I felt like I was in a thinking tank. Indeed, it was like a scene from the award winning movie-Avatar. It took me a while to relax and get into the move of things as creative ideas flowed from the speaker. I was at the Juanita Hotels, Port Harcourt for the Converge Creative Economy Conference which I had read about online.
I was glad I came. I had just walked into a mind blowing presentation being made by the
creative director of Arden and Newton Ltd, Mr. Perez Nekabari Tigidam. I was hooked to Mr. Tigidam’s presentation. Have you ever heard of chaos stimulating creativity and productivity? Sounds a little crazy right, but that was Neka’s premise. He tagged it The Theory of Chaos which states that chaos brings about creative ideas and productivity by “we” reordering a system that already exists.
Neka went on to support his argument with The Complexity Adaptive Systems theory in biology. The theory states that species always adapt to the environment in order to survive. According to Neka, if not for chaos, most of the inventions we have today would not have been realised. Humans would have been too comfortable with their environment to bother about inventing new things. I must add that I agree, because chaos keeps a man thinking on his feet. Neka is a living testimony of the influence of chaos in a man’s life. He is the epitome of creativity and productivity being the brain behind the TouchPortHacourt.com, ThisIsMyLagosProject and MyCalabar Story. These are all tourism projects aimed at making the aforementioned states outstanding destination brands.
Next on the list was Mr Mike Ogolo, a comedian and a radio presenter. Mike spoke on the Creative Economy from the entertainer’s perspective. Mr. Ogolo said the Nigerian government needs to promote the entertainment industry by investing in it and creating favourable policies. He compared the scenario to that of the United States where Hollywood is in hand with the American government. He emphasised that the government’s support for the entertainment industry would encourage and build young artistes. Also, it would foster stronger partnerships between the industry and the Federal Government. He also stated that the private sector should equally invest more in this industry.
Mike also spoke about the relevance of creative thinking to the economic growth of a nation. In his usual comic tone, he said, “I’m sure you’ve never heard of someone setting up the department of thinkers.” The audience responded with a burst of laughter. However, Mike called this new phenomenon the creative ecology where thinking is a job. According to him, if Nigeria invests in the creative ecology there would be a positive turn out in the economy.
At the end of Mr.Ogolo’s presentation, hands were up for questions. A participant asked what the entertainment industry has done to influence Nigeria positively. The question was seconded by agreements from some part of the audience. One of the speakers said a part of the private sector is reluctant in investing in the entertainment industry because it may not see the importance. He also said the government may be reluctant to invest for the same reason. Mike responded by reiterating the need for investment from the government and the private sector. The session was concluded with some advice to the private sector. One of which is to carry out more productive programs that would encourage the government to invest in it. Second is for young artistes and comedians to take a bold step and launch their dreams without waiting for government assistance.
Last to come up was a well known creative fashion designer. The tall and ebony young lady known as Akpos Okudu stepped up to the podium looking as suave as ever. She let down the uptight atmosphere from Ogolo’s session with her charm. As Akpos shared her journey through the fashion world from start to finish, the participants were glued to their seats. The highlight of Akpos’s presentation was the importance of micro delegation. She said, “I pay other people to handle the branding and PR part of my business so I can focus on my sewing.” She also emphasised the need for young entrepreneurs to surround themselves with the right people that would enrich their ideas.
Akpos pointed out the effective use of the social media as one of the ways she had been able to keep her designs in people’s heads and minds. When asked how she had been able to manage her employees, she mentioned good employee-employer relationship as the key. She said, “I see and treat my employees as family.” There are loads of things business moguls and C.E.O’s can learn from Akpos’s story. Good employer-employee relationships can prevent employee shifting and make a strong work force. Second, micro delegation is crucial to the success of a business. No man is an island, thus no business man or woman can handle business demands on his or her own.
Converge was rounded off with a session called the “Unconference” which was anchored by Mr. Oraye St. Frankly, CEO of Librarium Limited. The unconference was an interactive session where participants made contributions and delivered presentations. The hallmark of Converge Conference was the openness from start to finish. It was really an avenue to learn and discover new ideas. Everyone was open to new ideas from the speakers to the participants.
During the unconference, participants made presentations varying from technology to entertainment. A last speaker, Mr. Etinosa Omoregie, CEO of Money Culture Ltd, made a remarkable presentation on active and passive wealth creation. He spoke on the secrets to wealth creation. Mr. Omoregie revealed truths about wealth creation that held everyone spellbound. Though it had come to the end of the conference, no one wanted to leave. The free flow of ideas and sincere nature of the event was enough to make people thirst for more.
More cannot be said about the Converge Conference without giving Kudos to the organisers of such a positive mind impacting meeting. The organisers; Dabo Owen Etela, Chief Technology Officer for Techpoint Info Systems Limited, Apola Opuda, CEO of Russell Interactive Limited and Maple Dappa, the brain behind Southern Brands and Brands Strategist at Mapemond Resources are exceptionally creative people. If you want to nurture and share those creative ideas please do not miss the next Converge Conference. It holds four times a year; you have the last edition to catch sometime in November.