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A whole industry is ready to make a difference. Picture: 123RF/RAWPIXEL
A whole industry is ready to make a difference. Picture: 123RF/RAWPIXEL

OK, so I’m putting my hand up. A new dawn is one thing, but ensuring a bright new day will take more than a little creativity, and it’s going to need all sorts of us to step up.

I was lucky enough back in May 1994 to co-found the first advertising agency born in the new SA, a little shop with big dreams on a rollercoaster ride of change.  

It was probably the last time we all as one nation felt the stirring of hope that is once again emerging today. As the fragile new SA wobbled uncertainly, but proudly, we were fuelled by belief and fired up by idealism.

We wanted to make more than ads, and make a difference to society. We borrowed some wisdom from Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”  

This MAL way of thinking (MakeALiving, MakeALife) explored the duality of the haves doing something for the have-nots, and inspired all kinds of projects designed to put back into communities – best of all, building cool libraries in township schools for the next generation of imagination. (We’re now on our 14th.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Schalit is a founding partner at Net#work BBDO.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Schalit is a founding partner at Net#work BBDO.

So I’m hoping this non-profit MAL model might offer some sustainable ways forward for all South Africans: anything to leverage and inspire creative solutions for the tough challenges that lie ahead. It’s the one thing that keeps us in the creative industries up till most dawns – sparking ideas.

How about a creative summit, for starters?

Not only can I offer a whole posse of creativists behind me at NetworkBBDO.co.za; I’m also happy to rustle up the whole industry, as we did for SHOUT when we tackled crime.

Because it is that important for us all, to be part of the change, to help you unleash one of SA’s most powerful weapons to reinvent the future: creativity.

It’s time to liberate the ingenuity of South Africans and their ideas to turn the world upside down, and once again lead the way.

Please let me know where and when. I’m ready and waiting at mike.s@networkbbdo.co.za.

Viva,

Mike Schalit