MEET THE SPEAKERS WITH A SPARK IN THEIR EYE - We Are Africa

MEET THE SPEAKERS WITH A SPARK IN THEIR EYE

8 -min. read

Ahead of FUSE 2017, we caught up with the SPARK speakers who’ll be taking to the stage to kick off We Are Africa’s first un-conference. Since they’ll have less than four minutes in which to present no more than 15 slides on the day, we decided to put them through their paces: four questions, four minutes – go!


ROSS BORDEN, MATADOR NETWORK

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
How to defeat the American misconception that Africa is a dangerous place to travel.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
Because it would dramatically increase their bookings and revenue and unlock the biggest market in the world.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
Change the way they talk about Africa with family and friends, and change the way they market their destinations.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
Skied 3,000 vertical feet down a ‘spine wall’ in Haines, Alaska.


JUMA MKWELA, TOWNSHIP ART TOURS

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
Ecotourism is the future of tourism, and it would have a great impact on the development of ecotourism if high-end African travel and hospitality extended their influence.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
The We Are Africa tribe should care because ecotourism is beneficial for everyone involved. Giving back to the community you are sharing with tourists is very important in creating a positive and productive environment.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
To begin thinking about unique and innovative ways of doing high-end travel in Africa that is in line with an Ubuntu philosophy.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
Answering these questions!


IAIN HARRIS, COFFEEBEANS ROUTES

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
That the future of African travel is urban, creative and engages the human fabric of the continent.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
Because it’s what their clients are asking for.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
To book a creative experience in the next destination they are headed to – something that engages them with the cultural and creative fabric of that place.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved (in under four minutes)?
I’ve managed to survive kids! ‘Til now… But, business-wise, it’s taken more than 10 years and I can say it in under four minutes: I’ve managed to build the leading creative and cultural travel operator in South Africa, probably the continent, offering experiences that nobody else offers. Our approach, our product range, it’s unrivalled.


THOMAS ROPEL, GOOGLE

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
People don’t ‘go’ online anymore: they live online. Dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing – the African traveller of tomorrow will decide where, when and how to travel in short, digital moments that matter.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
A connected digital travel world is a huge opportunity for the African tourism industry and can shape the future of this rising continent.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
Think about how to engage and interact with travellers across their entire journey – from inspiration to experience, at every moment that matters.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
Planned and booked my full trip to Africa.


ALLISTER KREFT, UNDER THE INFLUENCE

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
We are bringing hand crafted beverage brands from around the world directly into 20 African markets, and supporting them through our beverage intelligence education and list management platform, to enable the ultimate guest experiences around beverage for our hotel and lodge clients.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
The We Are Africa Tribe are passionate about their guests and bringing them the very best in authentic experiences. Our mission as a company is to enable our lodge and hotel clients to deliver the ultimate beverage experiences. If that isn’t too interesting, we can at least pour tribe members great wines and craft spirits over the four days of the event to spark their creativity and networking!

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
I would love them to think about the ‘why’ of their beverage list – and how each and every product can have a purpose, story and set of experiences for their guests, which (when interwoven with their values and purpose as a company) become an irresistible offering. My SPARK will approach this from both a property and guest perspective, so we can fuel a discussion between property owners and buyers.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
All good things take time!


JAMES FERNIE, UTHANDO

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
Linking tourism and community development, creating powerful ripples of hope and opportunity.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
Because the tourism industry can be a shining light of inspiration and change.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
Embrace and adopt a community development project.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
I have been on the right side of history my whole life – something I am very proud of


JANICE ASHBYTHE RHINOS ARE COMING!!!

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
The bringing together of art, conservation, the travel industry, business-in-general, and passionate conservation individuals to stage spectacular Art Exhibitions in Southern African cities to raise funds to save various endangered African species.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
The Rhinos Are Coming!!! is a fresh, fun, light-hearted, less grizzly approach to raising funds for endangered species that will bring in hundreds of thousands more visitors to cities and game lodges plus will counter Rhino Burnout within the donor community.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
To succeed we need 100 more sponsors over the next seven months in addition to the eleven top hotels and businesses who funded the making of our first eight rhinos during our crowd funding campaign ending Feb 2017. We want the tribe to spread the word and inspire organisations and people to sponsor Rhinos. The media loves such programmes. Brand awareness benefits are substantial so it makes business-sense to sponsor and support the programme.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
Too difficult to say…


SIMON STOBBS, WILDERNESS SAFARIS

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
Frontier eco-tourism is key in terms of helping to conserve remote wilderness areas. In order for these areas to be successful and continue to be conserved, all stakeholders in the tourism chain need to play their part.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
Through the scale and reach of the tribe, we can make a difference and create the awareness these areas require so as to ensure they are conserved.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
Create awareness for and promote these frontier eco-tourism destinations.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
I managed to squeeze in a sentence into a conversation with Craig Glatthaar. Just one!


MATTHEW TURNER, TESLA

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
Owners of hotels, resorts and lodges no longer have to rely on noisy, polluting diesel gensets to meet their energy needs; solar, storage and smart microgrid control already provide clean, reliable energy at lower cost.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
With growing pressure on the earth’s resources, travellers want to connect with the destinations they visit and know that their footprint is a small and positive one. Nothing relieves the environmental guilt of a long flight better than knowing that your energy usage at your destination comes from clean, sustainable resources. By including Tesla’s advanced energy storage solutions with your solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, owners of hotels, resorts and lodges can now supply their energy needs without relying on polluting, noisy and inconvenient diesel gensets.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
Come and speak to me about how Tesla’s energy storage products are providing cleaner, smarter and more reliable energy solutions on hotels and resorts around the world.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
While free diving with sharks off Aliwal Shoal, I managed to hold my breath for two and a half minutes while being closely shadowed by a three-and-a-half-metre Tiger shark.


JAMES DELANEY, CONTEMPORARY PAINTER & PRINTMAKER

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
Joburg used to be a transit point. Now with the revitalisation of downtown’s art, food and coffee scene it’s becoming a destination.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
Because currently your pax are having a dull time sitting in their Joburg hotel suites, told not to venture out.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
Look at walking tours of downtown Joburg, and increase single night stays to 2 nights. It helps pax get over their jetlag too.

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
Drawn a rhino.  


RANDOLF JORBERG, BEERHOUSE

In one line, what’s your big idea that will influence the future of high-end African travel and hospitality?
Beer is coming back to Africa; craft beer is an ultra-premium product in demand by all international globetrotters.

Briefly, why should the We Are Africa tribe care?
The history of beer started in Africa and I will show you why it matters to the future of the continent.

Very quickly, what do you want the We Are Africa tribe to do after they hear your SPARK?
Explore a sample of the local beer variety at the BEERHOUSE MINIbar 🙂

Other than SPARK, what’s the most impressive thing you’ve achieved in under four minutes?
Started painting South Africa YELLOW! 


Catch all these speakers, including a special address from acclaimed conservationist, politician and paleoanthropologist Dr Richard Leakey on the main stage at FUSE, in partnership with Wilderness Safaris and hosted at Grand Café & Beach, on Monday 1 May from 2pm. 

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Katie Palmer
Katie Palmer is Editorial Manager for This is Beyond

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