16 Jul 2010

This bartering is sure becoming a way of life with me. It seems whenever I hit an obstacle- especially when it's a financial "I cant afford it right now!" something happens, and I end up trading my way to get where I want to go.

The latest bartering opportunity came along after the last 27Dinner in Jozi, where Gareth Knight was talking about why international viewpoints in the technology and digital arena are relevant and significant to us here in Africa.

Gareth is organising Africa's first conference about web, mobile and emerging technology called Tech4Africa. He's got overseas speakers like Clay Shirky, Matthew Mullenweg, and Dustin Diaz sharing their knowledge amongst some of South Africa's best like Andy Hadfield, Mike Stopforth, Justin Spratt, and even one matchstick traders like Elan Lohmann and Andy Higgins! It's quite a line-up of speakers!

One of the areas where my learning and growth has increased exponentially through the last four years of turning my matchstick into a pen into Rod the Frog into books into wine into a holiday into cash into a hot air balloon ride into a party with DJ Al into 375 Springleap T-shirts to where I am now, is my knowledge of the web, social media and technology. And I have so enjoyed learning and exploring this emerging world.

So when I heard of the line up of speakers at Tech4Africa, I immediately felt a huge desire to attend. I saw it as an opportunity to experience consuming a huge amount of useful information is a short space of time for my hungry mind. Just like Neo did in The Matrix movie (my favourite movie, by the way!) when he downloaded Kung-Fu fighting in a few seconds.

I think Gareth must have picked up on the sparkle in my eye or something, and after a brief conversation and a few emails back and forth, I've bartered my way into the conference! Woohooo! Now I've just got to decide on which speakers and what topics I want to focus on during the conference- they even have workshops to consider! (Any tips welcome- the list of speakers to choose from is so awesome that it's overwhelming!)

So I hope to see some of you there at Tech4Africa on 12th to 13th August, to learn and interact with the best. Maybe you'll too see a sparkle in my eye and end up trading with me for one of my T-shirts? ;)

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