Category: GIF

72° in the Shade | T.S. Abe Animated Self-Portrait

I came across T.S Abe on Tumblr. I know very little about her, but this animated self-portrait is too striking not to share! What I do know about her is that she is a UK-based fashion illustrator and created this masterpiece from a series of 15 individual graphite drawings. I’m in love! The side-eye is fierce and elegant! I love the arts! Truly, madly, deeply!

Harvard Business School: African Business Conference 2014

Conferences are like grown-up slumber parties. You exist in whatever clothes you brought, skip out on a decent amount of sleep, play with your friends (in this case, strangers) all day and all night, and nibble on whatever is fed you. Conferences are extremely awesome for these reasons and that is why they tend to attract attendees from literally all over the world. Unlike previous years, as I had been told, Harvard Business School Africa Business Conference (ABC) sold out weeks in advance, attracting guests from several states in the US, and few cities in Europe and Africa. The ingredients become perfect for a fascinating conference experience! Oh yeah sure, you come to schmooze with like-minded folk, present work or learn from your professional peers, blah blah blah …but really, that can be done in one day, if you insist on technicality.
Growing up, my parents were never keen on letting me go to sleepovers with my friends. The few times I did, each party inspired unbridled anticipation. I was free of parental judgement! Committing 24 hours to your fourth grade friends really goes a long way to solidifying friendships over time. As we got older, we were exposed to the overnight school trips – the more chaperoned version of the slumber party. My parents definitely allowed me attend, and not surprisingly. These were academic trips. For your studies! But it’s not like students’ were on their best behaviour. On day one, students carefully crafted out their allegiances, forming groups of trusted comrades for the escapades to ensue after lights out, noting which adult chaperons to avoid during certain all-day activities, scheming on how to get away with the most amount of mischief. These trips were slumber parties with boys and potential new friends and your enemies!

The overnight school-wide trip was a step up from the slumber party. In like manner, conferences are a step up from the overnight school trip. Conferences just mean you likely have a salary now and so don’t need to share Cokes from the vending machine you were warned not to purchase from with your friends. More often that not, folks in attendance had gone through their college years of mischief, although at ABC, I met several undergrads. So, while nights out til 4:30 am trolling the streets of Boston were followed by uncensored yawns through the morning speaker and first panel, there was still the overt overnight school trip posturing and rascality. Only that now, the end game was not to be considered cool or dip into the hotel’s swimming pool after hours while unsuspecting teachers snored upstairs. No, people spent hundreds of dollars in conference fees and hotel arrangements to find one or more of the following three things:

1| a potential job
2| potential new networks
3| a potential partner

It is rumored that frequent ABC attendees make the Boston pilgrimage once a year to find one or more of these very specific relationships. In fact, one attendee bragged they had participated every year for the past four years, claiming that at least 20 marriages or engagements result from ABC annually. As a social scientist, I have my doubts; I’d like to see some data. Moreover, I wonder if said attendee received all 20 or so wedding invitations every year. If that were my lot, I would probably skip the ABC conference strategy altogether and go with finding relationships at these weddings!

I’m sure you’re wondering whether I managed to nail any of the relationships itemised. Well, let’s see… considering the amount of business cards I managed to receive and give away, something ought to come from it, right? In the meantime, first impressions are critical, as the saying goes and I suppose it’s not too early to rustle up funds for another weekend slumber party conference in Boston next year!