Why attend Suits & Sneakers 5?


As we rolled out the Suits & Sneakers concept in 2015, we created an ecosystem centered around giving value first before asking our audience for anything in return and we believe this is the key reason why our concept has grown so quickly and why random strangers tell others to join them at our events. 

Sometimes when something grows so fast, it’s almost impossible to keep everyone on the same track… I wanted to take a moment to explain to you why Suits & Sneakers is so important, how the whole thing works and what we’re trying to achieve. Ultimately, we want you to attend our next Main Event on 25 May at the Sandton Convention Centre at NO COST after reading this article. And we want your help in sharing this article if it resonates with you.

If you’re ready NOW, you can register for FREE here: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/27257-suits-sneakers-5/

South Africa is in a rather precarious spot at the moment and I hate it. It’s something I’ve been worrying about for a long time. About two years ago, I took a major step back and really asked myself what I could do to make a tangible difference for my country. I’m just one person… How do I go about creating something that truly uplifts this country? This burning question has never left me.

I am an amateur futurist and I permanently try to research the new world that is coming at us. I believe we are heading into the most chaotic time because the rate of change is speeding up at an exponential pace. Technology, and more specifically digitisation, is the root cause of this world changing so rapidly.

With this in mind, I believe we have moved into the age of information. A country’s wealth isn’t solely determined by its mineral wealth. We used to mine the earth to change our fortunes but the game has changed. More than anything, a country’s greatest resource is now the collective intelligence of its people! For us to rise as a nation, we must become learning machines.

One of the biggest problems we face here in South Africa is that we are one of the most unequal societies on earth. There is a gaping hole between those who have and those who don’t. Not just in terms of resources but also intellectual capacity. I believe that we can not function at a high level of quality when so few people have so much and the rest have so little.

In my opinion, the only true solution is empowering the masses to add to the economy. The only way this happens is if the masses learn and grow as people. The masses need quality education.

Let’s start by understanding that education is no longer reserved just for young people. Because the world is changing quicker than ever before, education is the only weapon we ALL have to prepare for a future we don’t understand. We need to redefine what education is and how it works.

It’s my opinion there are two types of education: formal and informal. When you get a tertiary education and thus a degree, that’s formal. This system has been around forever and there’s loads of universities and colleges to satisfy the demand for those that can afford it.

The formal education system is the reason the world has advanced the way it has over the last 200-300 years and it has improved the lives of many over a long period of time. BUT it’s also deeply flawed. This system was created during the industrial revolution to solve problems in a time before exponential change. It used to be the only system we had to improve our lives which is why it’s still held in such high regard but ironically with digitisation came a new way of learning. We call this new system informal education..

If I asked you 30 years ago to tell me what the population of Bangladesh was, how would you go about finding this piece of information? Chances are once we were done arguing, one of us would have to go to the library and we’d have to hope we would find a book with that information. And then we would have to hope it was written recently. Nowadays, we just google it and we get the answer. The same problem is solved instantaneously because of the rate at which information is shared between human beings.

I believe the same thing has happened to education. If I want to learn how social media works or what the blockchain is all about, I can just watch a bunch of YouTube videos to understand more. The world may not deem this process of learning to be on par with formal education but I somewhat disagree. Think traditional encyclopedias vs. wikipedia. No one originally believed that wikipedia would work because they were stuck in an old paradigm shift. This new world has a new set of demands.

This new kind of informal education has become vital to move forward in the time we live in. We need to accept that there are many ways to learn new things with university being just one of the systems you can use to improve your life. I believe the future of education is about offering a blend between face-to-face style learning with an online system. I also believe formal and informal education will converge and the blend of the two will be the answer.

With this in mind, Suits & Sneakers was created for these two major reasons:

1. We want to help companies re-imagine what learning looks like in the workplace for a profit. We want to help them create programs that are truly adopted by their staff. Knowledge sticks when it is shared in a social setting that prioritises interaction. Knowledge also sticks when it is infused with deep emotion. The problem in most businesses around the world is that their learning programs still resemble the formal education system. As we generate revenue by helping businesses, we are starting to develop the university of the future.

2. As business people and consumers at large pay to use this futuristic university, it will eventually become good enough to allow young people in SA, especially those who can’t afford entry into the traditional system, to have access to a brighter future at NO COST.

When you attend our Suits & Sneakers Main Event, you help us create the momentum we need to change this country and eventually the world. The more people attend, the more they become aware of the real problems we all face as well as the solutions we believe could solve these same problems. We have made it dead easy for you to help us create this change by allowing you to participate in our events at NO COST:

The next big Suits & Sneakers event takes place on the evening of 25 May at the Sandton Convention Centre. At the time this article was published, we had 2000 people registered and we are expecting around 3000 people on the night! We have previously run four Main Events which has helped us create the momentum we have right now.

We offer FREE access to our Main Event because we want to live this message: Quality education needs to be free so that everyone has a chance to participate in our economy. Free education gives us a shot at eradicating inequality in South Africa. We don’t want to hear about people who wanted to join us at our event but never had the money to afford being there. If you can register and get yourself to Sandton Convention Centre on 25 May, you will have a seat! But register quickly before all the seats are gone.

Besides the the fact that our event is free, the best part is who we have speaking on the night. These guys and gal will be doing their best to teach you something new from an informal learning perspective:

* Michael Jordaan (former CEO of FNB)
* Anele Mdoda (94.7FM DJ)
* Rich Mulholland (crazy talented global speaker & entrepreneur)
* IN-Q (poetry slam champ from US – WATCH THIS VIDEO to see what you’re in for)
* Dusty Rich (SA comedian now living in Australia but back for this event specifically) as MC

I will also be on stage for 5min to talk about the progress we have made in the last few months since our last event.

Another key feature we are proud of is the “Business Expo” where we hand pick businesses big and small to join us on the night to showcase who they are and what they do. Businesses are selected by invite only. The fee for small businesses is waived because we believe it is our duty to provide this platform and support small businesses who are the engine room of our economy.

Our first aim is to get YOU to join us on the night. You can register for free by following this link: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/27257-suits-sneakers-5/

Once you have registered, all we ask you is to help us spread the word and get others to join us! This whole concept is about making a difference in South Africa and this is the best way I know how to do that. The last two years have been an absolute blast as we’ve attempted to make a difference in other people’s lives. It’s starting to come together thanks to the support of everyone around us.

I know most people want to help but they just don’t always know how. We’ve tried to make it simple for you. Join us and it won’t cost you a cent. If the recent protest marches have taught us anything, it’s that there’s enormous power in numbers and if we do this together, we could create real change. This is why I’ve become obsessed with the concept you know as Suits & Sneakers. It represents a chance to change the world around us and I’m taking that chance with both hands.

Mark Sham is the owner and founder of Suits & Sneakers and believes emphatically in informal learning and human development. You can like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter!

If you would like to keep in the loop with all things Suits & Sneakers then please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We actively use social media channels to educate you and even entertain you!

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Mark is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Suits & Sneakers and also founder of the Impello incubation hub. Mark loves to travel the world and is hell bent on disrupting education for people of all ages.