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Creativity at Work - Discussion #2

  • Perch Coworking Space 34 Bath Avenue Rosebank South Africa (map)

At The GoodWork Society we believe we have an opportunity to reunite people at work with their ability to create. To do so will require that we encourage organisations to become more human. 

Our second debate of the year will explore creativity and how supporting creativity at work might be the the answer to long-term success and answer to constantly adapting to change.

Karl Marx spoke of ‘creating’ as a key property of our species; our species-essence. Benjamin Franklin claimed that “man the maker”*  was the successor to “man the thinker”. Our drive to ‘make’ sets us apart from all other species. 

To be human then is to be creative. 

All around us today are opportunities to apply our capacity for creativity. However most modern organisations distinguish between creative and business teams and yet their ability to innovate relies on the balance of investing in both.  Many recent graduates of the traditional professions entering the workforce might never claim that the work they do is creative and yet as machines snap up routine tasks they will be required to hone their creative problem solving skills to stay competitive in the labour market.  

*(sic)— if only Ben was more 21st century in his use of pronouns. 

 

Panelists 

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Adam Pantanowitz

Adam has lectured Engineering & Medicine at Wits University since 2009. His innovations have resulted in 4 patents, 10 academic papers, and he recently created the media-interest piece “Brainternet”, with a world-first brain-internet livestream. Other projects include an eye-controlled wheel chair, a non-cognitive brain transmission channel using light, a thought-controlled robotic arm with an light-invoked on/off switch, a hands-free controlled surgery interaction system, a CPR monitoring system, a computer-based sign language interpreter, and an eye-controlled cursor using the vestibulo-ocular reflex.

He acted as CTO of VATIT, the world’s largest VAT Reclaim business (2015 - 2017). Adam also consulted to some substantial clients, including some of the major banks in South Africa, on matters at the junction of technology & business. Like all geeks, Adam is a cryptocurrency enthusiast.

Adam has co-founded the following businesses:

* AURA
* Tariffic
* DocFox (formerly Gladi8)
* Lawbuntu
* think3dots
* Starters
* Medinexus South Africa


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Amandine Robin

After about 15 years of academic research in Mathematical Modeling and Image Analysis in Europe and South Africa, addressing complex problems in diverse sectors (from Agriculture to video surveillance or Archaeology), I realised the potential of mathematical thinking to innovate in the business sphere and created MATTERS, an innovation lab. From the definition of new concepts or products, to problem solving sessions or the organisation of tailored workshops, I like to challenge the status quo and instill an innovative mindset within a company.

I believe mathematical thinking and rigor are very powerful for creativity and I like to make it tangible in the workplace: to increase the capacity to go back to the roots of a problem, to perceive biases and (re)frame a problem accurately, to see beyond and transversally and to link things which are unlikely to be related and make it meaningful.


Suhana Gordhan

Suhana Gordhan is a Creative Director at FCB Africa. She is passionate about the art of copywriting and loves parenting an idea well enough so that nobody molests it along its journey from birth to maturity. She believes that the best agency-client relationships are more marriage and less bondage.

Gordhan is a Hindu, who learned very quickly that there are no sacred cows in advertising. One of her favourite moments was during her time as Creative Director on Nando’s, when she pissed off a dictator and won a Loerie Grand Prix because of it. Some of her other accolades include a Black Eagle, Gold Pendoring, Creative Circle Ad of the Year, a Silver Pixel at The Bookmarks and a Cannes Silver Lion.

Suhana has a strong commitment to the South African industry and was thus nominated to join both The Loeries Board and The Creative Circle Exco. She is the new Chairperson of The Loerie Awards. Gordhan also writes an opinion column about advertising and marketing for Business Day, a South African national daily newspaper.


Same Mdluli

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Same Mdluli is the gallery manager at the Standard Bank Art Gallery, is an artist, art historian, and writer living in Johannesburg.

She holds a PhD in History of Art, MA in Arts and Culture Management from Wits University and a B-Tech degree in Fine Arts (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg. She has worked as an administrator at the Goodman Gallery and projects in both Cape Town and Johannesburg and taught art at various school levels.

Her research interests are in contemporary African art, black expressive modes and aesthetics as well as the conversations between jazz and visual art. Before she was appointed curator at the Standard Bank Gallery she was a sessional lecturer at Wits University. She also serves as an advisory council member for the National Arts Council.