22B -Education, or Inspiring People to their Revolution

Empowerment. with a single world, you give hope to everyone. Traditionally a humanistic or philosophical value, conference 22B gave concrete evidence that change is here. Speaking on behalf of their initiatives, their countries and their continent, two daring entrepreneurs from South Africa sought to demonstrate how anyone can better their own condition.
Power from within
When Leor Rotchild introduced the conference, he began by presenting his own corporation. He is trying to change the face of Canadian business entrepreneurship with the motto: “let’s do business like a Canadian”.
This is only the illustration of a rejuvenated renaissance philosophy. A candid yet powerful belief, that Man holds in his own hands all the keys to his own development.
There was a powerful call for an end to the current blind transfer of riches from ‘Northern’ to ‘Southern’ States. “When you think about all the international initiatives that have tried to really move wealth from rich countries to poor countries, to help some of the most disenfranchised people on the planet... I think that it’s kind of important.” Mr Rotchild acknowledged.
But as Ms Masango showed, the problem is not people not receiving help, but them making efficient use of it. “At the end of the day, money makes the World go around. It’s about behavioural science: how do you handle money? How do you act when you do or do not have? How do you spend? Do you invest and spend first, or do you do it the other way around?”
Power from education
This explains hers and Mr Rani’s call for a different form of education. Bear Run Investments strives to spread ‘financial literacy’ throughout her country.
“If people have a better understanding about how to handle money and financial literacy,” said she, “it is already a huge step towards meeting the 17 sustainable goals for the millennia set by the UN. 15 of those will only be achieved if people are financially literate. So, if you don’t understand finance, how are we going to achieve 90% of those goals?
“Having formal qualification doesn’t mean you end things. It’s a process in different sectors as well let’s not shy away from learning about financial literacy, global warming and a sustainable environment, implement ICT equipment and indigenous transformation in business.”
Mr Rani noticed how vital IT was in today’s World and most importantly, in a developing country such as South Africa. A 25% unemployment rate is symptomatic of the great need there is for better formation. His school gives south Africans an opportunity to familiarize themselves with computers – a vital professional skill. The success of his revolutionary teachings has already been felt, as over 50% of his graduates find jobs.
“it was purely based on the impact that technology can have in our lives. It transformed mine, the way I do things and I see it as a huge need. That’s what I was talking about earlier: today we say we’re going through the third or even forth industrial revolution […] but this could be only Africa’s second.”
Power and leadership
Where are State actors in all of this? “I think,” says Mr Rani, “that we have good policies only we have implementation and leadership problems. In our country, we’re still living as we have been since Mandela. We see that, twenty years later, we’re still in that same situation. The problem is in the system. Because, the government is coming up with ideas but failing to push them through.”
The private sector is taking over initiative and showing that this new tendency to distrust administrations is paralleled by individual empowerment – the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades. Although Mr Rotchild still notes: “we do still need State actors’ ability to move policy through to enable people to continue to move finances in a more positive direction. I actually think that that’s a really big piece of the puzzle.
“I think what we need is a collaborative approach, that perhaps some people have lost their faith in these organizations to move quickly enough, but I don’t think we can let them off the hook. We need the government sector to still do its part, to create policy that enables everything move more freely and more responsibly.”
Ms Masango echoed some of the great words President Kennedy spoke the day of his investment: “do not ask what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.”
“People sometimes feel as if they must sit with their hands out waiting for the government to provide, waiting for big companies. Yes, these companies have CSI projects, set money aside and put budgets to help the community. But you should find things: you have all the resources around you. And this isn’t an elitist perspective: everything you need you’re equipped with in life. you have it all in front of you, you just need to take it.”
Power of “Ubuntu”
“You know South Africa has the values of ubuntu. “Mr Rani told us during his interview.
This is a tradition from South Africa, where a child isn’t raised by his biological parents alone, but by the entire community. He becomes known through his belonging to a bigger, larger entity. “People are people through other people” or, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” – a proverb even outdating Rousseau’s philosophy.
“All social impact is part of ubuntu. From a South African point of view, we all come from a community. And only from a community can we find solutions that are more financially impactful to address the social problems.”
A feeling already shared by the other panellists, including Mr Rotchild: “It’s not necessarily about guilting one country or to support another country because you have more and these people have less. We need to call for a global initiative. Helping people come out of poverty is the key to attaining sustainable development for all and meeting the needs of that global partnership.”
“It’s Africa-time”
Arguably the least developed continent in the World, Africa is nevertheless the most promising. Companies do not shy away from the fact that it’s demographic explosion and unmatched natural wealth.
“Africa must become African and take centre stage. The beauty of Africa is it’s a young community, as young and dynamic as we are [the panellists]: we are moving forward with the motivation to change the world. “said Mr Rani. “And to Europe we say: we don’t want to come to Europe, we want to be where we are, but make sure you partly support us so we don’t need to come here. We already have our solutions. “
Incredibly enough, balancing between her studies and her work, Ms Masango also promotes young girls’ condition. And she defends her leadership and her cause, saying:
“We [young women] have the capacity and the networks to speak to the powers that be. We need to relay the messages to them to say ‘listen, this is the issues that young girls are facing in south Africa. These are the issues that people between the ages are 18 and 25 have to confront.’”
“It’s really about people empowering themselves, drawing out of their own situation to at least a basic level, where people could be making their own decisions to increase their own wealth.” Mr Rotchild said.
“That’s the key,” Mr Rani Concluded, “that’s the skill, that can change the country, the continent of Africa and can find the solutions to problems. This key is something that can be talent all around the world. We can take this thing and put it every part of our country, and give people access to their revolution.”
Mathieu Metivier