills development and new ways of doing business. “The technology-era is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Technology, as we know, is an enabler, but there are also a lot of unknowns as to what the future dominated by a technology interface, will bring in terms of how we live, work and play as humans.
“This year’s symposium is the launch of a healthy dialogue that addresses some of these unknowns while also showcasing the great innovations that are influencing our future. We aim to continue this dialogue in subsequent issues of the magazine as the more informed we all are about what the future could hold for us, the better we will be able to make the right choices to benefit not just ourselves but, society as a whole.”
The programme on the day will be divided into four distinct sessions covering:
Innovation in education sector
Innovation in health sector
Topics that will be discussed at this one-day event include the likes of: What is an innovative nation and how do we build one? How the startup ecosystem can contribute in building the innovative nation? How do innovators access funding to turn dreams into reality? How tech can enable access to education in the digital age? How are corporations innovating to stay ahead of the curve and just how will technology solve health challenges?
Speakers who will be joining Masie in the discussion as to how we can use technology and human ingenuity to move society forward, include:
Akhram Mohamed – CTO at Huawei Consumer Business Group
Rob Paddock – CEO of Valenture Institute and the co-founder of GetSmarter
Ellen Fischat - founder at Storyroom (Pty) Limited and former MD of Silicon Cape
Rodney Wearing from Headset Solutions will also be on the event floor to give a practical demonstration of innovation in action. Headset Solutions is the distributor of US-based Poly’s innovative collaboration products (for people who need to collaborate but who are not necessarily based in the same location) in Southern Africa. Wearing will connect with colleagues in the States for this demonstration of how technology can enhance personal wellbeing and increase productivity in an open-plan office environment.
The symposium complements the upcoming issue of the Fast Company Most Innovative Companies publication and awards, where the top innovative companies in South Africa will be recognised.
Fast Company has also made a limited number of free delegate passes available for the symposium, which can be booked via Quicket.
Sponsors of the Fast Company – Technology and Innovation for the Advancement of Society – Symposium and Awards include amongst others: Ayo Technology Solutions, Accenture, WeWork, Liquid Telecom and SqwidNET.
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