Q&A with trend specialist John Sanei ahead of Liberty Vuka Knowledge Summit

Global speaker, author of best-seller What’s Your Moonshot and trend specialist from Cape Town John Sanei is one of the speakers on the line up of the upcoming Liberty Vuka Knowledge Summit.

Along with other thought leaders such as entrepreneur Russell Simmons, writer Wole Soyinka, tech entrepreneur Annette Muller and founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, and a panel series, the two-day event is themed “Awaken Your Curiosity”, and aims to be an empowering space for leaders, creatives, humanitarians, innovators and seekers of knowledge. We chat to John.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs or those looking to start their own business?
When I was younger I was only looking for gaps and ways of making money, but really what I should have been doing is following my highest excitement and allowing that to lead me to a more abundant and energetic business. Young entrepreneurs should be following their curiosity. Something they can’t wait to wake up to in the morning to get them to their office or work is what they should be following. And then combining that with a business model.

In your bio, you refer to yourself as being a Singularity University Faculty Member. What exactly is that?
I have been accepted as the first South African in the faculty membership. Singularity University is the thought leader university in the world, teaching corporates and governments about the future. They sit on the same campus as NASA in San Francisco. It was founded by futurists — Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil, about eight years ago and are now setting up summits and universities around the world. What they have done is curated the top thinkers in each field around technology like artificial intelligence, 3D printers, sensors and networks. There are about 60 lecturers around the world and I am very proud and privileged to be one of them.Regarding the Millennial Generation: what do you think they are doing right or wrong when it comes to their careers?
I know a lot of millennials right now that have only learnt what they’ve learnt from the internet by curating the information themselves and you might see this as quite a brave way of educating yourself but the truth is that with artificial intelligence coming into play, a lot of careers are going to be disrupted in the next five to 10 years such as accounting, lawyers and doctors. So what we need to be doing is looking for the latest greatest things coming up and educating ourselves in those. When we follow that stream of excitement, we are able to find any of that information online and even go and do some formal education.

Your topic at the Liberty Vuka Knowledge Summit is “Business & Trends Strategy + Conscious Capitalism = ?” Can you tell us more about this?
What I am trying to get the audience to do is to to move away from understanding profitability as the only success factor in a business. A business moving forward into the future requires to be successful in three different areas:
1. how are you impacting your employees?
1. how are you impacting the environment?
2. how much profit are you making?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My strengths are an ability to break down complex ideas to simple formats so people can understand them and my ability to communicate. Those two things have made my businesses and life successful. I am very bad at balance sheets and managing people long term but for shorts bursts of energy and inspiration I am really good at it and I love doing it.

What advice do you have for this year’s graduates?
Adopt agility quotient. Become flexible and make sure you are able to shift from one foot to another as quickly as possible the market is changing at such a pace that it is not celebrating efficiency but celebrating agility.

Liberty VUKA Knowledge Summit 2017 takes place from 1 – 2 November 2017 at Sandton Convention Centre.

*This interview was provided by Liberty VUKA Knowledge Summit

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