Reflections on a successful ideas fest

Reflections on a successful ideas fest


Host and organizer of Botswana’s premier creative industry expo IdeasExpo, Calvin Bosilong looks back after a lively gathering of the thinkers and entrepreneurs.
This was our 5th year organizing the Ideas Expo. It has grown to being the biggest if not the only creative platform in the country.  We had an eclectic mix in terms of some the high-powered individuals who came for the 3-day spectacle. For the first time this year we had delegates from different government departments attending the event.


We increased the number of exhibitors and had the Ideas Expo exhibition officially opened by Ambassador of the USA to Botswana,  Earl Miller. After 5years years of nurturing and championing Botswana creative scene, the time was right to broaden our scope and use our platform to unearth the best examples of creative talent we could find across our country.


Primarily our goal was to explore the intersection between creativity and business to co-exist in solving complex problems using creativity. The conference was a true testament to that, all speakers shared their process on how they use creativity in their everyday business.  It takes a while to shift consciousness and to change behavior. I think that if you want to make something substantial, you need to be able to invest the time.


We had a few challenges as usual but our biggest still remains funding.


We tend to forget sometimes that really good things need to be a bun in the oven for a long time. The conference take out was a moment of inspiration, hopefully we will go back to our business to use those rapid problem solving methods to achieve socio-economic results.


We had a few challenges as usual but our biggest still remains funding. It’s our continued vision to get more and more partners to be a part of this platform that will effect the change we need in solving some of the vexing 21st century challenges.  As an organization, we hope to explore more of Botswana to unearth talent that we can export to the world.  It is a delight to have the pool of talent we attracted at the Ideas Expo Exhibition, however we hope to expand our reach and mirror the creativity in our country.


Ideas Expo reached trends map in most social networks and as we speak many are still immersed by the inspiration they got from the speakers.  The exhibitors are keen to collaborate amongst them and some are working on corporate work as this has scalability.
We have already pressed the refresh button to reinvigorate the Ideas Expo experience.  We are an evolving platform and aware of new trends happening across the world. Next year we hope to simulcast the Ideas Expo week nationwide in a ‘fan park’ kind of setting.

With digital platforms at our disposal those who can’t afford to be in the city at the time can have the conference experience in their respective areas.  We will continue engaging with a raft of initiatives we have under our wings, including the school tours, Creative Circle 267(monthly meet ups) and the pre-imminent awards that reward creative excellence which are the Segai Awards.