Next year’s edition of the three-day ‘In Conversation with Trevor (ICWT) Ideas Festival Conference’ will run from the end of October as the platform is growing to influence the trajectory of Zimbabwe’s economy.
The inaugural three-day ICWT Ideas Festival Conference, which was held in Nyanga ended on Friday and this was a follow-up to the Ideas Festival Luncheon held in December 2022.
The conference was hosted by media entrepreneur Trevor Ncube in partnership with Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), publishers of the two leading weekly newspapers The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent, as well as the daily, NewsDay.
AMH also owns the online broadcaster Heart&Soul and Ncube is the chairperson of the media group.
In coming up with the conference, Ncube wanted to create an immersive platform where new ideas that support economic growth are discussed.
He stressed that the annual gathering was not a political platform, but was Zimbabwe’s own ‘Davos’, referencing the World Economic Forum's yearly meetings where global economic decision- making takes place in Davos, Switzerland.
“By the way, I must stress, this is not a political party. It will never be a political party,” Ncube said.
“This is our Davos. This is where we gather to affect each other, to influence each other, to inspire each other, to share with each other the ideas that we’re working on, to say, how can you help me?" he said.
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He said the biggest paycheck was collaborating with each other and working together to change the country in the different spaces.
“So, the 30th of October to the 1st of November, we gather again here. This is my invitation to you,” Ncube said.
“And let’s spread throughout the nation the positivity, creativity, and innovation, and you’ll be amazed by what is going to happen to this country.
“This is an opportunity for us to build the communities that we come from.”
Ncube said people had the power to change by reaching out courageously and being bold with the ideas that they have.
“Let’s create partnerships. Let us look at how we positively affect the environment that we’re talking about,” he added.
“Good people, I have been absolutely touched by the stories that have been shared here.
“And let us keep that vibe going. "Let’s keep that mindset going. You are young, you areinnovative. Do not be transformed by the world. "Transform the world.”
Ncube said Zimbabweans needed to listen to each other and speak to each other.
“Fear stops us from knowing each other and understanding each other. We need to speak to eachother as a nation,” he said.
AMH launched ICWT in 2019, an in-depth interview-style show in which Ncube sits down with various high-profile guests in a series of candid amd hard-hitting conversations.
The conference is held under ICWT in partnership with AMH and Heart&Soul.
AMH chief executive officer Kenias Mafukidze urged Zimbabwe’s professionals and leaders to seek out, deliberate and support new ideas that contribute to shaping the country’s future.
“Half the time, we are busy trying to see what has gone wrong and we always come short in presenting new ideas,” Mafukidze said.
“If you go the stock exchange now, one of the biggest companies is probably Econet, or probably second largest, but if you put it up together with EcoCash it becomes the largest and it came up in the last 20 years.
“So, if as a country, as a culture, we were in the habit of propping an Econet every five, six years, we would be completely different.
“I know some time back, me and the then deputy prime minister (Arthur Mutambara), we were in this very room talking about the need for us to build this country to a US$100 billion-dollar economy by 2030.
“That can never happen on the basis of old ideas.”
He said it was important to deliberate about cultivating, seeking out and supporting new ideas.
“Certainly, we at Alpha Media are about nation building,” Mafukidze said.
“It was very clear that building a future demanded deliberate process of finding and maturingnew thoughts and new ideas.”