A little over a year ago, Nicework was given the go ahead to open the Johannesburg chapter of CreativeMornings. It’s been an amazing rollercoaster ride. We’ve had some historical talks, some analog ones, and have even convinced a bunch of people to hang out in a bar in the morning.
Having twisted our rubber arms, Tina and the team from CreativeMornings HQ invited us to a summit in New York. We packed our bags and we were off, armed with our guides-to-Johannesburg that the team at Nicework put together to help our new friends understand why we love our city.
Having traveled 12823.253 kilometers and traversed 7 time zones (granted we did spend 2 weeks in France), we arrived in New York, jet lagged and ready for the summit. One train ride into Brooklyn, later we discovered the Invisible Dog and a shiny golden arrow pointing us to all the fun and excitement inside. Ironically, the first time we got to meet the rest of African contingent from Cape Town was in New York.
The festivities quickly escalated. There was t-shirt printing by Real Thread…
…tons of swag…
…and an international delivery of a Makarapa, which we have been told has since become the symbol of “leave me alone, I am wrangling my inbox symbol.”
The first morning kicked off early with 175 Attendees, representing 59 cities, 27 countries, and Montreal even brought a dog (we love you Norbert). I always knew that CreativeMornings was driven on people power, but I never expected the sheer amount of love and passion for CreativeMornings at the summit. All of the people I met are professionals in the creative industry, and they all give up their most precious asset to organise CreativeMornings – time. Tina, Sally, Kevin and Carley have done an amazing job of finding incredible people to take the CreativeMornings message across the globe. Fresh off the back of making 30 new friends, eating a bagel or 16 and about 3kgs of cream cheese the summit began. Here is the wonderful introduction video made by Ben Derico.
Tina brought us all to tears with her story of how CreativeMornings came to life. Hosts from LA, Baltimore, Auckland, Berlin, Edmonton, Bogotá, Atlanta, Cape Town, Lima and other cities shared some of their experiences with us. (Lets just say that technical issues are prevalent around the world). We heard from the Vancouver massive, and were even rewarded with micro fibre cloths courtesy of the city. One of my biggest learnings was courtesy of Blake Howard of Atlanta, ALWAYS USE FLAME TRANSITIONS AND EPIC MUSIC. We were blown away by the Flex is Kings dancers and if that was not enough, we were lucky to have some special guests. Sarah Key an amazing poet spoke about a wonderful teacher & I was very glad to be able to see Debbie Millman.
Photo by Jérémie Fontana
It was an honour to share the stage and share some of the experiences we have had here in Johannesburg.
We finished this first day inside the Empire State building, at the awesome offices of Shutterstock (one of our great global partners).
Just to show us how it was done, we attended our very first CreativeMornings/NYC with Steve Powers’ at MoMA. Yes, MoMA.
Back at the Invisible Dog, the rest of the day was filled with a Q&A with the CreativeMornings Team. As if we had not seen or done enough, we spent the afternoon brainstorming on the future of CreativeMornings, with the help of Fred Dust and his great team from IDEO. We ended the summit with a great party at the Pioneer Works refurbished factory in Red Hook.
Bas Berkhout of Like knows Like made this video on the first day of the summit.
The very first CreativeMornings Summit talent show kicked off with the (not so hidden) singing talents of Maria Linares, Sophia Moon and a touching poem by Paul Oemig. If you are from a large record company, you are welcome to reach out and give them money. The dance floor was opened by the talented Kiwi Mon, who was joined in by Sally Rumble. Drinking and a bit of bad behavior ensued.
To finish it all off, CreativeMornings celebrated it’s 6th birthday with a cake, sparklers and 300 family members!
(Image by CreativeMornings)
At the beginning of the Summit we were a room of strangers, but 3 days later I felt like I had a group of friends and family scattered around the world (expect travel soon). CreativeMornings has shifted in my mind from a series of talks in a bunch of cities around the world to a movement that is uniting the creative community across the globe. This is one of the closest communities that I have ever been part of. Everybody is giving their time, love and energy to make it happen, all united behind a common purpose. We are part of something special. It is growing around the world and it is gaining momentum. Watch this space.
If you would like to take part, get in touch.
Here are some of the weird and wonderful things we were exposed to over the 3 days:
None of this would be possible without our official partners – MailChimp, Squarespace & Shutterstock.
Without these companies, CreativeMornings would not be possible!
All these guys came on board to make the #cmsummit14 happen, a big shout out to you:
Moo, Blue Bottle, Sixpoint, 99U, Airbnb, Real Thread, Bklzr, Poppin, Pioneer Works, Great Performances, Baked by Melissa, The Confetti Bar, Lomography, Tattly, The Invisible Dog.