Managing director of Product of the Year, Preetesh Sewraj, will assume the mantle of 'brand archaeologist' at TEDxSoweto on Saturday 2 November about the ways in which the products we use will define our society for future generations.
"We learn about past societies from digging up their artefacts and it's the day-to-day items that they used and stored goods in that give us the key to how their societies worked. South Africa has a young democracy and is young in terms of its archaeological record, so what we are doing right now is defining our identity for future generations, through the products that we use."
His talk looks at how South Africans use European or American products that solve consumer problems that are not necessarily our own. "However, in some instances, we use them in unusual ways that speak to the exact needs of our particular society."
While there is a strong argument for this kind of innovative use, the argument is stronger for innovation in product creation and this is what he will present at TEDxSoweto, in line with its theme, 'Creativity - The answer to all questions'.
He is delighted to be speaking at this particular TEDx event, because he believes that Soweto is the ideal location for the birth of revolutionary ideas. "It was the strategic centre of the uprisings in the seventies. Now, it is home to ideas worth sharing, ideas that may be controversial now, but will soon become part of mainstream thinking."
For more information, go to www.tedxsoweto.co.za