Social Media Week: Inspiring a hyper-connected world

The inaugural Social Media Week (SMW) Johannesburg event in South Africa will take place from September 22, and is set to draw thousands of attendees and a diverse and interesting range of speakers to numerous venues across the city. 

SMW Johannesburg will join dozens of other cities like Lagos and Tokyo, in an event that aims “to provide the best information, ideas and inspiration to help people understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world”.   

Themed “The Future is Now: Making sense of our Always On Always Connected World”, the week-long conference will feature a central stage for keynotes and panels, masterclasses and workshops, as well as networking events. 

Discussions taking place in the city will also be broad; ranging from topics about  “democratising black hair care in South Africa” to “the practical role and influence of social media on radio broadcasts”

According to its website, SMW Johannesburg will look at “the ways we live, work and create, [and how it can] can lead to meaningful change and a more productive life”. Asking questions such as  “What does it mean to become a truly digital city?” to answering queries about “How to figure out who’s reading your site” in a masterclass, SMW plans to unpack how our country engages with the digisphere and the many avenues it affects.   

The speakers at SMW include 22-year-old  SBTV owner Jamal Edwards, whose online music channel attracts over 200-million YouTube views, to Gabriella  Razzano, head of legal research at Code for Africa and cultural planner and Srt.Crd curator Hardy McQueen, to name a few.   

We chose four events, one from each day of the week (except for the public holiday), to check out at SMW Johannesburg, here they are:   

22 September 
Building cities for the digital citizen:
This keynote, by Lee Naik – managing director of technology strategy business Accenture – will focus on role of emerging digital technologies in transforming service delivery for governments and businesses.     

23 September
Masterclass: How to turn Instagram into a powerful – and free – marketing tool: Los Angeles-based journalist, blogger, and novelist Britni Danielle will present the masterclass and give tips on how to use the image-sharing site to create awareness around your personal and public brand.   

23 September
The future of crowdfunding in Africa:
Burn Media’s Michelle Atagana will host at a panel at the Wits Ampitheatre, focusing on the rise of crowdfunding in Africa. According to SMW Johannesburg, “The conversation will include insight on funding for startups, funding for events and charitable purposes.”   

26 September
Sound waves: How music travels in Africa:
Asking questions such around  issue of piracy within the African economy and digital media’s effects on selling music prematurely, the “Sound waves” panel will “explore what digital platforms are doing to shorten the distance between music producers/record labels and consumers on the continent”, according to SMW Johannesburg.

For more information, visit .

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