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Business of Design speaker Q&A: Yehuda Raff

Business of Design (BoD) is back with a speaker lineup of note. The two-day seminar is held annually in Cape Town and Johannesburg during October and doesn't just focus on design in itself but has a much broader vision for the field in all areas of business. Delegates include everyone from business owners and creative entrepreneurs to retailers, marketing and brand executives, trend analysts, design students and other employees from various industries.

New to the conference is 'Open Sessions', a platform for delegates to ask the BoD founders (Trevyn and Julian McGowan of The Guild Group, and Laurence Brick and Cathy O’Clery of 100% Design South Africa and Platform Creative Agency) as well as fellow delegates any questions they may have, and together overcome any barriers to growth and challenge new ways of doing business.

Yehuda Raff
I asked Yehuda Raff, founder and director of iPartners Africa, what he loves most about being in the ‘business of design’ and to let us in on what he’ll be sharing during his Cape Town session.

BizcommunityWhy are you excited for Business of Design this year?

Cape Town continues to increase its force as a design capital through the progress of its key role players in the design sector. Business of Design is the opportunity to engage with the portion of the sector that is ready to shift their focus to the commercial aspect of design business. I get most excited by people building businesses, taking risks and backing themselves and their own talent.

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BizcommunityComment on the importance of events such as this that recognise the role design plays in (and the impact it can have on) various industries?

The world is changing, faster every day, requiring new solutions constantly. We have come to understand the role of and need for both analytical and design thinking; for the resolving of the many complex problems businesses, communities and individuals face. Events like this bring to the fore the requirement for a balance between commercial and design outcomes for success. They also highlight the multiple roles creative talents can begin to take across industries.


BizcommunityWhat do you love most about being in the ‘business of design’?

While I am not a ‘designer’, I regard ‘going to work’ as my creative expression. I am in love with the process of creating something that didn’t exist before. I imagine those in the ‘business of design’ feel similalrly.

BizcommunityWhat is the title/subject of your talk and/or what are you going to be sharing?

I am sharing my experience of going through the EO Accelerator programme, which is all about scaling up a business. I am going to talk about a number of business principles, systems and ways of understanding a business so that it can grow. The goal is to contribute to the delegates understanding of the requirements for scale and to share some of the tools I was taught.

BizcommunityWhat’s the key takeout?

If you want to scale, you have to shift from ‘in’ to ‘on’ the business.

There actually are right and wrong turns on the journey and if you are at the stage where you want to significantly commercialise your offering, then best buckle up, read, learn, implement, unlearn, relearn, implement, repeat.

The Cape Town version takes place 11-12 October, followed by Johannesburg on 18-19 October, and our readers qualify for a R450 discount. To take up this offer, email with ‘Bizcommunity’ as the subject. In the meantime, follow #BODCT and/or #BODJHB for more pre-event speaker interviews over the next couple of weeks to get your creative juices flowing.
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About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Marketing & Media Editor at Bizcommunity.com. She is also a contributing writer.
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