Becoming The Dreamer

We have more resources than we think we do

We have very smart people, exactly where they need to be — distributed across networks, and with close proximity to the ground and close proximity to power

  • people who were able to pivot and apply their skills and networks almost instantly to a crisis. We’ve taken giant leaps in how to apply data and technology; in how to connect across communities, in how organise social safety nets
  • people who were able to stay the course on longer term objectives that are just as critical, so that as we all emerge from this pandemic, we haven’t stood still. We’ve seen some big announcements this year — PRASA trains getting back on track (I hope I don’t take these words back), Municipalities permitted to procure energy directly, and Amazon investing in its own energy. And more of that to come!
  • a willingness to reinterpret rules, process and teaming for the sake of outcome and impact
  • Covid forced us to communicate and seek intelligence about what was happening in different parts of society, despite very challenging stakeholder engagement conditions — I believe that this offers interesting lessons for how we might connect these well distributed smart people going forward

When working for a common cause people must work through their differences — and people will do that work

  1. New term focus (new IDPs) of metros can leverage the lessons learnt during Covid (and other recent crisis, such as the drought in Cape Town) and take some bold moves on how to use their balance sheets, community and business networks and very smart people to finally get cracking on a South African cause greater than basic services and political nicknacks. We’ve laid the foundations for this by starting to change the narrative that we have scarce resources, having the hard conversations, connecting the smart people, investing in capacity of project managers, supply chain and alternative enabling and regulative functions.
  2. Individuals bringing the way Covid has changed *us* into our work — the importance of family, community and country *feels* far more prominent than it has in years. Boardrooms are made up of us as individuals, and now more than ever include our whole selves (pets, kids, home administration etc). We’ve learnt to have the hard conversations in our teams and in our homes, and we’ve learnt that there are resources and reserves and opportunities. Leaning in to recovery will mean more than just CSI. It will mean more hard conversations about transformation, commercial models, and investment in pathways to longer term complexity and resilience.
  3. A reigniting of civil society. Our governance systems, our social safety and our rights/justice systems are strengthened by strong courts, media and by strong civil society organisations. Post apartheid has seen a slow dwindling of civil society apart from in a few issues/sectors. Covid brought to existence many new networks and vehicles through which to engage, connect, contribute and learn. I’d like to believe that people can’t unsee what is seen (about the needs of others, about the weaknesses in our representatives) and will remain engaged and even grow these new efforts.




Archive of thoughts. Imperfect, incomplete and not assumed to be my final position. My actions speak louder than my words. Learn more:

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Archive of thoughts. Imperfect, incomplete and not assumed to be my final position. My actions speak louder than my words. Learn more:

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