x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Sages & Prodigies

This event occurred on
August 15, 2013
10:00am - 6:00pm SAST
(UTC +2hrs)
Johannesburg, GT
South Africa

TEDxJohannesburg 2013, Sages and Prodigies, 15 August

Time is a conundrum. It brings the unknowable future closer with every tantalising moment, while pushing the familiar past away with every fleeting one. Somewhere in between is the eternal now, which seems to hang in perpetual suspension and yet persistently transforms our reality, tick after tock. This state of dizzying flux would render our lives daunting if it wasn’t for the beacons and the guides that help us navigate it. Sages, our living ancestors, are the online archives that hold our biological and cultural memories. They’ve been there and they’ve done that. Their experience and insights help prepare us for tomorrow. Prodigies, custodians of the future, are the knowledge banks in which we invest our hopes and our dreams. Their energy and optimism open the way for fresh and delightful solutions to the stream of challenges that flow from beyond the time horizon.

This year, on the 15th of August, TEDxJohannesburg makes it’s long awaited return. Our theme is designed to deliver pearls of wisdom that only the seers amongst us can know, and to give us a glimpse of the future as seen through the eyes of the restless young.

Expect a curious, open-minded audience made up of Johannesburg’s thinkers and doers across disciplines – advertising creatives, technologists, humanitarians, writers, bloggers, designers, bankers, entrepreneurs, musicians, academics, policy makers and many others.

The Forum
The Campus Office Park
crn Sloane and Main Street
Johannesburg, GT, 2021
South Africa
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Sarah Britten

Sarah Britten is a writer, blogger, lipstick artist and communication strategist with a particularly strong interest in social media. Her doctoral thesis was on the impact of advertising on national identity in post-apartheid South Africa. She contributes regularly to a wide range of South African publications and has authored two youth novels and three non-fiction books on local insults.

Molly Blank

Molly Blank was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and has a Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. Her latest project is a video series titled “Schools That Work”. It tells the unique stories of how some schools serving disadvantaged communities across South Africa are having academic success despite the odds stacked against them.

Bongani Madondo

Multi-award winning Bongani Madondo is a profile writer, cultural critic and avant-garde intellectual with an out-of-this-world command of language. Recent interests spill into matters of style, politics, architecture, music, the African Diaspora and policy. He has also authored a collection of miniature biographies on rock star gods, pop stars and thugs entitled “Hot Type: Icons, Artists & God-Figurines”.

Adrian Tiplady

Adrian Tiplady’s “diverse skills set” has been credited as key to South Africa’s successful bid to host the SKA. A gifted saxophonist with a PhD in Physics, Adrian had to prepare a 27 000 page long scientific proposal for consideration by world experts, while also having to negotiate a complex minefield of interests to help boost South Africa’s bid.

Anthea Pokroy

Artist Anthea Pokroy has photographed 500 red-headed men, women and children for her first solo exhibition, “I Collect Gingers”. The project, which took almost three years to complete, is aimed at exploring prejudice, racial classification and even the prospect of a “ginger utopia”.

Yusuf Abramjee

Yusuf Abramjee is a newshound and a born leader. He’s a tireless Lead SA activist and sits at the helm of Crime Line, credited with countless arrests and the recovery of millions in stolen goods. He received state recognition when President Jacob Zuma awarded him the Order of the Baobab, silver, early 2013.

Gavin Moffat Ingrid Lotze

Gavin and Ingrid are partners in business, marriage and parenting. When they are not at home or at the office, you might find them in underwater environments beyond recreational limits testing their skills and equipment. They will share learnings from a 103m dive, a greater depth than most sensible people venture to.

Job Mokgoro

Professor Job Mokgoro heads the advisory committee of the new National School of Government, which Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will open this October. The school is designed to address widespread and well-known weaknesses in the system by producing excellent, committed public servants.

Panashe chigumadzi

Panashe Chigumadzi is a young Zimbabwean storyteller on a mission to ”redefine and reaffirm the African identity”. She’s inspired by untold African stories and agitated by African narratives that veer into “poverty porn”. She tries to remedy this through her literary work and other efforts – she’s produced the documentary “Africa’s Upstarts” and organises “African Film Club”. In her day job she reports for CNBC Africa.

John Hume

John Hume’s passion and mission in life is to save the rhino species from extinction. With almost 900 animals on his properties, he is the biggest private breeder of rhinos in the world. Given the current poaching crisis, he believes that the only way to save the animals is by legalising trade in its sought-after horn.

Ravi Chhatpar

Ravi Chhatpar is a frog. He’s the go-to guy on innovation strategy at global design agency frog’s Johannesburg studio. He works with local and multinational clients looking for disruptive opportunities for growth and transformation. He has written and spoken widely on the subject for the Harvard Business Review, the Economist, and the Design Management Institute, amongst others.

Yene Assegid

For the past twenty years, Yene Assegid has immersed herself in transformative change programs throughout Africa, Europe and the United States in all sectors: public, private and civic. Her two books, ‘Butterflies Over Africa’ and ‘Forget Not the Sparrows’ explore these experiences from different perspectives. Since 2010, Yene has been working and living in Beijing, China.

Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

Sibs Shongwe-La Mer is a 21 year-old independent filmmaker and multimedium artist. His numerous low-fi films continue to receive praise domestically and internationally for their phenomenal “something-out-of-nothing” ethic. His latest film project “Territorial Pissings”, a love letter to his friends, is a series of vignettes that explore conversations between disposed suburban youths as they try to make sense of their lives.

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopes uses the Internet, books, friends (and mistakes) to create delightful, low tech, sustainable technologies that make life simpler, better and possibly more fun to live. He uses his experience in electrical engineering and industrial construction to connect us back to basics and “put back into the earth at least what we took out”.

Black Coffee

National treasure and international icon of the house music scene, maestro DJ and producer Black Coffee defies convention. Sidestepping Afro-house clichés and stage-managed highs in favour of restrained sophistication; Black Coffee’s penchant is for a home-brewed but trendsetting, fashion-conscious and future-focused brand of Afropolitan house. Despite his phenomenal global success he’s still one of the hardest working DJs around.

Dion Chang

Dion Chang is an innovator, creative thinker, visionary and renowned trend analyst. Although his feet remain firmly planted on African soil, he uses a global perspective to source new ideas, gauge the zeitgeist and identify cutting edge trends. His trends analysis firm – Flux Trends – specializes in tracking shifting social dynamics and understanding consumer mind-set.

Organizing team


Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Ithateng Mokgoro
  • Roland Ellingworth
  • Bishan Ruder
    Project Management | Photography
  • Christo Crafford
    TEDxCity 2.0
  • Mongezi Mtati
    Social Media
  • Tholwana Magome
  • Kevin Kumalo
  • Nhamo Rupare
    Musical Director
  • Moleboheng Sehume
    Production Manager