A few thoughts on #digitaldinner

It is absolutely zero surprise that Durban Digital Dinner (brought to you by the same peeps who hosted Durban Digital Day) is a cause and movement I care about. Read my bio, anywhere, and it’ll tell you that I am “Durban-proud”. There is a significant reason for that, and I’m going to talk about it today.

#digitaldinner last night was fun, informative and the food was good. The people? Even better. I love our zany crew of people that make up this town, and it is not often that I come across someone who slates our city anymore. In fact, quite the opposite is occurring – it seems the world is waking up to the fact that Durban should not be discounted when it comes to the digital landscape.

I’d like to thank the always-clever-but-brutally honest Glen for MCing. Matthew Savides for #newspapersaurus, my midnight McFlurry and for putting up with me. Mike Stopforth for reminding me that the words “authenticity” and “humanity” are not just terms people have latched on to – they’re embedded concepts that shine in work we see done around us. And a massive thank you to the peeps from CtrlRoom for their sponsorship! And, of course, the hotel that has a very special place in my heart (my parents honeymooned there!), the Beverly Hills for being an incredible venue.

a few scenes from #digitaldinner

If you’d like to know more about the Digital Day events, visit the website, or get in touch with Glen, Cade or Jonathan. It’s  a movement in evolution – and that excites me. But, seriously, folks, if you have feedback or ideas, the Digital Day team want to hear them!

But I’d like to talk about why I love our town, and why I’m grateful that these kinds of events bring us together…

You see, the one thing I know about Durbanites is that we love to bitch. And yes, I’m generalising, and yes, I am one of these people sometimes. We bitch about the humidity (but won’t move), we bitch about roadworks (but know all the shortcuts) and we bitch about big name concerts skipping us when they come to SA shores (but, really who buys the tickets?:P)

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 08.05.13 AM
Dear Ellen, you can keep Jared Leto & Bradley Cooper. I’d take these people any day. Image by @avish_karr

Thing is, though, we don’t bitch about each other. Yes, there are disagreements, and those are most commonly thrashed out over a coffee and/or tequila. Yes, we can yell at each other like siblings, must that doesn’t mean we’re going to not sit down to dinner together and plot our next adventure. I have always found the Durban fraternity to be like a family – a little bit crazy, and a hellavu whackload of supportive. We look out for each other, can be upfront with each other and I’ve never been in a position where I’ve felt afraid to speak my mind (even if, and especially if, I need to be corrected). We share ideas, tell our stories and, somehow, cobble together a history with a sea view, that makes me smile.

I am Durban-proud, because Durban is open to sensible critique. Our Durban is not afraid to be wrong, because being wrong sometimes is human. Our Durban is thrilled by ideas, and brought together by a common purpose – Durban. I’m even willing to bet, that if you were to gauge how companies work together on projects, and looked at their partnerships, you’d find we have an interesting intersection of effort that spans a ton of industries and companies. In my world view, it is partnership and collaboration that crafts ideas into reality. 

We’re a hardworking, human bunch, and I am very glad to be Durban-proud. See you at the next #digitaldinner!

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