So Creative Summit kickstarts an evolution

Left: Thobile Chittenden, middle ; Dillion Phiri will present a workshop for VANSA at the So Creative Summit, right Digital marketing guru Lebo Lion will present a talk at the So Creative Summit in Johannesburg on 6 July 2022.

Left: Thobile Chittenden, middle ; Dillion Phiri will present a workshop for VANSA at the So Creative Summit, right Digital marketing guru Lebo Lion will present a talk at the So Creative Summit in Johannesburg on 6 July 2022.

After two years of Zoom meetings and solo contemplation, the cultural and creative sectors are ready to forge a new course of action – and young creative entrepreneurs are impatient to get started. On 6 and 7 July, the So Creative Summit, presented by Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) with partners Manchester International Festival (MIF), British Council Creative Economy programme and Common Purpose South Africa will set enterprise in motion.

A purpose-driven programme of talks, workshops, immersions and experiences is set to super-charge creative and innovative entrepreneurs, curious minds and raw ambition with a power-pack of new ideas and action. Hosted by Creative “ARTivist” Practitioner, Tshego Khutsoane, the So Creative Summit is happening at the Centre for the Less Good Idea in Maboneng, Johannesburg.

Speakers include illustrator, and recent H&M collab artist Russell Smith (Yay Abe) and digital strategist and weaver Kristen Clague; straight-talking digital marketing guru Lebo Lion; the V&A Waterfront’s Social Impact: Cultural Manager Marco Morgan and purpose pioneer Thobile Chittenden of Makers Valley. Streaming in live on behalf of Manchester International Festival are Michelle Rocha, their Head of Touring and artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer who will be discussing Atmospheric Memory, an interactive art environment that premiered at MIF19 and has since travelled globally. All of the talks will be broadcast online via the So Creative Summit’s Youtube and social media channels.

The talks are interspersed with in-person workshops that tease thoughts into action. Creative Nestlings founder, strategist and cultural consultant Dillion S Phiri will represent VANSA with a workshop that looks at the toolkit for creative business success. Visual artist Mariapaola McGurk will also unpack the entrepreneurial process for creatives, and theatre maker Tamara Guhrs will take a new perspective on approaching and building a project from a sustainability base.

The Summit will also host a Pitch Den where creatives can pitch their start-up idea to the crowd for a shot at winning a R 10 000, R20 000 or R 30 000 boost (courtesy of BASA) to kick start their project.

Set out across multiple spaces at The Centre for the Less Good Idea in Johannesburg, Summit participants can take some time between the action to browse artisanal merchandise, creative projects and digital art, spend time in the outdoor courtyard, watch short films, peruse books and network.

A visit to the Summit’s Manifesto Lab is a must-stop for everyone. It’s here that a solution-driven, collaboratively created manifesto will extract what cultural producers, artists and makers want for themselves, their communities and their planet. Made over the two days as a zine, the end result will be a call to action and a guide for the path ahead. The Summit will also call for digital contributions to the Manifesto.

The So Creative Summit 2022 is version 3.0 of the physical Summit meetups with the first one having been launched in Johannesburg, South Africa under the leadership of Arterial Network South Africa (Feb 2019). The second meetup happened in Zimbabwe under the leadership of Stimulus Africa Foundation (March 2020), and now meetup 3.0 is being led by Business and Arts South Africa. A Digital MeetUp also took place in 2021, in light of COVID-19.

In the lead up to the live event, digital engagements such as Instagram Live conversations are taking place. On 13 June 2022, an Instagram Live; Decolonising Fashion is taking place at 19:00 SAST on the So Creative Summit’s Instagram channel with guests Lesiba Mabitsela and Erica de Greef from the African Fashion Research Institute. For more visit

The So Creative Summit is on 6 and 7 July.

Tickets are R50 per day or R90 for both days.

For more information, to see the full programme and book tickets, visit

Follow So Creative Summit on:
Facebook @So Creative Summit
Instagram @SoCreativeHubSummit
Twitter @SoCreative2022

Notes to Editors

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year, it reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall, including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, it is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. It receives a 15 percent core funding grant from the UK government.

●             For more information, see

Common Purpose is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1989 that develops leaders who can cross boundaries. This enables them to solve complex problems both in organisations and in cities. We deliver face-to-face and online leadership programmes for multiple generations of leaders: from students in universities to senior leaders in organisations and society. We run programmes in over 100 cities and online, and have more than 100000 alumni, worldwide.

●             For more information, visit

Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative between government and the private sector as part of a strategy to secure greater involvement in the arts and from businesses operating in South Africa. Constituted in terms of the Companies Act, BASA is registered as a public benefit organisation. BASA champions business investment within the arts, cultural and heritage sector, driving focused and sustained partnerships by unlocking shared value and fostering social cohesion.

●             For more information, visit

About MIF & The Factory Manchester International Festival (MIF) is UK based artist-focused festival of original, new work and special events reflecting the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture, staged every two in venues across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks. MIF works closely with venues, festivals and other cultural organisations globally, whose financial and creative input helps to make many of these projects possible and ensures that work made at MIF goes on to be seen around the world. MIF also supports a year-round Creative Engagement programme, bringing opportunities for people from all backgrounds, ages and from all corners of the city to get involved during the Festival and year-round, as volunteers, as participants in shows, through skills development and a host of creative activities.

MIF will also run The Factory, the landmark new cultural space currently being built in Manchester, UK, designed by the internationally renowned Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and backed by Manchester City Council and HM Government. The Factory will commission, present and produce an ambitious and adventurous year-round creative programme, featuring bold new work from the world’s greatest artists and offering a space to create, invent and experiment. At 13,300 square metres, The Factory will be ultra-flexible, enabling large-scale artistic work of invention and ambition that isn’t made anywhere else in the world: from large-scale multimedia performances to epic installations, to intimate performances and ground-breaking digital experiences.

Attracting up to 850,000 visitors annually, The Factory will add £1.1 billion to the UK economy over a decade and create up to 1,500 direct and indirect jobs. Its pioneering programme of skills, training and engagement will benefit local people and the next generation of creative talent from across the city, whilst apprenticeships and trainee schemes are already underway during the construction phase. Located in the St John’s neighbourhood next to the River Irwell, The Factory will be at the heart of a burgeoning city centre hub for culture, creativity and digital innovation.

●             For more information, visit

Sinenhlanhla Mdiya

Thobile Chittenden
Thobile Chittenden
Dillion Phiri will present a workshop for VANSA at the So Creative Summit.
Dillion Phiri will present a workshop for VANSA at the So Creative Summit.
Digital marketing guru Lebo Lion will present a talk at the So Creative Summit in Johannesburg on 6 July 2022.
Digital marketing guru Lebo Lion will present a talk at the So Creative Summit in Johannesburg on 6 July 2022.