Hot fifty – Ravi Naidoo

Ravi Naidoo has made it into the Hot 50 listing before for his work in promoting global design within South Africa. He identified design as a generator for change in his country and set up Interactive Africa to channel promotions to this end after the collapse of apartheid.

Now celebrating its 12th event, the annual Design Indaba conference is legendary for attracting big global players to Cape Town. Once there, they enjoy such gracious hospitality and optimism from the locals that the experience stays with them long after the event.

Over the years, the programme has been expanded to include fashion, jewellery and architecture – all areas of particular interest to South Africa’s design community. There has also been the Expo show of local craft, design and fashion.

Naidoo makes it back into the listing this year not for his achievements to date, but for his aspirations. He has gone on record as saying he’s planning to bring a design summit to Europe – and possibly to London – but with a big global event to attract business people to discuss design.

He is currently looking to hold the Creative Company Conference in Amsterdam at the end of March, with Dutch-based publishing group BIS. But his sights are set on London, so let’s hope his appearance here spurs him into action.

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