The City’s Leading Game Changers Propose Big Ideas To The Continent’s Thorniest Problems

JOHANNESBURG – Boasting an enduring reputation as a crucible for change, Johannesburg will play host to the 2013 Talking Heads Live. The event enables the city’s thought leaders, social disruptors and change makers to share with the public their big ideas and experiences on current issues facing their disciplines. Created to encourage the public to explore and develop new ways of seeing and understanding the world and themselves as Africans, the experience has fondly been dubbed ‘a genius exercise in speed dating for the brain’.

Unlike popular platforms like TED, which have taken the world by storm, this boutique event typically draws some 40 extraordinary speakers from the worlds of business, art and design; advocacy; philanthropy; technology; environmental sustainability and health to engage in multiple simultaneous conversations with an audience of just over 100 people.

Confirmed speakers include: visionary social entrepreneur Yusuf Randera-Rees; Tutu fellow and mining consultant Mema Beye, cultural activist and producer, Marcus Neustetter; senior biophotonics scientist Dr. Patience Mthunzi; Businesswoman and activist against gender violence Andy Kawa;  urban strategist at Maboneng Precinct Alice Cabaret; mining heavyweight and indigenous language champion Phiway Mbuyazi; venture capitalist and private equity guru Marc van Olst; defender of vulnerable children Kim Feinberg; biomimicry expert Shannon Royden- Turner ; Bioethics professor Ames Dhai; maternal health advocate Dr. Farai Shoniwa; public affairs specialist Dr. Ivor Chipkin and eco-sensitive fashion designer Craig Jacobs to name a few.

This carefully curated experience will see speakers and audiences alike participate in round table discussions. These intimate four person “learning circles” provide an experimental milieu for ideas to be proposed, tested and considered. The unique 20-minute sessions are conversational and organic and see speakers adopt a centuries-old tradition of story telling to help audience members grapple with complex topics. Guests are invited to move from table to table meeting four experts – the permutations for discovery are endless.

Talking Heads is presented by the Africa Centre. The Africa Centre is a Cape Town based, Africa-focused social innovator that, through its six current projects, harness the power of arts, culture and knowledge creation to initiate a change in perspective and attitude. Talking Heads offers three-dimensional, resilient and multiple alternatives to the persistent single story of Africa; the one of disease, corruption and war.

“Afro pessimism is both a western phenomenon and one within the continent. Talking Heads provides a platform to counteract this negativity and mobilise Africans to share their own stories and realise the wealth of ideas and action that is present on the continent.“ explains Africa Centre Executive Director, Tanner Methvin.

Talking Heads has been hosting parallel live events in the Mother City and Johannesburg since 2008. The project has expanded recently to include presentations of short audio and video casts that capture some of the continent’s most innovative ideas. Once live, these extensions of the Talking Heads platforms will be channeled via mobile social media platforms to allow these new ideas to reach people across Africa from all walks of life.

The event takes place at the legendary Villa Arcadia in Parktown, Johannesburg on Saturday the 8th of June 2013 from 19H30. Limited seats are available, and tickets can be purchased on Computicket.