Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
8 Mar 2016
8:55 am

Smart minds meet to learn

Adriaan Roets

Engaging speakers providing different advice.

Life isn’t about going through every day nose to the grindstone. Suits and Sneakers follows the same format as Ted Talks but also serves as a valuable platform to inspire young South Africans.

With today’s technology making knowledge easily accessible, there’s no excuse for limiting yourself. Businessman Mark Sham created Suits and Sneakers for South Africans to share their ideas and personal experiences to spread tangible knowledge that can help others.

Sham is an entrepreneur who is passionate about human development and creating a platform of collaboration in South Africa. His obsession with education and sharing knowledge is the cornerstone of Suits and Sneakers. The next edition , on March 17, will feature insights from Vusi Thembwekwayo, Tony Leon, mind magician Gilan Gork and Dusty Rich.

“I pick people I want to hear from. These are interesting people with interesting topics,” says Sham.

The event also introduces unconventional speakers to a wider audience.

“There is a circuit of public speakers in South Africa, and there has never really been a platform for aspiring speakers. It’s diffi cult to become one. We have public speakers just no platform to train them. Suits and Sneakers changes that,” Sham says.

Sham and the organisers have secured the Sandton Convention Centre for the event.

“Speakers are from a delivery perspective. I really want Tony Leon to tell stories, I want him to tell stories about South Africa – but give a balanced perspective of the country. I’m defi nitely not
scared for people to be controversial, but this isn’t the platform to spread negativity ,” Sham says.

“Dusty was asked to be funny, but I really want him to tell his story ,” he adds.

Suits and Sneakers launched in July last year and has grown to become one of the top events in Johannesburg that encourages others to engage in informal learning on a daily basis – be it at home, work or with a circle of friends.

“I want to replicate a conversation with one of the speakers. I don’t want it to be like how they would sound during a radio interview – this is their opportunity to engage too. The informal sett ing
allows us to do this,” Sham says.

The event also features Network Pods. Att endees will have the chance to spend the last part of the evening networking with fellow att endees. Pods will consist of a facilitator and nine att endees.

Each person will have a minute to explain who they are and what they do.

Attendees can participate in more than one network pod to network with different people each time. These events are recorded and published online afterwards for free.