Conn Bertish – creative strategist, cancer survivor, and then some.

We recently had former adman and all-round inspirational guy, Conn Bertish, host a How To Friday at the office.

Conn Bertish is the former ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT and Quirk; and more recently, the founder of the Cancer Dojo. He came to chat to us about the disease that changed his life in a way you can’t imagine.

Have a look at his story:

He also took some time to answer a few questions…

1. Since your diagnosis have you had any crazy YOLO (yes, we can say YOLO here) moments?

I do, every six months, but they’re called MRI scans. They are true perspective YOLO moments that last about 25 minutes while fully immersed in an MRI machine scanning tube that checks for signs of cancer in my brain. I used to fear them, but have learned to really appreciate the 25 minutes of true perspective of what’s important, and what is not. It’s amazing how much crap we worry about, that we shouldn’t.

2. If you could describe your journey in 10 words, how would you do it? (or draw it if you like)

It’s just begun – stay tuned @connbertish or @cancerdojo.

3. What would you like your tomb stone to say about you?

Led an extraordinary life. Affected the world positively. Had lots of fun.

happy people harder to kill4. Your illustration above says “Happy people are harder to kill.” What would your main tips be for people to start living happier lives?
  • Follow your gut.
  • Play more.
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  • Get rid of baggage that holds you back.
  • Love humans and nature.
  • Scare yourself on a regular basis.
  • Go surfing.

5. What is your 5 year plan?

Change the way the world views cancer and healing. Stay tuned…

Find out more about the Cancer Dojo here.  


How To Friday: John McInroy

A couple of weeks ago Red Sock Friday founder John McInroy joined us to talk for our How To Friday sessions. You don’t meet John you experience him, a little over two years ago he started an inspirational social movement for people to share stories of hope and inspiration, and show their support by wearing red socks on Fridays. In the fun talk above he shares his story of how the movement started, and also talks about the Unogwaja Challenge that will see John and friends cycle for 10 day road from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg (1,677km), followed by running the Comrades Ultra Marathon (89km) on day 11.

So far he has already garnered sponsorship from the likes of Avis, New Balance, and Ogilvy (We will be filming his journey). If you’re looking for an speaker with an inspirational story you can find him on twitter @JohnMcInroy.

How To Friday: Facebook for 2012

Michael Krynauw, Facebook Innovation Manager at their SA re-seller Habari Media, talks to us about Facebook’s new timeline feature + their new advertising model, as well as providing some of the latest stats on Facebook usage in South Africa. How To Friday’s are  twice monthly tech advertising based educational talks held at Ogilvy for staff and clients.

For some of the previouse talks see below:

Michael Krynauw:
Justin Hartman:
Charl Norman:
Paul Galatis:
Tim Bishop:
Vanessa Raphaely:
Rich Mulholland:
Fred Roed:
Nic Haralambous:

Lee-Roy Chetty: Imagining Web 3.0

Last week one of our ex-Ogilvy members Lee-Roy Chetty, kindly popped by to talk to us about the evolution of web to Web 3.0, also known as the Semantic web. The term Semantic web was coined by Tim Berners-Lee back in 2001, Lee-Roy has recently written a great book on the subject.

Basically in the beginning, the web was just a system of interconnected documents accessed via the internet (Web 1.0). The system was simple, there were few content producers, mostly professionals, and a huge passive audience.

Next people started to share and produce their own content, tagging it, and linking to other relevant content. Think of Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, etc. This created the Read-Write web (Web 2.0).

Web 3.0 is taking all this content, intelligently finding the meaningful relationships between it, and relating it personally back to us as individuals.Lee-Roy Chetty This means when we search for, or read content, we get personalised and more relevant info that’s all linked to the original and relevant content. Have a look at slide 3 in the presentation above for an evolutionary diagram of the connections. One of the ramifications of the semantic web has meant our degrees of separation from each other, previously six, has now halved to become three!

To learn more in-depth knowledge about the Semantic web you can purchase Lee-Roy’s book “Imagining Web 3.0” on Amazon, iTunes, and all good SA bookstores. If you have any questions leave a comment below and we will get back to you, bellow are some wise parting words from Lee-Roy:

Web 3.0 will usher in true globalisation,” he says. “I am passionately committed to finding ways that we can use technology to grow our economy and reduce unemployment. For South Africa, this is the true value of Web 3.0. This is a game-changer in terms of the way society works. The web of openness will offer tremendous opportunities for us all. I hope my book will go some way to making sure that we are ready to grasp those opportunities and make the most of them.”