Wednesday, 26 September 2012

5 Business Lessons From Social Good Summit Nairobi

Kenya and Nairobi was lucky to host the UNDP Social Good Summit this time round.  I will not write much about what the panelists discussed but I choose to focus on what I learnt. That has always been the reason why I attend these forums, conferences and events. I’d say the panelists we are amazing people, guys doing amazing stuff in various fields. It was great….nothing short of that! Better still, it was FREE, so we didn't pay a fortune to attend this powerful summit!!!! Does that hurt? I hope not but here’s 5 lessons I would like to share with you.

1.It’s okay to be crazy about what you do!
Dr Martins is seriously crazy about instects and their role in the ecosystem. He talked about them in such a dignified way; now that’s passion for what he does. One panelist after another all these people were totally sold out to what they are doing. SIMPLE!Don't pursue something for the money in it because at one point especially while starting out things are usually very thick. Gado spoke about how his cartoons used to take long to be approved but he kept on doing it. Today his cartoons do not take an hour to approve and he is one of the co-founders of Buni TV the company behind The XYZ Show that airs on Kiss TV. He has faced serious challenges especially in the Moi era when media had to write and publish good things about the president and some politicians.
2.    Information is power.
We live in a world where a few people know so much and the rest totally clueless of what's happening.  How and why? We have hardworking researchers, government institutions, private and non-governmental organizations as well as individuals who have the information or access to it but most of us do not bother to ask for it in as much as it is critical and very important. People or firms who have data that if transmitted to entities that need it would make a big difference in the society. On food security I remember Sue saying how farmers in Africa sell when there’s surplus! But there’s a solution to this, with social media platforms we can now create and share content with millions of people globally. The format of this content is what matters whether it shall be easily consumed or viewed easily. Social media will and is helping content producers publish their content on multiple networks, optimize it for a variety of multimedia formats for many types of screens to ensure it’s viewed easily and consumed. The problem with most of us is the willingness to know more, the hunger for more knowledge~Sorry to say but we are very ignorant! How many people even read the constitution?
3. Just Start-Do something-Seek Alternatives!
When I listened to the Makmende story by Just A Band on how they managed to go viral I could feel their ambitions and vision to make it out there. There are always challenges when you introduce something fresh, a new and easier way of doing things!
It all started with TV stations rejecting their music however since they felt they had cool music/content they uploaded it on YouTube, shared it and the rest was history! What lesson do you pick here? Most of the young guys especially tend to give up rather fast, we've all read of "Instagram" kind of success stories but we forget most of the companies took more that 4 years to get off the ground! We (youths) want to make money overnight, an upcoming artist wants to top charts with his/her first song (It's possible) but that never happens to most of us! In most cases we get paid by experience rather than cash~Take the lessons first and money will always come! Try, Re-DO, Keep Working, Try Again, Keep doing you go through all this shit someone out there will see the potential in what you are doing! Could be an investor, press, customers, the government etc and when they support your initiative then the $$$$$ will flow your way! Isn't that what Planet Ruckus guys are doing? Wait for their new improved version of Ma3 Racer game!!!

4. There’s something in it for everyone on social media!
When it comes to social media I can preach for days about it but one simple thing you need to know about it is social media is a conversation and for you to benefit or realize the benefits you’ve got to participate in the discussion/conversation and off course to do that you’ve got to be PRESENT! Social media isn’t a fad anymore; it’s not a ‘thing’ for college students. From all the panelists from diverse professional backgrounds and they all had something/ or a story of how social media helped them achieve their objectives in one way or the other.  Social media is transforming lives, it’s here to stay and it will shape our future. It’s no longer an issue of whether YOU and I are on Facebook, not about the numbers we have but how well we engage our communities,  what matters now is how well we understand social media. Dr. Paula Kahumbu is using it on conversation, Emmanuel Jal is in it to spread peace and sell music, Anne Mitaru used it to raise funds for the famine hit areas, Egyptians used it to lead a revolution so what's in it for you???? Are you just there poking people girls?

5. Collaboration, connections and networks is key!
The video presentation by Ericson was good one, why? this is one company that's working to connect people across Africa. Bongo Hive's founder Lukonga talked about how he began an online forum that lead to what is currently Bongo hive. In 2012 social media has gone beyond just being Facebook friends and sharing funny videos you found on YouTube. Today, social media has become a platform with the ability to change the world.  That is why we are launching social media clubs who want to come together to initiate global change. There's need to join hands to fight and seek solutions to our problems in Africa. You can't solve the hunger problem alone in Africa, there's need to collaborate, work on our ideas, share information and exchange solutions. I liked the what Ericsson was doing with  Connect To Learn, eLimu Kenya with tablets for primary school kids in Kibera and the concept of smart cities. 

I must say the summit was a great learning experience for me! Seeing all those amazing people I follow on Twitter live as panelists on one stage was a big thing for me!!! Don't look surprised!! That's true! 

Before  I post this, I'd like to introduce to you social media clubs (SocialPRO) clubs that we are launching in universities starting this October.The tremendous growth of social media in business and communication has necessitated us to conceptualize and spearhead the formation of social media clubs dubbed (SocialPro clubs) in universities across the country. These clubs will bring together different social media enthusiasts, speakers, bloggers, industry experts, digital agencies and organizations who have immensely contributed to the growth of social Media in Kenya. SocialPro clubs will also create a platform that will enhance product and consumer engagement through creativity and innovation. The core objective of these clubs is to teach, educate students, create awareness, and impart knowledge & skills on social media. These clubs in a nutshell will unlock the limitless possibilities and potential on social media.
Below please find features online we've gotten so far on SocialPro clubs to acquaint yourself with SocialPro clubs. To support this initiative in kind or in cash or be part of the team drop me an email through


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