Clay Shirky to deliver keynote at Tech4Africa in August


Clay Shirky – one of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies – will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Tech4Africa Conference in August this year. Shirky’s participation in the event underlines its status as the top African conference about the Web and other emerging technologies.

The event, organised by Technovated, will bring international experience and perspective to the African continent and provide a rare opportunity to learn first hand from local and international speakers about the role that emerging and Web technologies have to play in African business and development.

Shirky is one of the world’s most sought-after speakers on topics related to the Web, social media and the Internet. He has spoken at events such as TED Global, SXSW, the Web 2.0 expo in New York and San Francisco, SES San Jose, the Adobe Learning Summit, New York Tech Meetup and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

He currently divides his time between teaching, consulting and writing. He teaches New Media as an associate teacher at New York University’s (NYU) graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

His consulting practice focuses on the rise of decentralised technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterises the Web. Shirky consults for clients such as Nokia, the Library of Congress and the BBC.

He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet and his columns and writings have appeared in Business 2.0, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and Wired. Shirky is also the author of Here Comes Everybody, which explores the effects of open networks, collaboration and user created and disseminated content on organisations and industries. He is especially well known for using the phrase “the Internet runs on love” and for his advocacy of crowdsourcing and collaborative efforts online.

Says Gareth Knight, MD of Technovated: “We’re excited to have drawn a speaker of Clay Shirky’s calibre to this event. By attracting such a strong line-up of African and international speakers to this conference, we hope to inspire a generation of Africans to go and do extraordinary things with the Web and other emerging technologies.

It is an excellent learning opportunity for any person or organisation with an interest in the African Web – whether as an end-user of the technology, as a technologist working with the technology, or as an entrepreneur or investor active in the African market.”

Shirky joins a stellar line-up of international speakers – including leaders from organisations such as Twitter, Mozilla, WordPress and Yahoo! – and African technologists from companies such as PesaPal, Ushahidi, Obami and many more.

The event runs from 12-13 August 2010 at The Forum in Bryanston. Workshops will be held on 10-11 August. The event is targeted at business professionals and technologists from businesses of all sizes, from entrepreneurs and start-up owners through to professionals working at large organisations.

Registration for the event is open and there are 300 early bird tickets available.

For further information or to register, visit, email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 207 788 1023.

About Clay Shirky
Shirky’s writings can be found online at:

His blog about his book, Here Comes Everybody, can be found at:

His talk at the Web 2.0 Expo can be found on YouTube at:

His talk on TED Global can be found on YouTube at:

About Technovated
Technovated is a leading Web 2.0 provider in South Africa and London. Technovated enables content management, delivers e-commerce stores and search engine marketing, provides social media management and stimulates growth for foreign markets through authentic user engagement.

About Gareth Knight
Gareth is a digital maven and open source evangelist. Educated as a zoologist, he is a veteran of two dot com crashes in London, one web 2.0 acquisition, and runs Technovated.

Previously, Gareth served in London as Director of Product Management for, a global family genealogy company based in Tel Aviv.

Before joining MyHeritage, Gareth landed seed funding from London’s top early stage investors to co-found, a global family social network with an international team spread around the world. He then led the Product team in London to roll out a localised version of Kindo in 17 languages within 6 months, as well as an aggressive search engine campaign, both of which resulted in users from circa 220 countries and an enviable growth rate.

Kindo was voted one of the top 3 most promising Internet companies in the UK for 2008, and was later acquired by MyHeritage in August that year.

Press Contacts

Ian Rodney
Account Manager
Emerging Media Communications
(011) 792 4706
[email protected]

Gareth Knight
Managing Director
[email protected]

SiliconCape speakers announcement: Google, Invenfin, SA-US Chamber of Business


Check it out:

A message to all members of The Silicon Cape Initiative

Hello there exquisite people of the Silicon Cape.
We are now only one day away from the Silicon Cape’s second Networking event which is taking place this coming Wednesday at the Old Biscuit Mill from 6pm, and do we have a rock star line up for you! (if you’re not registered please click here and register immediately!)
Christine Moon from Google, Silicon Valley – on a mission to find places in South Africa and Africa for Google to start incubators. She will be sharing with us what Google has up its mammoth sleeve.
Jacqui Buchanan, co-chair of the San Francisco-based South African American Business Community. Jacqui is a South African by birth but now hails from the Valley and she will be sharing South African success stories she has come across and also expand a bit on South Africans doing business in the Valley and other places abroad.
Brett Commaille from InVenFin to tell us what ingredients investors seek out in entrepreneurs.
Justin Stanford, who will be giving us an update on what’s happening with the Initiative.
Rob van Vuuren (from Corne and Twakkie fame) will be our MC, we’re not sure how geeky he is but we do know that he is hilarious.
We’ll end off with 6 elevator pitches. We have received quite a few so far and if you still want to enter, you better hurry, you have until tomorrow morning, 10am. Henk has done an amazing blog post on the 5 W’s of a Great Elevator Pitch so please read this first and then send your pitch to [email protected]. After that we will inform the top 6 that they will be presenting.
It is going to be a fantastic evening, filled with inspirational talks and people. A great space where you can relax, buy food and drink market style and network on hay bales while listening to some chilled out tunes, surrounded by fairy lights.
So if you haven’t registered yet, DO IT NOW BY CLICKING HERE!

Visit The Silicon Cape Initiative at:

Spread the word: South Africans abroad can vote overseas


Just in case you didn’t know:
The Constitutional Court ruled this morning that expatriate South Africans have the right to vote!

Only those already registered will be eligible to vote, and must notify the chief electoral officer of their intention to vote by March 27. The London Voting Station will be South Africa House/ SA High Commission.

To check if you are eligible to vote, visit:

Hat tip: SA Business Club newsletter

* Update – from the SA LegalBrief Today newsletter *

Constitutional: Registered expats cleared to vote
The Constitutional Court yesterday ruled unanimously that South Africans living abroad had the right to vote if they were registered. The court ruled that section 33 of the 1998 Electoral Act unfairly restricted the right to cast special votes while abroad to a very narrow class of citizens. It declared this section to be unconstitutional. As a result, all citizens who are registered voters, and who will be out of the country on 22 April, will be allowed to vote in the national (not provincial) elections ‘provided they give notice of their intention to do so, in terms of the Election Regulations, on or before 27 March to the Chief Electoral Officer and identify the embassy, high commission or consulate where they intend to apply for the special vote’. Handing down the first of two separate judgments, Justice Kate O’Regan said the right to vote had a symbolic and democratic value and those who were registered should not be limited by unconstitutional and invalid limitations in the Electoral Act. However, notes a report in The Times, a second judgment by Justice Sandile Ngcobo found that unregistered voters overseas could not vote. The limitations had been in effect since 2003 and the applicants had not explained why they had left the challenge so late. This follows an application by the Freedom Front Plus on behalf of a Pretoria school teacher working in the UK, as well as representation by the IFP, the DA, the A-Party, a lobby group, and an independent group of South Africans living overseas.

Political parties across the board have welcomed the ruling, according to an SABC News report. The Freedom Front Plus says it is a victory for democracy. Party leader Pieter Mulder said it was difficult to say whether the ruling would have an impact on the outcome of the elections, but that was not the point. DA chairperson James Selfe predicted that the ruling would improve the party’s performance in the elections: ‘We will benefit differentially from this decision,’ he said. The DA would in coming days decide whether to launch a separate legal bid to secure voters abroad the right to cast ballots for provincial governments as well. ‘It is a matter that we need to think through thoroughly.’ Figures had shown that most registered voters lived in the UK and the DA might extend its campaign to reach the large expatriate community there. According to a Mail & Guardian Online report, Selfe also said the DA was planning to bring forward new legislative proposals to clean up the whole business of the rights of South Africans abroad to vote. ANC spokesperson Jessie Duarte is quoted as saying the ruling was in line with the ANC’s view that every effort should be made to ensure all South Africans, including those temporarily living abroad, be given an opportunity to cast their votes in elections.

The Independent Electoral Commission has no idea how many expatriates might vote, says a report in The Times. It notes more than 5 000 South Africans living abroad have already applied for a special vote, but the final number is anyone’s guess, the IEC’s chief electoral officer, Pansy Tlakula, has conceded.

Although the decision will not have a major impact on the elections, it is significant – both for the message it conveys to South Africans living abroad, and for what it says about the current state of our country today, writes political commentator James Myburgh on the Politicsweb site. He says the decision to disenfranchise overseas South Africans was a thoroughly mean-spirited one. The old ruling clique of the ANC clearly felt their departure to be some kind of rebuke – and so sought to punish them. In his affidavit to the Constitutional Court, IFP leader and former Minister of Home Affairs, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, wrote that a senior official had explained the ANC’s rationale as follows: ‘They left us in the lurch and do not deserve to vote.’ This petty and vindictive attitude was carried over until recently. By contrast, writes Myburgh, Judge Kate O’Regan’s reasoning in the judgment is broadminded and generous. She noted that SA is now part of a global economy which allows citizens of this country to study and work abroad: ‘The experience that they gain will enrich our society when they return…. The evidence before us, too, shows that many South African citizens abroad make remittances to family members in SA while they are abroad, or save money to buy a house. To the extent that citizens engaged in such pursuits want to take the trouble to participate in elections while abroad, it is an expression both of their continued commitment to our country and their civic-mindedness from which our democracy will benefit.’ Hopefully, writes Myburgh, extending the right to vote to citizens abroad will foster a continued sense of belonging, and help keep alive the desire to return.

Office space available in Bryanston, Johannesburg


A mate of mine has some desk / office space available in the Bryanston area. I worked there recently, and think it’s an awesome space – clean, well lit, parking is safe, and plenty headroom – you’re defo not in a basement! Ideal for a contractor, consultant, startup, one or two man band.

Details below:
4 Karen Street
Lyme Park
(opposite to St Stithians School)

Available immediately.

R3500 per month which includes:
· Secure parking
· Aircon
· Electricity
· Kitchen
· Storeroom
· Internet connection (excessive usage will be billed at R99 per GB)
· Cleaning services
· Roof terrace with braai area
· 24 hour security
· Printing/scanning/faxing
· Receptionist
· Access cards to complex
· Boardroom (subject to availability @ R 200/hour)

Phone lines installed and active already but will be billed according to usage of that extension.

Contact: Brad Allen
Tel: (011) 463-0588